How much the gut is able to move plays a significant role on the quantity and balance of healthy bacteria within the gut.
Dr. Erica Peirson says gastrointestinal motility represents one of the major control systems of gut microflora by moving bacteria and yeast out of the body at a rate that is balanced with their rate of reproduction.
Gastrointestinal dysbiosis cannot be addressed if gut motility is not optimized. Treating dysbiosis with antimicrobials (herbal or pharmaceutical), probiotics and diet without addressing gut motility will only result in continued ill-health, frustration and money lost on supplements and treatment that don’t result in long term effects.
Low muscle tone in the intestines leads to slow gut motility. When gut motility is slow, bacteria and yeast can’t be cleared properly and gets backed up in the small intestines. This leads to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and/or yeast overgrowth.
Because the gastronintestinal tract is a muscular system it is heavily dependent on a healthy nervous system.
Healthy vagus nerve function is needed for healthy gut function and motility. As with any nerve, its function can be impaired by a deficiency in the nutrients needed to make ACh because ACh is the main neurotransmitter used by the vagus nerve. Briefly, these nutrients are:
vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, and choline.
Muscles require energy in order to contract in the form of ATP (adenosine triphospate). ATP is generated by mitochondria. It naturally follows that mitochondrial dysfunction will lead to low muscle tone and slow gut motility.
Gastrointestinal symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction include:
poor appetite, gastroesophageal sphincter dysfunction, constipation, dysphagia, vomiting, gastroparesis, GI pseudo-obstruction, diarrhea, or pancreatitis and hepatopathy.
Nutrients that support mitochondrial function and therefore support gut motility include:
Carnitine, CoQ10, B Vitamins, Ribose, T3/T2 hormone, Creatine.
Delayed gut motility is a hallmark of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is marked by an accumulation of glycosaminoglycans, like hyaluronic acid, within soft tissue of the body creating edema and swelling. This substance is essential for healthy joints as it helps to lubricate and cushion them. It becomes a problem when it builds up in areas beyond healthy levels. In hypothyroidism it mostly builds up under the skin and in muscle, including the muscles of the gut. The deposition of this substance within muscles hinders it’s ability to contract properly. Many people with hypothyroidism experience diffuse skeletal muscle pain due to this aspect of their hypothyroidism. In adults, this is not only seen as symptoms of muscle pain it can also be seen visibly as edema under the skin particularly in the lower extremities and the face.
The lumen of the gut can be compared to a river. “A river’s flow is its heartbeat. Because we have dammed so many rivers and lakes, our freshwater ecosystems are losing species and habitats faster than any other type of ecosystem.” (Internationalrivers.org) If the river is slowed and becomes stagnant, algae and microbes will grow at a rate that is faster than the river moves them along. This will create an imbalance in the ecosystem of that river that chokes out other life, ultimately creating an unhealthy river.
Information copied from https://www.peirsoncenter.com/articles/gut-motility-driver-of-the-microbiome. For the full article please click on hyperlink.
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