The Gut Microbiome Can Raise Stress Levels
Norepinephrine and epinephrine are two hormones often associated with our fight-or-flight response. When these hormones are increased in the body, they cause an acute stress response, which leads it:
- Increased heart rate
While you need some norepinephrine and epinephrine to keep you safe in an emergency, too much for too long can cause stress, anxiety, and depression. It can be miserable to feel overly anxious with no real reason behind it. Not only that, certain bacteria have been associated with higher levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine.
E. coli,Salmonella, and Pseudomonas have all been associated with prolonged high levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the body. Whats worse is once these harmful bacteria have a stronghold on your gut microbiome, some of the microbes sense the epinephrine hormones and it triggers their virulence gene expression making them even more potent and powerful.
The effect of chronic stress on the gut is bidirectional. The hormone that releases the stimulus for cortisol, corticotropin releasing hormone , can poke holes in the gut lining, leading to increased intestinal permeability. The process is mediated by mast cells in the gut wall.
What To Do Today
Throw out your antibacterial toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash
Antibacterial chemicals can cause antibacterial-resistant microbes and harm beneficial bacteria in your mouth. A small study found that changes in the bacteria in your mouth can impact how well you absorb nutrients like nitrite which has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Chronic stress is particularly dangerous because it may increase intestinal permeability and allows the gut microbiota to go where they shouldnt, causing inflammation.
How Can Probiotics Help
They can make your immune system stronger. They may boost gastrointestinal health, too, especially if you have something like irritable bowel syndrome. Some probiotics also may help ease allergy symptoms and help with lactose intolerance. But because our gut microbiomes are unique, if and how they work can be different for everyone.;And some experts feel more research is needed.
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Indications Of An Unhealthy Gut
There are a variety of methods an unhealthy gut may manifest itself. However, here are seven of the most typical signs:
- Sleep disturbances or continuous fatigue
An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as sleeping disorders or lousy sleep, leading to chronic fatigue. The majority of the bodys serotonin, a hormone that affects the mind and rest, is produced in the gut. Therefore, gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well. Some sleep disruptions have also been linked to run the risk of fibromyalgia.;
- Unintentional weight changes;
Acquiring or dropping weight without changing your diet or exercise routines might signify an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can hinder your bodys ability to take in nutrients, control blood sugar, and shop fat. Weight loss might be triggered by little intestinal bacterial overgrowth , while weight gain might be brought on by insulin resistance or the urge to eat way too much due to decreased nutrient absorption.;
- Skin irritation;
Skin conditions like eczema might be associated with a harmed gut. For example, swelling in the heart triggered by a poor diet or food allergic reactions may trigger increased leaking of specific proteins out into the body, which can, in turn, aggravate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.;
- Autoimmune conditions;
- A high-sugar diet
- Food intolerances;
How To Restore Your Gut Microbiome
Deborah Freudenmann BHSc
The human microbiome is a collection of trillions of microorganisms which populate your intestines. Your microbiome is essentially its very own complex ecosystem. Although the microbiome consists of a diverse range of microorganisms , it is primarily populated with bacteria which are located in your gut.
Your microbiome is a complex ecological community, which communicates, cross feeds, combines, evolves with you and your environment. The symbiotic relationship between your body and your gut is important to understand. You depend on your gut microbiome and your gut microbiome depends on you. One cannot thrive without the other. The micro-organisms living in our gut perform a wide range of useful and health promoting activities, however they can also be responsible for the development of different diseases.
In the modern world, your human microbiome is often exposed to harmful factors. Poor dietary and lifestyle habits as well as increased stress levels decrease the diversity and effectiveness of your microbiomes functions. All of these factors lead to an increased chance of developing various chronic conditions.
For maintaining your long-term health, prioritisation of your microbiomes health is necessary.
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Your Gut Microbiome Regulates Your Hormones
If your hormones are like a symphony, then your gut microbiome is the conductor. Your gut microbiome regulates your hormones carefully. When your gut microbiome is healthy, it does its job well. But when it is unhealthy, it throws your hormones out of tune and can cause all sorts of problems.
Women are especially impacted when hormones are thrown off balance. Common hormone disorders in women include:
- Endocrine disruption from toxins
Your gut microbiome plays an important role in most of these conditions. The various roles of the gut microbiome within in the endocrine system include:
- Synthesizing and secreting most hormones
- Regulating the expression of these hormones
- Inhibiting the production of certain hormones in other organs of the body
- Enhancing production of hormones throughout the body
This means your gut microbiome isnt just producing hormones, its also telling the other glands in the body how much or how little of each hormone they should be creating and releasing.
What are some of the specific hormones controlled by the gut microbiome?
The Deal About The Gut Microbiome
The gut flora, which is reported to exceed the total number of human cells, starts to breed and grow from birth.
Dysbiosis, an imbalanced state of biome quantity and quality, may arise due to many factors as disease and illness, dietary changes, and antibiotic use, to name a few.
The gut flora flourishes by consuming the dietary nutrients. In turn, they produce infinite compounds that play a biologically active role in regulating our bodies different functions. These include reciprocal connections to the immune and hormone system, our brain via the gut-brain axis, and other metabolic processes.
Any disturbance in this regard leads to several diseases; obesity, inflammatory diseases, behavioral deviations, digestive issues, functional irregularities of different organs such as insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, etc.
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Find A Nutritionist Near You
ZocDoc helps you find and book top-rated doctors, on demand. Visit them in their offices, or video chat with them from home. Check out the nutritionists in your area.
A healthy gut means you have a stronger immune system, a better mood, effective digestion thats free of discomfort and a healthy brain and heart, says Sabine Hazan, M.D., a gastroenterologist, founder of Ventura Clinical Trials in Ventura, California, and author of Lets Talk S.
The Role Of The Microbiome
The digestive tract isnt just where food is digested and passed through the body. In addition to this role, the digestive system actually plays a vital role in mental health, immunity, and metabolism. The way that our gut can have such an impact on so many areas of our health comes down to the gut microbiome.
The gut is filled with a diverse community of different types of bacteria that some say outnumbers the cells in your body by a 10-to-1 ratio! When it comes to taking control of your microbiome for better health, the key is diversity and proper balance. The tips outlined in this article are geared toward improving these aspects of the gut microbiome based on what we currently know scientifically.
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How To Restore Healthy Gut Flora
Probiotics can support a healthy microbiome. These foods and supplements contain live bacteria that can benefit our health.
The bacteria in your gut make up a very important ecosystem, and if this becomes upset, it can lead to abnormalities in its composition and diversity. There are many things in life which can have negative consequences on your gut bacteria and intestinal health.
Studies have shown that probiotics can help to restore gut bacteria to healthy levels which protects us from inflammation. Live fermented foods are great sources of natural probiotics that you can eat and drink. Researchers think these traditional foods may play an important role in human health.
|Cabbage and salt|
The Gut Microbiome May Benefit Heart Health
Interestingly, the gut microbiome may even affect heart health .
A recent study in 1,500 people found that the gut microbiome played an important role in promoting good HDL cholesterol and triglycerides .
Certain unhealthy species in the gut microbiome may also contribute to heart disease by producing trimethylamine N-oxide .
TMAO is a chemical that contributes to blocked arteries, which may lead to heart attacks or stroke.
Certain bacteria within the microbiome convert choline and L-carnitine, both of which are nutrients found in red meat and other animal-based food sources, to TMAO, potentially increasing risk factors for heart disease .
However, other bacteria within the gut microbiome, particularly Lactobacilli, may help reduce cholesterol when taken as a probiotic .
Certain bacteria within the gut microbiome can produce chemicals that may block arteries and lead to heart disease. However, probiotics may help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
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Does All Disease Begin In Your Gut The Surprising Truth
More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates the father of modern medicine suggested that all disease begins in the gut.
While some of his wisdom has stood the test of time, you may wonder whether he was right in this regard.
This article tells you all you need to know about the connection between your gut and disease risk.
Though Hippocrates was incorrect in suggesting that all disease begins in your gut, evidence shows that many chronic metabolic diseases do.
Your gut bacteria and the integrity of your gut lining strongly affect your health. .
According to numerous studies, undesirable bacterial products called endotoxins can sometimes leak through your gut lining and enter your bloodstream (
Some hypothesize that this diet-induced inflammation may trigger insulin and leptin resistance driving factors for type 2 diabetes and obesity, respectively. Its also believed to cause fatty liver disease.
At the very least, inflammation has been strongly linked to many of the worlds most serious conditions (
Nonetheless, keep in mind that this area of research is rapidly developing, and current theories may be overhauled in the future.
Though not all disease begins in the gut, many chronic metabolic conditions are hypothesized to be caused or influenced by chronic gut inflammation.
Inflammation is your immune systems response to foreign invaders, toxins, or cell injury.
Influencers Dont Necessarily Know Science
Social media made people famous by promoting an aspirational lifestyle who often receive payment for advertising products and services.
Ask yourself, how many accredited health experts and researchers do you follow? Social media influencers are often highly paid by companies to promote products and/or services. They also made it to the top by sharing opinions, but not necessarily scientific facts.
Its important to do your own research, or else you may find yourself doing some very unscientific stuff and buying all sorts of gut health supplements that some rando with a hundred thousand followers told you to. Dont be afraid to question what youre being told.
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The Gut Microbiota And Obesity
The gut microbiota seems to play a role in the development and progression of obesity. Most studies of overweight and obese people show a dysbiosis characterised by a lower diversity.31-39 Germ-free mice that receive faecal microbes from obese humans gain more weight than mice that receive microbes from healthy weight humans.4 A large study of UK twins found that the genus Christensenella was rare in overweight people and when given to germ free mice prevented weight gain.4 This microbe and others such as Akkermansia correlate with lower visceral fat deposits.12 Although much of the confirmatory evidence comes from mouse models, long term weight gain in humans correlates with low microbiota diversity, and this association is exacerbated by low dietary fibre intake.28
Gut microbiota dysbiosis probably promotes diet induced obesity and metabolic complications by a variety of mechanisms including immune dysregulation, altered energy regulation, altered gut hormone regulation, and proinflammatory mechanisms .
Taking Targeted Natural Supplements
Nobody wants to take a giant fistful of vitamins every day, but there are a handful of gut-healing supplements I often call upon to help my patients in digestive distress. These can help speed healing and make a big difference in symptoms:
- Colostrum: The lactoferrin in colostrum works as a prebiotic to feed good bacteria and fuel its growth. It also promotes cell growth in the intestines to repair a damaged gut.
- Slippery elm: This natural botanical works as a demulcent to reduce inflammation in the gut. You can find this in tea or supplement form.
- Turkey tail: This adaptogenic mushroom works wonders against gut overgrowths like SIBO and candida overgrowth. Try it in a warm drink.
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice: Sip on licorice tea to soothe and heal your gut lining and ease digestive trouble.
- This root supports the repair of a damaged gut lining by coating the stomach to protect it against increased inflammation. You can find this in tea or supplement form as well.
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Identify And Eliminate Your Specific Food Triggers
While there are some foods, like refined sugars, that are known to contribute to gut imbalance in most people, its possible that you have specific food sensitivities and personalized nutrition needs when it comes to optimizing your gut health.
If you keep eating the a food that you’re sensitive to, it can lead to immune reactivity and contributes to gut imbalance. The key to good gut health is identifying and eliminating your food triggers to allow your gut to thrive.
The simplest way to identify individual food response differences is an elimination diet, in which you eliminate common food triggers for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce them, looking out for how you feel along the journey. Several companies offer at-home testing kits that you can use to confirm which food may be your personal triggers.
While the science behind these food sensitivity testing may not be perfect, if you are able to identify some of your food triggers, eliminating them for at least 30 days could help get your gut on the path to success.
What Causes Steatorrhea
Too much fat in your stool suggests your digestive system isnt breaking down food adequately. Your body may not absorb the useful parts of the food you eat, including dietary fat.
One of the most common causes of malabsorption is cystic fibrosis. This is an inherited condition that affects your sweat and mucous glands, as well as various organs in your body, including the pancreatic glands.
If steatorrhea is due to malabsorption, it can most often be related to problems with pancreas function. The pancreatic juices are important in digesting fat content.
Another cause of malabsorption that can lead to steatorrhea is chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of your pancreas, an organ near your stomach. It releases enzymes to help you digest fat, protein, and carbohydrates in your small intestine.
Chronic pancreatitis can have many different causes. Some examples include alcohol use disorder, smoking, and family history.
Fatty stool is also a symptom of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency . EPI is a condition where your pancreas doesnt make or release enough of the enzymes needed to help your digestive system break down food and absorb nutrients.
With EPI, steatorrhea happens when your digestive system gets rid of too many fats instead of absorbing them. This usually occurs when fat-digesting enzymes in your pancreas drop to 5 to 10 percent of typical levels.
A few other causes of malabsorption include:
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Alcohol And Gut Health
Getting merry too often can have implications for your intestinal health, not just your head and your wallet.
Simply put, reducing your alcohol consumption is generally just good for your health, but the odd glass of red wine isnt so bad. It contains polyphenols, antioxidants that help protect you from inflammation and disease, and increase the abundance of beneficial bacteria. If you get red and blotchy when you drink, you might have alcohol intolerance.
TIP Find out if you’re predisposed to alcohol intolerance, gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance with the Atlas DNA Test.
The Future Of Medicine
The GA Map test results support a new paradigm about dysbiosis and disease. By using deviation from an established profile of normobiosis to indicate disease and relapse, Casen et al. offer hope for a breakthrough way to personalize treatment for those diagnosed with IBS and IBD. Researchers hope that this finding will lead to further development of individual therapeutic treatment plans that work to restore intestinal microbiota balance.
While the researchers are optimistic that clinicians can use their Dysbiosis Index model to reveal disease state, their study has some limitations. Firstly, by using mainly Scandinavian subjects to establish a profile of normobiosis, it limits the scientific communitys understanding of a healthy gut to a specific demographic. Secondly, the researchers use of high-throughput sequencing as a tool for analyzing gut bacteria meant that they used only a small part of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to explore the vast array of bacteria in the gut. Their model does not identify some of the less dominant species in the microbiota, which could still play a vital role, and offers only a small snapshot of the vast array of microorganisms.
First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 197 2016
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