By Dr. Holly
You should have more bacteria in your gut than the number of cells in your entire body!!! But how do you know if they are healthy?
They should come from over 1000 different species, although the predominance usually comes from between 30-40 species. They are an integral part of our body’s processing – they not only help metabolize food and hand us what we need – but they have a tremendous impact all through the body.
If they are depleted or if the bad guys dominate over the good guys, we can be in for a lot of trouble. For instance, the bacteria in your gut can determine whether you are slim or heavy. They can impact on your thinking, your emotions and your behaviour….ha and you thought you were in control.
Psychotherapy may be good for some issues – but unfortunately, therapists typically have no idea of the impact of the gut bacteria…and all the talking in the world isn’t going to solve that. But…how do we know if we have an imbalance in the microbiota? Well, we are learning more and more clues that tell us something…and we learning that people have gut issues long before they have the symptoms…and we are learning different ways to resolve the problem…
So let’s first do a very general overview of some of the indicators that we have gut issues:
1. They live in the gut – so let’s start there. The following are a list of issues that might be telling us we have an imbalance:
d. Heartburn/acid reflux
e. Irritable Bowel syndrome
f. Irritable Bowel disease, ie., Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
2. The gut is also important in providing us with nutrients like vitamins and minerals. And, if the gut bacteria is out of alignment, we may be absorbing what we need to absorb like:
a. Vitamin B7
b. Vitamin B12
c. Vitamin D
d. Vitamin K
3. The gut is considered the second brain and both brains have a tremendous impact on one another. Did you know that the gut bacteria actually produce neurotransmitters? Did you know that there is a high correlation between depression and constipation? And oh, the list goes on and on. You might want to read my book: Depression: the real cause may be in your body. But the gut bacteria may also be causing issues like:
b. Brain fog
c. Depression and anxiety
d. Obsessive-compulsive and other personality disorders
e. Even issues like:
4. But the brain can also have an impact on the gut. When we have chronic stress; increased blood pressure; or we are anxious…these can also have an impact on the gut and the microbiota. The stress provokes the adrenals to release cortisol which impacts on the gut.
5. What about the use of conventional medicines. We have known for a long time that anti-biotics destroy the very guys that we need to fight infections. AND, anti-biotics are not just found in prescription medications but throughout the food industry. In fact, over 80% of the anti-biotics used in North America, are found in our food!! Further, when these good guys are wiped out, we have to replace them intentionally – they don’t just suddenly reappear on their own.
6. Our skin can tell us a lot of information as well. Skin conditions may be a result of a dysfunctional liver (which also works interactively with the microbiota) or a may be the result of the gut bacteria themselves. Condition such as the following may be the direct result of unhealthy gut bacteria:
7. Now one of the most important interactions with the gut bacteria is with our immune system and of course the majority of our immune system is in the gut. The microbiota can deplete and over excite certain immune components; or if healthy, simply stimulate those that need to get moving. Gut bacteria can cause the following issues:
a. Hashimoto’s – hyperthyroid
b. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome
c. Rheumatoid arthritis
8. We also know that allergies, of any kind, can be a direct reflection of what is going on in the gut. And that makes sense, when we consider that most of the immune system resides in the gut…so if the gut is out of whack then our immune system is going to be as well. In addition, we know that the microbiota in the gut play a very interdynamic role with the immune system. So if you suffer from allergies – you may want to look at your gut…
What to do when the gut is out of balance…well there are a number of things we can do.
1) Improve the gut bacteria – eating foods like:
a. Eating fermented foods like:
i. Sauerkraut (start very slow)
ii. Yogurt without fruit and sugar
v. And other fermented foods, but be careful of fermented soy, ie. miso – it needs to be non GMO!!
b. Eating foods with a high good bacterial count
i. Red and green cabbage
c. And of course by avoiding the non-food products:
i. Pasteurized foods
ii. Microwaved foods
iii. Processed foods
Here’s to your health!
Here’s to your health!
For more information, contact: Dr Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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