“Your gut and emotions are a 2 way street. They both impact each other. Addressing the state of your gut is not just about what you eat.” -Unknown
Researchers have known about the bacteria in our guts for decades. The bacteria in our gut was an important part of research then, and it is even more so now. There are trillions in our gut, so how can something so high in number, not be important to our well being. Come to find out they communicate with the neurons within our brains. (1)
Many millions of dollars are being put into research on how the bacteria (microbiome) work. Because of the gut-brain connection, it is becoming important to take into consideration how our gut issues may be causing mental, or brain, issues, or vice versa. (2)Having a more diverse bacteria colony may improve diabetes, your cardiovascular system, and even obesity. Other ailments like depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders (3), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (4)have been shown to improve, when the bacteria in our gut is healthier.
THE JUNGLE OF BACTERIA IN YOUR GUT
Our human microbiome, is large group of bacteria within our bodies, and for the most part, in our guts. The intestines being part of our guts, is where the trillions of bacteria primarily are. As said before, out gut bacteria communicate with the neurons in our brains. If you have ever heard someone ask or say, “What is our second?”, this is what they are talking about. The gut brain is in action when you are anxious and have heartburn.
You most likely have heard that bacteria are bad, and why there is so many anti-bacterial products out there. It is a little different when we start talking about gut bacteria. In fact, the bacteria actually help us thrive as healthy humans, not make us sick. You may be wondering what factors influence the bacteria in our guts. Those influences are: diet, sex, age, and genetics. If you take all those into consideration that means there is no way the jungle of bacteria is the same in any two people.
WHAT DO OUR GUT BACTERIA ACTUALLY DO?
- Digest fiber
- Digest food into energy
- Control how full we get after eating
- Control our mental health (gut-brain axis)
- Helps produce hormones
- Keeping us healthy
*These is the short list of how your gut bacteria makes you who you are!
I am sure you have heard of probiotics. Probiotics are known as the beneficial gut bacteria. Probiotics may also increase our defenses, i.e, immune system. The more diverse our good bacteria (probiotics) are the more we can stay protected from invaders (bad bacteria).
Gut dysbiosis (changes in microbiota) can happen very easily. Some of the most common reasons this may happen are: exposure to toxins, pollutants, and pathogens, a poor diet, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, smoking, and high stress levels
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE EFFECTED BY GUT FLORA?
The most obvious are digestive issues like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and celiac disease. To name a few more, which doesn’t include everything: mental health issues, fibromyalgia(7), food allergies (6), arthritis (5).
like Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may be linked to the health of your gut. (8)It is very common, especially in the Western diet, which is very poor, can cause gut issues. The poor can lead to inflammation. Inflammation causes more issues in the body, and it doesn’t stop at the gut. When the body is constantly inflamed it changes the gut, decreasing the strength of it, along with decreasing the ability to absorb nutrients. All of these can lead to you body attacking itself (autoimmune disease).
It is obvious that we as a country are gaining weight, to an unhealthy level. It is also obvious that there are more and more weight loss diets. Your gut bacteria may be the key to unlock your weight loss. Overeating and weight issues may be because of the low amount of good bacteria in your gut. (9)
According to Dr. Google depression means: feelings of severe despondency and dejection. Those are thoughts that take over the mind. This is where the gut-brain axis can come into play. If the gut and the brain are connected then what can that connection do for someone with depression? You may be thinking, “can I get rid of my depression by healing my gut?” (10)
IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)
You may have heard this term before, especially if you have seen a doctor about whatever digestive issues you may be having. It is common that a diagnoses of IBD is used for digestive ailments that are difficult to treat. Having a healthier, more diverse gut may be one way to get the digestive relief you are looking for. (11)
HOW DO I GET A HEALTHIER, STRONGER GUT?
You may be thinking, “why would I care about my gut, if I don’t have any of the mentioned ailments?”. It is important you should care because the ailments mentioned are just some of the few that can change after a healthy gut change.
To start you want to know if you have an imbalance in gut bacteria. Some common ways you can tell if you do have an imbalance are: heartburn, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation. Some other less known signs are: acne (12), frequent colds (13), fatigue (14), muscular pain (15), and joint pain (16).
If you think about how poor the Standard American Diet (SAD) is, then you’ll know that there is very little health benefits to it. The SAD diet comprises of processed foods, high amounts of unhealthy fats, and very low amounts of important vitamins and minerals. The diet is based on convenience, because we are, as a country, too busy to eat healthy. This leads to a lot of health issues beyond just the digestive issues. It is sometimes thought that each system in the body is separate, and one system can’t effect another, and this is where people think that the digestive system is the only system effected with a poor diet.
1)Eat or drink fermented (probiotic) food like greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha
2)Take a probiotic supplement
3)Avoid common allergen foods including dairy, peanuts, gluten (17)
4)Consume fiber and prebiotics. Prebiotics help the probiotics
5)No smoking or drinking alcohol
6)Only take antibiotics when you absolutely need them
7)Don’t use antibacterial soap
8)Exercise, which reduces stress, and therefore damage to you gut
9)Consume bone broth, as it can help repair the gut
Do you need to know more about your digestive system, to help understand this article more? Check out: GUIDE TO YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START, BOOK A DISCOVERY CALL, AND SEE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO BE RELIEVED OF YOUR SYMPTOMS: CLICK HERE – DISCOVERY CALL
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