Obesity is now a global disease. In the United States about 40-50% of the population is overweight or obese. This is a twenty-first century problem secondary to the fast food industry. Food has become a drug with exponential addiction potential, and should be considered a component of substance use disorder, like opioids, nicotine and alcohol. Unfortunately, a large part of the food industry involves processed food, which contributes to obesity. In the black, brown and indigineous community, we have food desert, pharmacy desert and healthcare desert, this only exacerbates the obesity epidemic in the United States.
The gut or gastrointestinal tract is the gatekeeper of the human immune system, and the first line treatment landscape for all disease, especially autoimmune disease. The root cause of obesity starts with the gut and involves the gut brain axis ultimately. Sixty to seventy percent of patients/clients with obesity also have a behavioral health issue, and this is why the gut brain axis is a very important portal to control and cure obesity.
Who are the worker bees of the gut? The worker bees of the gut are called the microbiome. It includes bacteria, yeasts, fungi and protozoans. The microbiome keeps us alive, and prevents disease by optimizing our immunity, preventing diabetes, normalizing cholesterol and triglycerides, and ultimately hemodynamically maintaining our metabolism day by day.
The role of the gut microbiome in weight loss, diabetes control, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and behavioral health should be a part of every patient’s/client’s care plan. We should make it categorically clear that the cure for most diseases resides in the worker bees, the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract.