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The gut is one of our major systems that is in contact with the outside world.  The gut, the lungs and the skin. In many ways it's the outside world within us and as such it has a remarkable population of bacteria that create the flora of the colon and help us digest.  

A healthy gut communicates with the brain through the neural network and using hormones - this is how we know when we’re hungry and what we might fancy to eat. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, so foods that help one person to thrive may cause irritation in others. The most common food intolerances are to gluten, found in wheat, and lactose and casein, found in milk. Some people can digest these components with no issues and other people will find themselves experiencing intense discomfort and unpleasant symptoms if they consume these foods.

Gut health has a knock-on impact on mental health. Known as the ‘second brain’, there’s a reason we feel a lot of our emotions in our guts. Gut bacteria have the power to stimulate our nervous system, sending messages to our brains through the vagus nerve. They can also release hormones identical to those our own systems release, making them little pilots with a large impact on our bodies and decision making given how tiny they are. This communication between gut and brain is known as the gut-brain-axis. Stress can also impact these bacteria, as a lot of them are hormone-sensitive, which may lead to an imbalance.

The gut is hugely important for immune function,with the gut wall providing a barrier that, when functioning properly, prevents viruses, fungi and unfriendly bacteria from entering the bloodstream. Unfortunately, this barrier sometimes becomes permeable, known colloquially as a ‘leaky gut’, which means these bacteriacan break through and make us sick. Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease can make people more prone to developing permeability in the gut wall.

The workshop explores:

gut mucosa
microbiome/immune system
entry to the gut: face and throat
gut ermbryology - gut midline
food intolerance and hypersensitivity
sections of the gut
enteric NS

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