name is Marilia
And through my own health journey I learnt that our physical and mental wellbeing is intrinsically connected to the health of our gut. Our digestive tract is our first point of contact with the external world, it protects us from external invaders, it syntheses vitamins and hormones, regulates our metabolism, influences our genetic expression and brain chemistry, and most importantly, is where 70% of our immune system resides. Simply put, a healthy gut is the foundation for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
I grew up with robust health, I was happy, cheerful, full of energy, and could eat and drink whatever I wanted without experiencing a single symptom of indigestion, but all that changed after an episode of food poisoning - a slice of pizza that changed my life.
I developed a condition called Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS) which affects 1 in every 9 people who suffer an episode of gastroenteritis. The most common bacteria that cause food poisoning release a toxin that triggers an autoimmune reaction in the body and harms a naturally occurring protein that helps cells migrate and connect to each other resulting in gut nerve damaged and dysmotility. Functioning of the Migrating Motor Complex (which is responsible for regulating gut contractions) becomes impaired, allowing gut bacteria to overgrow in the wrong place leading to all sorts of digestive and physical symptoms.
Due to the lack of knowledge at the time (that happened over a decade ago), my condition was left untreated and I spent years suffering with debilitating symptoms as the only solution provided to me were antacids and antidepressants.
After nearly 7 years and daily symptoms, I saw myself in a position where I had to take control of my health and that's how I fell in love with nutritional therapy and functional medicine. As I now know, an imbalance in the gut microbiome is the opening door to chronic and complicated health conditions and it is where most imbalances and dysfunctions start - for that reason I decided to specialise in gut health and functional gut disorders.
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