The connection between gut health and system wide health are well established. There are trillions of bacteria in the gut and their DNA outnumbers our DNA by a huge margin. This bacteria DNA regulates immune function, controls how digestion works, prevents infections, produces vitamins and regulates hormones like estrogen and thyroid hormones.
We can see huge differences between the gut bacterial balance of healthy individuals and sick ones. This has been demonstrated for many conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s and even obesity.
When harmful bacteria are living in the gut they produce by products and inflammatory molecules that negatively effect immunity and health in general. When you have a chronic health condition its important to look back to the gut even when the symptoms are not digestive related because we understand now how far reaching this microbiome balance is to our health. I have had many non-digestive symptoms clear dramatically by giving probiotics or killing off harmful bacteria, yeast or parasites using herbal medicine. I also routinely hear patients tell me how their antibiotic made a condition it was not intended for become temporarily better. This is always a great indication that the disease process is coming from the gut
To ensure healthy gut bugs and bacterial balance try these basic things
- Eat pre-biotic fiber to feed your good bugs like sweet potato, squash, flax seeds and chia seeds. In fact, eating a diet based on whole foods in general will improve gut bacterial balance. Focus on vegetables, meat, nuts and seeds, whole grains and small amounts of fruit.
- Limit sugar and processed foods. Sugar is like fuel on the fire for yeast especially not to mention all its other bad effects especially on insulin and blood sugar.
- Try to avoid medications that negatively effect healthy gut bugs like anti inflammatory medication, acid inhibitors and antibiotics.
- Eat fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut or organic plain yogurt if you tolerate it. Its full of heathy bacteria!