There is a growing amount of research based evidence showing how critical it is, in maintaining a healthy gut. Healthy gut is having a good balance of gut flora (the good guys). This balance is important for overall physical health and mental health.
Your gut contains an average of 100 trillion organisms, which include fungi, bacteria, yeasts, and other microbes. Each of these have a purpose within this community which is your microbiome.
Not having a well functioning microbiome can have very distinct health consequences. This imbalance is known as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis means that the the not so healthy bacteria and yeasts have taken over, and our healthy bacteria is minimal.
What thing cause this imbalance? The most common is the use of antibiotics. One round of antibiotics can wipe out our beneficial bacteria for sometimes a years, or more. Often times when people are prescribed antibiotics they are not told to take a probiotic afterwards to replenish what has been wiped out. Add to that an unhealthy diet with sugar, sucralose, processed foods, and the body is in a great deficit.
This imbalance leads to a very common condition, one in which doctors are not recognizing as a problem. This condition is Candida. Do you have a foggy brain, strong cravings for sugar, seasonal allergies. Perfumes bother you. Headaches, body aches. Unexplained tiredness. Frequent urinary tract infections? If you have been on antibiotics in the past or poor diet for years and you haven’t been taking a good quality probiotic. You may be suffering with an overgrowth of Candida. This imbalance may also cause an overgrowth of parasites as well.
An imbalanced microbiome will affect your ability to digest and absorb your nutrients. Your microbiome work as vitamin production plants. Bacteria in the gut synthesize vitamins.
The body’s inability to properly absorb nutrients is known as malabsorption syndrome. Even if you are eating the healthiest foods in the world you may not be absorbing them.
There are chemicals and vitamins created within the gut, between the different microbes. These reactions affect what happens with amino acids and hormones in the body. Deficiencies in these affect health, and your mood.
How does microbiome affect our ability to maintain a healthy weight? Our microbiome affects the body’s ability to store fat, balance glucose, responding to hunger stimulating hormones.
We pass on the good and bad?! We can pass microbes good and bad to people that live close to us. If you live with someone healthy their healthy microbiomes can have benefits for those struggling with weight issues. But you can pass the unhealthy ones as well, including parasites. Make sure if someone in your household or yourself does a parasite, others in the family should as well.
Your microbiome can be effected daily. Don’t think that if eat healthy for a few days and take probiotics you can go back to old eating habits. The healthy microbiome cannot move into the body if it is obese and the person is eating a processed food diet. Diet is the number one thing to keep them healthy and populated.
How does an imbalance of microbiome affect autoimmune diseases.? Inflammation is the root of disease which is caused from foods we eat, which we could be sensitive to or unhealthy foods. But the link between inflammation caused from microbiome imblance is now being understood. Commom autoimmune disease include, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, leaky gut, MS, thyroid disease.
Your brain and gut connection. With over a billion nerve endings in your GI tract, this enteric nervous system or ENS, as referred to as our second brain. Your brain does not effect our gut but the gut does effect the brain. The gut send messages to the brain and creates most of the body’s serotonin , around 50% of our dopamine. and a host of other brain influencing chemicals and hormones. This has been called the gut brain axis or GBA. These processes effect emotional and cognitive functions.
There is emerging evidence in the connection with microbiome imbalance and Alzheimers patients, as well as children with autism. More research is required. From my own experience with working with children with autism for over 17 years I find it interesting that a large percentage of children with autism had very poor diets, with lots of processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables.
With so many people suffering with anxiety and depression. This may be an important section to focus on. Instead of popping meds or therapy sessions ( not that I am against that), but think if an imbalance in our microbiome could be a huge factor in our ability to fight depression and anxiety.
Besides serotonin and dopamine that are produced in the gut, the interplay of other chemicals and hormones are effected by microbiome imbalance to the point of creating high levels of depression and anxiety.
Research has shown that depressed patients held certain strains of bacteria in common. A healthy micobiome is so important to brain balance and psychological disorders.
Healthy microbiome and cancer. Of course this should be connected. For anyone that does any research on what some of the causes of cancer are, will come across the connection between cancer tumors and a compromised immune system. So of course, it makes sense, that if you someone has a imbalance in microbiome we could assume they may have a compromised immune system. The imbalance in the GI system also leads to inflammation locally and systemically, which can allow several different type of cancer to grow.
The improper balance of microbes in the body have been linked to colorectal cancer, breast and liver cancer.
What should we do?
Eat fermented foods such as Kimchi, Kombucha (easy to make yourself), fermented sauerkraut (no vinegar). Kefir. I would avoid store bought commercial yogurts. Research has shown that sitting on stores for a length of time destroys the beneficial bacteria. Most are loaded with sugar. I am also not a fan of pasteurized dairy, as that has been shown to cause an immune response in the body. Plus most cows are not fed properly and are full of antibiotics. Which gets into milk, yogurt etc. I eat ground flax seeds and chia seeds and lots of fruits and vegetables which feed my beneficial bacteria.
Stay away from processed foods as best as possible. Especially sugar. Take a good quality multi vitamin. I take USANA as they have the two strong stains that withstand the acidity of the stomach. Go to my page to order.
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Happy Gut Happy life
Love and Gratitude
Linda Murphy RHN/NNCP