The Gut Microbiome and Dysbiosis
It's hard to believe but you have an estimated 3 trillion bacteria in your gut microbiome. Research is now showing this bacteria have a major influence on brain function, immunity, energy and more. The gut microbiome is a delicate balance of beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria, plus viruses and fungi. Even the bad microbes are part of a healthy microbiome. The only harm comes when your gut flora gets out of balance. That's when non-beneficial bacteria can wreak havoc. This is what is called dysbiosis-when the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract is out of balance.
Symptoms of Dysbiosis
There are many symptoms connected to dysbiosis including:
- Upset stomach
- Brain fog
- Bad breath
These symptoms are very common and often times considered normal, but they require attention and a good look at the gut.
Causes of Gut Dysbiosis
Gut dysbiosis doesn't happen right away. It's more likely that several dietary and lifestyle choices have led to dysbiosis over time. Here are some of the main causes:
- A diet high in processed carbs, sugar, and/or food additives
- Antibiotic use
- Long-term prescription or over-the-counter drugs
- Drinking two or more alcoholic beverages per day
- Chronic stress, which can weaken digestion and your immune system.
Healing dysbiosis begins with what you're eating. Limit all sugar and processed foods as well as chemical additives that impact the gut lining. Start taking in gut friendly foods including fermented foods and a wide variety of plant foods which will help increase bacterial diversity. In addition, work on decreasing stress levels by including mindfulness and relaxation. If you'd like to test your microbiome and see where you stand take a look at Ixcela which is a local company that offers a simple at home test. For more information visit go.ixcela.com/enroll. If you'd like to take the test use pro code MATPAHQL and you'll get a discounted rate.
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