If you experience any digestive issues – gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea you’ll want to tune in today.
We’re talking about a common cause of those symptoms and how to remedy them.
Welcome to Gut Check Part 2 where we’re talking about gut dysbiosis.
You’ve likely heard of the gut microbiome… but do you know what it is and how to keep it healthy – especially if you have an autoimmune disease?
I don’t want to gross you out, but we have trillions of microbes living in and on us… nearly five pounds of them!
This collection of microbes – bacteria, fungi, virus, etc. – is considered to be a supporting organ and is crucial for our overall health.
It helps us
- Digest our food
- Regulate our immune system
- Protect against bad bacteria
Just like each person has a unique fingerprint, we each have a unique microbiome.
Your first exposure or development of your unique microbiome happens at birth. The birth canal is full of bacteria that the baby gets covered in, followed by breast milk which is full of good bacteria to colonize the infant’s gut, supporting their immune system and metabolism.
Throughout life there are many things that can affect the health of our microbiome including:
- Diet – especially those high in sugar and processed foods
- Toxin exposure – pesticides on our produce
- Alcohol – drinking two or more beverages per day
- Medications – especially antibiotics
- Dental Hygiene – can allow bacteria to grow out of balance in your mouth
- Stress – weakens the immune system
There’s also a lot of research now showing differences in the microbiome of individuals diagnosed with MS.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found “a connection between the bacteria living in the human gut and immunological disorders such as multiple sclerosis has long been suspected, but for the first time, researchers have detected clear evidence of changes that tie the two together.”
“Our findings raise the possibility that by affecting the gut microbiome, one could come up with treatments for MS – treatments that affect the microbiome, and, in turn, the immune response.”
So, our microbiome plays a tremendous role in our day to day health, but also could play a direct role with MS.
Needless to say, we want to optimize our gut health!
How do you know the current state of your gut?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may need a gut tune-up.
Symptoms of gut dysbiosis – or an imbalance in your microbiome include:
- Bad breath
- Digestive upset
- Rash or skin irritations
- Brain fog
Did you say yes to two, three or more? Chances are your gut health is off.
Let’s talk about how to address it.
Use Antibiotics Sparingly
First and foremost, take antibiotics only when necessary. Antibiotics wreak havoc on your microbiome that’s why you often experience diarrhea on them and are encouraged to eat yogurt. The only problem is most yogurts now are loaded with sugar which only encourage the bad bacteria to dominate, further perpetuating the problem.
If you want to optimize your gut health, you have to stress under control. I know depending upon the season of life you’re in this can be easier said than done. So, just do your best.
Start with what feels manageable and do it consistently. A five-minute guided meditation is a great starting point. Or if that feels like too much take a five-minute walk outside to get some fresh air and sunshine.
Improve Your Diet
Following the Wahls Protocol and/or Autoimmune Protocol are both optimal diets for gut health. They eliminate the inflammatory foods – gluten, dairy, sugar – and fuel your body with nutrient dense foods – high quality protein, a variety of veggies and healthy fats.
Two things can help to increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut:
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha
- Probiotics supplements – make sure it’s a high quality. These are two that I rotate between: Floramend and Sacro-B.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss your teeth every day to prevent an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. I also like to incorporate oil pulling into my oral hygiene routine.
If the information in here resonated with you, I invite you to take one suggestion and start putting it into action today.
The power to heal your body is in your hands.
Put it into action now.