More About Mucus Than You Ever Knew You Wanted To Know!
Extract from the excellent book "The pH Miracle" by Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young
Although we tend to associate it with head colds and worse, mucus is, in fact, a normal secretion. It is a clear, slippery substance the body makes to protect the surfaces of membranes. One way it does that is by coating anything you ingest, even water. So it also engulfs any toxins you happen to take in, and in doing so it becomes thick, sticky, and cloudy (as we see when we suffer from colds) to "trap" the toxins and escort them out of the body. Most foods Americans eat most often cause that thickened mucus. They either contain toxins or break down in a toxic way in the digestive tract (or both).
The worst offenders are dairy products, followed by animal protein, white flour, processed foods, chocolate, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. (Vegetables do not cause the formation of this sticky mucus, which is just one more reason to feature them prominently in your diet.) Over time, these foods can encrust the intestines with thick mucus and the fecal material and other debris it traps. This slime is bad enough on its own before you consider that it creates an environment that also promotes the growth of negative microforms.
Emotional stress, environmental pollution,
lack of exercise, insufficient digestive enzymes,
and absence of probiotics in the small and
large intestine all contribute to the buildup of that slime
on the wall of the colon. With buildup, transit time for materials
passing through the lower bowel increases. Low levels of fiber
in your diet, slow it still further. As the gooey mass begins
to stick to the wall of the colon, a pocket is formed between
the mass and the wall, which is an ideal home for microforms.
Material gradually adds itself to the slime, until much of it
stops moving altogether. The colon absorbs what fluids are left,
the buildup begins to harden, and the home for unfriendly organisms
becomes a fortress.
Heartburn, gas, bloating, ulcers, nausea, and gastritis (irritation of the walls of the intestines due to gas and acid) are all a result of a gastrointestinal tract overgrown with microforms. So, too, is constipation, which in addition to being an unpleasant symptom causes more problems and more symptoms. Constipation often shows up as, or comes along with, a coated tongue, diarrhea, cramps, gas, foul odor, intestinal pain, and various forms of inflammation, such as colitis and diverticulitis. (We've all heard the remark that a self centered person thinks their "stuff " does not stink. The solemn truth is, it is not supposed to! If it does, that's Nature hammering a warning on the door.)
Worse, the microforms can actually bore through the colon wall
into the bloodstream. That means not only that the microforms
themselves have access to the entire body, but also that they
bring their toxins and intestinal matter along with them into
the blood. From there they can travel quickly and take hold
anywhere in the body, invading cells, tissues, and organs easily
enough. All this severely stresses the immune system and the
liver, as they desperately try to ward off what does not belong.
Unchecked, microforms burrow deeper into the tissues and organs,
the central nervous system, the skeletal structure, the lymphatic
system, and the bone marrow.
This is not simply a matter of clean pipes. This kind of impaction can affect all other parts of the body because it interferes with what should be automatic reflexes and sends inappropriate messages of its own. A reflex is a nerve pathway in which the impulse goes from the point of stimulation to the point of response without going through the brain-as when your doctor taps your knee with that little rubber hammer and your lower leg kicks out. Reflexes can also respond at places other than the one actually being stimulated. Your body is a mass of reflexes. Some key ones are in the lower bowel, connected via nerve pathways to every major organ system in the body. The impacted materials are like a whole squadron of little rubber hammers banging away in there, sending disruptive impulses to other parts of the body. (This is, for example, a major reason for headaches.) That alone can disturb and weaken any and all body systems.
The body creates mucus as a natural defense against acids, as a way to bind them up and get them out of the body. So mucus is not, on its face, a bad thing. In fact, it is saving our lives! For example, when you eat dairy, the lactose sugar is fermented to lactic acid, which is then bound to mucus. If not for the mucus, the acid could burn a hole in your cells, tissues, or organs. (If not for the dairy, there would not be a call for that mucus.) It is just that if the diet continues to be excessively acidic, too much mucus is created and the mucus/acid mixture gets sticky and congestive, causing poor digestion, cold hands, cold feet, lightheadedness, nasal congestion, lung congestion (as in asthma), and continual throat clearing.
At baseline, we must replenish the probiotics that inhabit our digestive tracts. With proper diet, a normal population will return on its own. You can help move the process along with probiotic supplements.
These supplements have been so highly touted in some corners you might think they are a magic-bullet cure-all. But they won't work all on their own. You cannot just throw cultures at the intestines without making the appropriate nutritional changes to maintain proper pH balance, or they'll just pass right through with little effect at all. Or, they could turn on you. You must prepare the environment as well as possible before you take probiotic supplements.
Besides improving your overall health and helping you lose weight, following this program will clean your intestines and restore your probiotics as well as balance your pH and control the growth of microforms. All of which, you can see by now, intertwine. As the pH of the blood and tissue normalizes, and the intestines are cleansed, nutrient assimilation and waste elimination will too, and you'll be on your way to complete, radiant healthiness.
If mucus causes respiratory problems ... check this page for help
Excerpt from "North American Diet"
NOT ALL MUCUS IS BAD
Healthy mucus is a clear, slippery, lubricating secretion, used to protect mucus membranes along the digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracts. Unhealthy mucus is cloudy, thick, and sticky. Mucus is secreted to stop irritants, pollutants, or carcinogenic compounds, created by putrefying, undigested food residues. It's like a blanket of protection. Certain foods such as milk and bread cause an increase of mucus secretions. These foods have large protein molecules (casein and gluten) which are difficult to digest and are more prone to putrefaction, and may be toxic or an irritant to the body. For many, bread and milk cause sinus congestion.
Mucoid is a mixture of large gelatinous particles, which has a sticky
or jelly-like consistency. The word mucoid encompasses the terms
mucin, colloid, mucoproteins and glycoproteins. Mucoid is caused
by many toxins, pollutants, food additives and allergies. Mucoid
can be present in any body tissue but is most commonly associated
with the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, lymphatic
system, uterus, vagina urinary system and the joints.
Cartilage in a joint contains mucus membrane cells which secrete a clear slippery mucus to keep joints lubricated. When mucoid-forming substances are present, toxic mucoid builds up deposits within the joint.
Mucoid within the body tissues, drains into the lymph which filters waste from the intercellular fluid. The blood absorbs 90% of this cellular waste fluid and the lymph absorbs the other 10% composed of the larger waste particles. The lymph glands contain one-way valves, lined with muscle tissues that behave like pumps. If an overload of mucoid from the cells accumulates in the lymph and is not cleansed from the system, it can become stagnant and prone to infection.
Robert Gray, a nutritionist, determined, through intensive
testing that certain foods are mucus-forming and others are mucus
The foods shown to cause the most mucus are: Dairy products, white flour, sugar, eggs, peanuts and fats.
MAKING CELL FOOD FROM CELLS
The relationship between mucus and diet is not a new theory. In 1912, Dr. Arnold Ehret released a book called, The Mucusless Diet and Healing System. He discusses in great detail, the mucus-forming effect of various foods. Ehret theorized that all disease is caused by a clogging of the tube and membrane structures within the body due to a build-up of restrictive mucus.
Foods that form mucus have a glue-like bond, tightly holding their molecules together. In milk, it is casein, in wheat, rye, oats and barley, the glue-like substance is gluten. The dictionary defines gluten as a tough, sticky mixture of plant proteins, obtained by washing out the starch from wheat or other cereal flour and used as an adhesive and thickener. These glue-like bonds require strong stomach acids for digestion.
Lack of chewing and poor food combinations make it impossible for the stomach acids to properly dissolve the bond between these molecules. After digestion, many food particles are still too large to be used by the body. In a short time, the oversized, partly-digested food particles start to putrefy and are coated with mucus to prevent further putrefaction while still in the intestine.
Eighty percent of all absorption takes place in the small intestine. Only 20 percent is absorbed by the stomach and large intestine. The stomach performs very little absorption because the gastric contents are so acidic. The entire gastric epithelium must be devoted to mucus production. Without mucus to protect the stomach, ulcers would develop in a few hours. Within the duodenum (small intestine) the submucosal glands produce copious quantities of mucus. This mucus contains buffers that elevate the pH balance.
The more acid forming the food, the greater the amount of mucus secreted.
a drain, clogged with human hair, dust, old soap and pieces of
decaying food, all forming a sticky mass of rotting waste that
cannot be removed. The medical names labeled for these diseases
are diverticula, colitis, stricture, prolapsus, hemorrhoids, worms,
yeast infection, chronic constipation, colon cancer and appendicitis.
Removal of clogged waste allows the human machine to work again. But, unless there is dietary change, the symptoms will simply return.
Without the natural, sponge-like properties of fruits and vegetables, intestinal diseases will continue to abound, especially amongst the elderly.
Grapes and citrus fruits are some of the greatest mucus-cleansers. They help the body to remove mucus and toxins, supplying vital nutrients in the correct balance for rejuvenation and healing.
The most powerful method of removing mucus from the intestines and mucoid from the organs and lymph glands is the combined cleansing effect of a non-mucus/mucoid-forming diet and fasting.
Factors Which Increase Mucus
- LARGE MEALS
Our body's need for food is often much less than what we eat. Any foods eaten beyond our body's need is a burden. Some of this excess food will be converted into fat. Yet the body can create only so much fat per day. If you eat above digestive capacity, the excess must be eliminated. During elimination, the lymph glands are overloaded and mucoid forms in response to putrefaction.
- EATING WITHOUT HUNGER
When food is eaten before complete digestion of the previous meal, partially-digested food will be released into the colon thus causing mucus.
- GULPING FOOD
Improper chewing overworks the digestive system. If the food particles are too big to be assimilated, they must be eliminated through the colon. On the way, these particles putrefy, thus causing mucus.
- IMPROPER COMBINATIONS
A typical meal contains starch, protein, sugars and fats, each requiring a completely different digestive secretion. Complex food mixtures create mucus because the food molecules cannot be dissolved efficiently.
Note from Four Winds Nutrition
Did you know? The average American child will eat 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time he or she graduates from high school!
Peanuts, even in their purest form (think: just cracked from its shell), are inherently one of the most mucus forming foods out there.