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Biology Of Balance

by Rajgopal Nidamboor(more info)

listed in colon health, originally published in issue 291 - January 2024

Originally published in India First 16 May 2023

https://indiafirstepaper.com/epaper/

 

It’s the typical morning sonata. You’ve your hasty breakfast, before leaving for office, and the whole process brings about certain internal fluctuations. The first thing you know is there is enough ‘ammo’ in your tummy, and you have to do something about it. The next thing you know is your breakfast is being broken into simple components your body can use. The protein in your breakfast, to highlight another paradigm, is now being ‘piloted’ into amino acids, or chemical building blocks. They are slowly used by the cells in the body to produce their own precise proteins.

Biology of Balance

Biology of Balance

 https://indiafirstepaper.com/epaper/

 

What does this signify, or connote? That our body functions with a sense of regularity, or dynamic balance. In other words, it relates to the functional realm of our being, our physiology, or self-regulatory mechanisms, or feedback chains, or systems, that ‘fuel’ basic adjustments in our functional sphere. For example, when the carbon dioxide content of our blood begins to ascend, we breathe in air more deeply. When we, likewise, drink just too much coffee, or tea, we expel ample urine.

All is well, when everything is hunky-dory. However, if one, for instance, has a fault in the urinary system, one develops symptoms of a bladder infection, or renal (kidney) disease. If your skin, likewise, has a flaw, you may develop rashes, atopic dermatitis (eczema), herpes, or warts. If your digestive system is the ‘focus’ of something having gone askew, you may present with symptoms of hyperacidity, flatulence (gas), constipation, piles, or ulcers.

Each body structure contributes in some way to balance, or homeostasis, through such feedback mechanisms. When glucose (sugar) increases in the blood, the pancreas secretes insulin. This causes the cells to make use of ‘additional’ glucose. It is the amplified uptake of glucose and subsequent drop in blood sugar levels that serve as a signal for the pancreas to reduce insulin secretion. Result? The secretion of insulin is ‘inverted’. This form of a self-regulating feedback loop is ‘employed’ by the endocrine system to maintain proper levels of hormones.

Adjustment to ambiguity is a fact of life, owing to uncertainties. Neither does evolution design immortal beings. Homeostasis relates to physiological stability, or adaptability. It is also linked to mechanisms for maintaining internal viability and defence of physiological events essential for our health and well-being. Unfortunately, such resources are finite. Chronic signals from physiological mediators  – cortisol, catecholamines, and so on – take their toll on our bodily function, resulting in our susceptibility to a host of illnesses, viz., high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, bone loss, sleep, immune and reproductive disorders, not to speak of the aging process, among others.

Think of a commonplace scenario. When we are anxious, adrenaline, the hormone produced in high-stress situations, is released by the body to ‘retract’ the homeostatic control of glucose. The secretion jazzes-up our internal metabolism, breathing and also heart rate. Once the ‘adrenaline rush’ is over and its levels fall, the body’s homeostatic ‘pedals’ are soon reinstated to ‘business as usual’. In like manner, our body’s biological rhythms affect our resistance to stressors and responses to different medications. Besides, certain illnesses have characteristic rhythms. For example, heart attacks are almost twice as likely in the morning, just as asthma is at night. The study of these rhythms has led to chronotherapy, the use of circadian, or other rhythmic cycles, or bioclock, in therapeutics. To highlight an example – once-a-day ‘timed-release’ pills for asthma are given at night. They deliver a high-dose of medication between midnight and early morning.

It is all in the gut, so to speak. Intestinal homeostasis, for instance, depends on complex interactions between microbiota, or microscopic living organisms, the intestinal lining and the immune system. Diverse regulatory mechanisms collaborate to maintain intestinal homeostasis. A breakdown in their pathways can trigger chronic inflammatory disorders – for example, inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. A variance, likewise, in the body’s homeostasis between the gut antigens – any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it – and, the gut immune system can trigger food allergies, especially for peanuts.

New studies are being aimed to decipher how the gut microbiota may be involved in the control of energy and metabolic homeostasis. The big question is: can we ‘engineer’ our microbiotic milieu to treat, or prevent, obesity as also type-2 diabetes? Research is also underway to determine the mechanism for altered glucose and energy homeostasis in type-2 diabetes and understand, in enhanced measure, why obesity and lethargy are also strong risk factors for insulin resistance in diabetics.

Acknowledgement Citation

Originally published in India First 16 May 2023

https://indiafirstepaper.com/epaper/

A version of this article appears in print version of India First 16 May 2023

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About Rajgopal Nidamboor

Rajgopal Nidamboor PhD FCCP M-CAM is a Board-Certified wellness physician, Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians (FCCP), Member of the Center of Applied Medicine (M-CAM), writer-editor, commentator, critic, columnist, author, and publisher. His special interests include natural health and wellness, mind-body/integrative medicine, nutritional medicine, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality. His focus areas also encompass contemporary research and dissemination of dependable information for people concerned about their health. He feels that it is increasingly gratifying to see most individuals, including physicians, thinking outside the box – especially in areas such as natural health, where the body knows best to heal itself from the inside out. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, Web articles, four books on natural health, two coffee-table books, a handful of E-books, a primer on therapeutics, and, most recently, Cricket Odyssey. He’s Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360, a mobile health application/platform, connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic, Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.  Rajgopal Nidamboor lives in Navi Mumbai, India. He may be contacted via raj@rajnidamboor.com 

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