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Now that we have talked about the changes in chronic illness over time and the diseases our bodies are at risk for, we want to shift attention to the link between what we eat and how it changes the composition of our gut flora, which in turn activates abnormal body responses. The House of Bugs Learn about your gut CASE: A 56-year-old woman with diabetes was recently admitted to the hospital for persistent, foul-smelling diarrhea. Recently, she had recurrent urinary tract infections and had been prescribed multiple courses of antibiotics. She was losing weight and had low energy. She was diagnosed with C. Despite multiple attempts at curing the infection, her diarrhea became intractable. It's great that I've been able to make steps towards taking care of responsibilities, identifying goals and being more intentional with my life, but I'm still new at this. It's only been three years that I've spent living a disciplined life and planning out my time. Three years is not a long time. Just for full transparency and clarity, here are the spots that I can still improve in (among other areas): I don't want to serve people. I'll take out the trash at my office here and there and offer to buy things for people, but there isn't consistent service. I have yet to, as Jesus Christ talks about, become an obvious example of servanthood. As it's said in Mark's gospel in the Bible, Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. I'm not a very obsessed or passionate person. Yet I understood that something had to change. I didn't want to keep living a life of his acting out.

I cried a lot during the first few weeks. The accumulation of fear, sadness, and not knowing where our marriage was headed worried me. But clearly both of us found the separation helpful. He is confronting some major underlying issues that with my presence were being glossed over, particularly owning his anger. I also see how enmeshed we were, to the point of being unhealthy. In just a short period of time I see how, as individuals and as a couple, we will be healthier and have a greater possibility of recovery. We had a therapeutic separation a couple years after we began recovery. He had a slip in his sexual sobriety and it was my sponsor who suggested to me that a time-out may be what I need to do for me. She was given a fecal transplant, which is when the stool of a healthy family member is placed through a scope into the gut of the ill family member. Within weeks, the patient felt better; Learning about the gut is extremely important. It turns out that the gut has loads of bacteria in it. Those gut bugs are responsible for much of the immune system defense of our bodies and have a role in hormone and mood regulation. Those bugs also seem to have a role in decreasing inflammation and potentially a role in what illnesses we get. Before we go on, let's go over some definitions. Microbiota is the term that refers to all of the microorganisms (tiny bugs) in our bodies that are exposed to the outside surfaces. This includes the gastrointestinal organs (mouth to anus), skin, nose, ears, and genitals. These microorganisms are bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and even viruses that inhabit our bodies. Sure, do I need to be a passionate person out of necessity? Of course, but that's the only reason.

I'm not the guy to get fired up about a cause or some trivial calamity happening in people's lives. I don't always honor my personal responsibilities. It's a hard skill to master for most, and I've certainly gotten better, but I'm not there yet. As Matthew 5:37 says, But let your Yes' beYes,' and your No,'No. When I schedule something for myself? I'm not as genuinely interested in people as I'd like to be. It's one of the core principles from Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, but I fail to find myself caring about other people. Friends and colleagues will ask about how my day or weekend went, yet I struggle to remember to ask them the same questions. The separation coincided with his decision to seek treatment for his loss and trauma issues, which were triggering relapse. One of the things I worked on most for myself during this time was what life would be like if I chose to divorce. While I did not make the decision to divorce, it was an important issue to explore. It was very empowering. I realized that even with a divorce I could go on and live my life. I would feel great loss but the idea of being by myself was no longer so frightening. I had spent my whole life wanting to be safe and had given my sense of safety over to men who violated or betrayed me. I finally was really getting the idea that I had the ability and the responsibility to make myself safe. Well, now a few years have passed. We have chosen to stay together and I am hopeful for our relationship. It is estimated that 90 percent of cells (approximately 100 trillion cells) found in our bodies are not human, but come from 40,000 bacterial strains. Imagine, then, that we are only 10 percent human and the remainder is bugs!

Microbiome refers to the entire gene pool found in our bodies. Recall that genes are the instructions in cells that decide our appearances, what our personalities are like, and what health conditions we will get in our lives. Genetic material lives in all of our cells and is called our genome. There is also genetic material that comes from every bug in our guts. Some people call the gut our second genome or our second brain because of all the genetic material that comes from our bugs. Not only are the human genes outnumbered by the genetic material from our microbiota, but these gut bugs likely have a significant impact on our health as well. The human microbiome project is a project funded by the National Institutes of Health. The project focuses on understanding the role of the microbiome in our bodies. There are many shining examples to look at from this article! Dr Jordan Peterson has become a saint to many men in North America. In Canada and the United States, this man has become the father figure they never had. He's dealt with immense backlash, hatred and disapproval for simply laying out the facts of life. He becomes a target, because his honesty stings, but that's exactly what our men and women need! A good prick in your side brings pain and that's one of the world's greatest motivators. Justin Wren is a man who's built a non-profit organization out of sheer willpower and overwhelming compassion. He's corralled a great team of people to work with him and, as a result, he's built 100 wells in Africa. That's phenomenal! Each well brings fresh water to thousands of people, which saves their lives from very easily treatable diseases. Today my choice to stay is from a place of strength, not fear. After one and a half years of attempting recovery practices, my husband and I pursued a therapeutic separation that ultimately preceded our divorce.

To say the least, we were having a rocky time. I was working so hard to figure out who I was and what I needed. I think that was confusing to him. I think he thought that if he just said he wasn't acting out anymore, everything would be okay. But the relationship had not been okay on most levels for years. So I just kept moving forward in terms of knowing that I needed a life other than being reactive to him. As I stayed fervent in my recovery process, he eventually stopped all of his counseling. Most of our core issues were still unresolved. It has given us a lot of important information on the role of the gut in how we feel and how we respond to illness. From this project, we know that the microbiota plays a critical role in building and maintaining our immune systems. Many people call the gut the internal health monitor. It is responsible for monitoring bacteria and viruses that come into the mouth with everything we eat and preventing those infections from getting into our bloodstreams and becoming systemic diseases. The gut is involved in the production of vitamins, essential amino acids, and fatty acids. It also impacts how our bodies utilize fats and sugars, which are important in understanding how we gain weight. How does my gut bacteria contribute to my risk of illness or my risk of weight gain? Having an intact microbiota directly impacts one's health. Similarly, having a weakened microbiota puts one's body at risk for illness. The proliferation of the wrong kind of microbiota may predispose us to autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes, as well as increasing risk of obesity, infections, and depression. But, remember, this was after years upon years of living recklessly. He spent years in drug use, alcoholism and the glamour of fame.