In episode 78 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses:
Your marriage can be detrimental to your health. A recent article published this month in Psychoneuroendocrinology examined the integrity of the gut barrier of couples who were attending marriage counseling. What they found was that the more hostile the interaction was between the pair, the higher the degree of compromise there was to their gut barrier.
If you are in a contentious or unhealthy marriage, it can directly affect your health. It can affect the liver, the brain, and lead to an increased risk for chronic illness and disease. When we talk about how lifestyle affects your health, it isn’t just about what you eat or whether you exercise. DR. CHAD LARSON
Your gut is a tube comprising the small and the large intestine. If you take the wall of the tube, and blow it up, you see that there is a robust barrier system that keeps things that are floating by in the GI tract from being absorbed into your circulation. Only things like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are allowed to pass through, and then they are available to be delivered to the body, including the brain.
If there is a compromise of the gut barrier, or leaky gut, that leaves a huge gap. When there are gaps, things that wouldn’t be allowed to get through the barrier, get through, and they go through the immune system and travel throughout the entire body.
The study found that if a person had a mood disorder, and there is an increase of hostile exchange between the pair during counseling, there was a greater breakdown of the gut barrier, and more toxins were allowed through to circulation.
We know that stress, especially acute stress, can break down the integrity of the gut barrier. If you have a leaky gut, it isn’t just about what is getting in, but also about what is leaking out. There is approximately 3-5 pounds of bacteria in the gut that is important for your overall health. If you have an accumulation of bad bacteria, you can develop something called a gram-negative bacteria, which results in the production of lipopolysaccharide, or LPS.
LPS is a toxin, so if you have leaking gut, it can get through into circulation. When LPS is outside of the gut, it can go up to the brain and break down the brain barrier, which causes inflammation of the brain. That can worsen things like depression and anxiety. LPS also causes general inflammation throughout the body.
If you have a hostile or argumentative marriage, it can lead to poor health. Chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease are tied to inflammation in the body. When LPS gets outside of the gut, it causes an increase in chemicals like C-reactive protein, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, or CRP. This particular study measured CRP as a numeric indication of the degree of inflammation in the liver that is caused by LPS to determine how a contentious marriage can be harmful to your health.
When the communication was hostile and argumentative, the person’s CRP increased. Therefore, the study concluded that mood disorders increase if you have a bad relationship, and it can also lead to an increased risk for chronic diseases that affect the entire body.
If you are in a contentious or unhealthy marriage, it can directly affect your health. It can affect the liver, the brain, and lead to an increased risk for chronic illness and disease. When we talk about how lifestyle affects your health, it isn’t just about what you eat or whether you exercise.
A healthy lifestyle is about your relationships and the way that you communicate with other people, and all the other things that you do throughout your life that have a bearing on your overall health.