Do you suffer from diabetes, always having to watch sugar and carbs, count calories, measure insulin levels, and pray that your weight doesn’t change? If so, then you know the challenge of living that lifestyle. Your whole life revolved around food and your relationship to it. But what if the medical community has gotten it wrong?
Most people do not realize that your digestive system, your gut, is filled with 100 trillion microorganisms. Many people also do not realize how vital these microbes to your health and wellness. Julie Wilson writes,
“With the large intestine hosting 100 billion to one trillion cells per milliliter, it’s among the most dense microbial ecosystems ever observed, say scientists from The American Academy of Microbiology. Gut microbes behave as an efficient bioreactor, facilitating the extraction of energy from digested nutrients.
“The gut’s microbial community is critical in protecting us against pathogens as it constantly communicates with our immune system. Changes in the complexity of the gut microbiome have been linked to a number of diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes and obesity.”
Interestingly, a recent study by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, with other groups, showed that infants who developed Type I diabetes, showed a “disproportional decrease in the number of species known to promote health in the gut.” The Broad Institute notes in the study,
“In the handful that developed T1D [Type 1 Diabetes] during this period, the team observed a 25% drop in community diversity (in other words, in the number of distinct species present in the microbiome) one year prior to the onset of the disease.”
This study is especially significant because it does not project upon the future likelihood of people in the study to develop a condition based on the the information in the study. This study actually followed these children from birth to three years of age and noted which of these children developed the disease, noting definite correlations with development of the disease.
What does this mean for you? If you are diabetic, and if the implications of this study are followed up on, you may begin to see gut-based treatment of medical conditions as the medical community begins to acknowledge the connection between gut health and digestion and other health conditions.
This also means, however, that intentionally taking care of your digestive tract and the microbes in it may offer new ways to manage and overcome this difficult disease.