The Vital Role of Mucous Membranes in keeping you healthy
Your immune system is only as healthy as your mucous membranes. They bear the tremendous task of keeping the outside world out of your bloodstream and keeping your inner cosmos “in”. When they’re healthy and happy, they keep everything running smoothly… including your digestion, elimination and all your moveable joints. They are your frontline of defense against invaders in the food, air and water you take into your body.
Mucous membranes or “mucosa,” line the inside of cavities that open directly to the outside world. Mucous membranes line the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, reproductive tracts and the urinary tract. The outer or epithelial layer of the membrane is an important defense mechanism that prevents the entry of pathogens and microbes into the body. The cells are tightly packed together, so fluid cannot leak out through the epithelial layer. Specialized cells secrete mucous to keep the membrane moist. Mucus also traps dust particles in the respiratory, or lung passage ways and lubricates food as it travels through the intestinal tract. Got the idea?
Where are mucous membranes found?
The Permeable Parts of You
The largest mucous membrane extends the entire surface area of the gastrointestinal tract. Women have slightly larger surface area in their intestines than men, but either is said to cover half a tennis court in surface area if stretched out completely flat. That’s a pretty huge track of land inside you with potential for imbalance, inflammation and variation in permeability to occur, and that’s just the gut. Alterations in the permeability of this membrane produce food allergies when partially digested food particles enter the bloodstream half digested.
The skin covering the outside of your body is the second largest semipermeable membrane and also serves as a filter to allow skin to breathe but keep all the essential parts of you in, and larger particles from the outside world like pet dander, synthetic fabric fibers and surface microbes out. The fact that all of these membranes are semipermeable means they’re designed to allow some nutrients to pass, while locking other elements out. You can see that if the spaces between cells in any filtering membrane become abnormally large, then larger particles will be permitted to enter and allergy to the environment (animals, pollens, fabrics, etc) develops.
The next permeable membrane extends through the upper and lower respiratory systems including ears, nose and throat and the lower respiratory tract from the neck down. Breaches in the permeability of this membrane bring about respiratory allergies like hay fever and asthma. You can probably begin to name symptoms yourself for the inflammation created by mucous membrane imbalance in the urinary tract (UTI’s, cystitis) reproductive tract as well.
Imagine all the pain and discomfort that could and would result from inflaming one or more of these vital barrier membranes? From frequent urination, stomachaches, burping and bloating, to achy joints, itchy skin, asthma, chronic sinus congestion …and then all the organs in the body that are also lined with semipermeable “Serous” membrane. We could generate 100 symptoms right now that each stem from an inflamed inner lining of…You!
So hug yourself right now and thank your membranes for doing what they do everyday to keep you well. You’d be in a world of hurt without them. And MAYBE you’re in a world of hurt right now WITH them…because they’ve lost their protective population of friendly organisms and are under assault from some non-native microbiota. If that sounds like you, you’re in the RIGHT place my friend. Our company exists because we at Feel Good Foods have been where you are!
We know how to make it right for those membranes that are inflamed and calling for your help and attention.
For a list of symptoms associated with inflamed mucousal linings of the body read 100 Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome OR Do I have a Leaky Gut? Body Systems affected by Systemic Fungal Infection.