Barriers are meant to keep harmful stuff out. But if you keep everything out, you die. That’s the one liner. Read on for the extended version.
Your cells need nutrients, oxygen, signalling molecules, electrical signals to function properly. It needs to get rid of metabolic byproducts, lactate and carbon dioxide. It needs to send out signals of it’s own.
Cells make up tissues. Tissues form organs. Organs form systems with specialised functions. You’re made up of organ systems. That’s the simplistic view. But it is needed to make things easier to understand. Each of these arbitrary divisions have real barriers around them that are smart enough to decide what to let in, what to stop and what to throw out. When that barrier function gets disrupted, sickness/disease results.
Barrier function can get disrupted in the presence of uncontrolled or poorly controlled inflammation.
This is most commonly due to
1. Modern refined foods
2. Synthetic foods, xeno biotics
4. Environmental and natural toxins
5. Disordered immunity(excessive and too little)
6. auto immunity
7. Imbalance in the microbiome
8. Circadian rhythm disruption (sleep/wake cycle)
9. Circadian rhythm disruption (late night eating)
10. Lack of sunlight exposure
11. Mental stress
12. Physical stress (lack of/excess of)
13. Nutrient deficiencies
Barrier function can get disrupted at
2. Blood vessel endothelium
(blood brain barrier)
(Blood vessel intima leading to atherosclerosis)
3. Gut lining- leaky gut
4. Cellular level- the glycocalyx
Usually disruption of one barrier will mean disruption at the other barriers too, because the systemic failures that cause the disruption exist throughout the body. Which is why someone who is chronically inflamed will show stereotypical patterns of diseases
1. Fatigue (blood brain barrier, musculoskeletal)
2. Lack of motivation (blood brain barrier)
3. Brain fog (blood brain barrier)
4. Poor digestion (leaky gut)
5. Skin health
6. Aches and pains (cellular level) but manifesting mainly in the musculoskeletal and myofascial systems.
7. Various diseases of aging- diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, dementia
Barrier function can disrupted in two forms
1. Unnecessary, uncontrolled entry
2. Inability for metabolic by products to exit
It’s very likely that almost all chronic disease can be traced back to this issue.
I haven’t gone in detail with the technical terms to avoid turning this blog post into a textbook style treatise. If you find that Google is confusing you, post in the comments with your specific doubts.
As always, looking for feedback.