Microbiome And How To Improve Gut Health
In part 1 of this article we talked about the importance of hydrochloric acids as a first line of intervention for promoting good gut health.;
Once food passes through the stomach, the small intestine is the next major stage of digestion where most of the absorption of nutrients and minerals takes place. The small intestine also supports the bodys immune system. The presence of gut flora appears to contribute positively to the hosts immune system .
Our gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that reside in the lower intestine and colon. The microbiota plays a huge role in our health and serves many important purposes such as strengthening gut integrity and shaping the intestinal epithelium, digesting fibre, regulating energy metabolism, protecting against pathogens, regulating immune function, and brain health .
There are thousands of different types of bacteria in our intestines, most of which are beneficial to our health. However, when there is an overgrowth of pathogenic or harmful bacteria, yeasts and/or parasites, and too few beneficial bacteria, called dysbiosis, it can adversely impact our health and body composition. Dysbiosis has been linked to obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance, inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues .
There are other foods which have also been shown to improve the gut microbe composition including:
Where I Am Today:
I feel like a newborn baby. A completely different human. I look back on who I was when my GI was at its worst before gut healing protocol, I cant even believe that was me.
I would consider my GI to be mostly normal now. I can eat many of the higher FODMAP foods I had to steer clear of, like onions, garlic, asparagus, etc.; The gas is completely gone, I have regular bowel movements, and my small bouts of constipation are short-lived. My anxiety has lifted, my energy is great, and my skin glows!
My thyroid function is in the normal range.
My hormones are still whacky, but Im fine with that being a work in progress. The process of balancing them is not an anxiety-ridden concept the way healing my gut was.
Im in a healthy, loving relationship with an individual who knows my health history and cares that I remain healthy. Hes the most honest and giving person I know and I cant believe I lucked out to have him in my life.
I take it one day at a time. I try not to get stuck in the feedback loop of needing to control, needing to micromanage my health.
It has been a little less than one year since I began my gut healing protocol with Dena, and I am constantly shocked by the difference between my health today versus my health a year ago. I hope one year from now, all of this will be just that thing that happened that one time. I truly believe it will.
Love, squeezes and kitty cat sneezes.
Gut Bacteria And Your Heart
Some kinds of gut bacteria may be part of the link cholesterol has to heart disease. When you eat foods like red meat or eggs, those bacteria make a chemical that your liver turns into something called TMAO . TMAO may help cholesterol build up in your blood vessels. Researchers are studying a natural substance called DMB thats in olive and grapeseed oil. They think it might keep your bacteria from making TMAO.
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Other Ways To Change Gut Bacteria
There may be other ways to change your gut microbiome and treat things tied to its balance. For example, fecal transplants change your gut bacteria to treat things like;C. diff;and ulcerative colitis. A device called deep transcranial magnetic stimulation uses a coil put on the scalp to stimulate the brain and change gut bacteria. It shows promise for treating obesity.
9) Jose Luis Pelaez Inc. / Thinkstock
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12) ; olgakr / Thinkstock, skyjo / Thinkstock, MartinFredy / Thinkstock
UConn Today: How Bactera Keep Us Healthy.
Integrative Medicine: A Clinicians Journal: Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease.
ACP Microbe Institute: Microbe Magic, The Good Bacteria.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Prebiotics and Probiotics: Creating a Healthier You.
Crohns & Colitis Foundation: Gut Microbiome Points To Cures and Treatment for IBD.
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Gut Bacteria and IBS.
Cleveland Clinic: How Gut Bacteria May Help Curb Your Heart Disease.
University of California, Los Angeles: Changing Gut Bacteria Through Diet Affects Brain Function, UCLA Study Shows.
Journal of Neuroscience: Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience.
Endocrine Society: Magnetic Brain Stimulation Causes Weight Loss By Making Gut Bacteria Healthier.
Mayo Clinic: What Are Probiotics?
Eat More Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
This may sound overly simplistic, but it is the first step to increasing the number of beneficial microbiota inside your gut. When listing the amazing things that your gut flora can do for your body earlier on this page, we touched on the fact that these microbes turn indigestible carbohydrates into nutrients that we can absorb. That was in reference to many plant-sourced foods, including raw vegetables.
If you arent consuming fresh plant matter daily, you arent feeding those beneficial gut microbes. They depend on you to supply the fiber and complex carbohydrates so that they can eat their share. They return the favor by allowing your body to absorb important nutrients from those foods.
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Gut Bacteria And Obesity
An unhealthy balance in your gut microbiome may cause crossed signals from your brain when it comes to feeling hungry or full. Researchers think there may be a link to the pituitary gland, which makes hormones that help set your appetite. That gland can affect the balance of bacteria in your gut, too. Some studies on treating obesity are exploring this link.
You’ll Tip The Scale In Your Favor
Our weight is dramatically affected by these little buggers. In fact, countless studies have shown us that obese people have higher levels of bad bacteria from the phylum Firmicutes while lean people have higher levels of bacteria from the phylum Bacteroidetes. So, are probiotics helpful in fixing this? Well, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition thinks so. Researchers found that when obese women were given a daily probiotic supplement on top of a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight, their average weight loss was significantly higher than women who followed the same restricted diet but were given a placebo.
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How To Test Gut Microbiome At Home
Now for why Im so excited about testing poop!
Until recently, most gut testing cost thousands of dollars and had to be ordered through a doctor. Testing also provided an incomplete picture of gut health and used the old 16S method of sequencing.
The 16S method analyzes the bacteria in the gut, but as I showed above, this is an incomplete picture. To fully analyze the bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages, archaea, fungi, yeast, parasites, and other organisms, a more complete testing is needed.
Personalized Medicine: The Future Of Health
If you heard the recent 100th episode of The Wellness Mama Podcast, you know that I strongly feel that there is not a single perfect diet that works for everyone or a supplement that will fix all your problems. We all need sleep and community and sunshine, but the rest is very personalized based upon each individuals needs.
What works wonderfully for one person may make someone else feel worse. I feel great when I take a lot of magnesium. Some people experience low blood pressure from taking it. I dont feel good if I eat a lot of carbs. Some people feel amazing on a relatively high carb diet.
At the end of the day, we each have to figure out the foods, supplements, and lifestyle factors that are best for us.
Thankfully, today we dont have to wait on a doctor to get insight into our health. There are now services with on-call doctors that are only a text or a call away.
Even without a doctor, we can do testing like 23 and Me, which shows our genes. This is helpful, but most of us arent geneticists and dont know what the results mean. . I know I have MAO-A and an MTHFR mutation, and thanks to research Im able to make some dietary changes based on this, but the research is still new. It also only shows half of the picture.
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What Is A Food Intolerance
The term food hypersensitivity refers to both food allergies and food intolerances .
A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy, although some of the symptoms may be similar.
In fact, it can be difficult to tell food allergies and food intolerances apart, making it important to speak with your doctor if you suspect you might have an intolerance.
When you have a food intolerance, symptoms usually begin within a few hours of eating the food that you are intolerant to.
Yet, symptoms can be delayed by up to 48 hours and last for hours or even days, making the offending food especially difficult to pinpoint .
Whats more, if you frequently consume foods that you are intolerant to, it may be difficult to correlate symptoms to a specific food.
While symptoms of food intolerances vary, they most often involve the digestive system, skin and respiratory system.
Common symptoms include :
Gluten is the general name given to proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale.
Several conditions relate to gluten, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.
Celiac disease involves an immune response, which is why it is classified as an autoimmune disease .
When people with celiac disease are exposed to gluten, the immune system attacks the small intestine and can cause serious harm to the digestive system.
Wheat allergies are often confused with celiac disease due to their similar symptoms.
- Sauces, dressing and gravies, especially soy sauce
When Should I See A Doctor
Improving your diet may help you feel better, but a leaky gut sometimes can have other causes, like infection or disease.
In some cases, food sensitivities may be causing your symptoms. If you suspect you may have a food sensitivity, Dr. La Vella recommends working with a doctor to determine your sensitivity.
It is very safe for anyone to adopt a whole foods diet and youll likely start feeling better within a few weeks, says Dr. La Vella. If you have ongoing symptoms and are still concerned after making these changes, talk to your doctor. There may be an underlying cause that needs to be treated.
Get medical and nutritional support on your weight loss journey. Attend a free seminar to learn how Samaritan Weight Management Institute can help you feel your best.
Learn more about probiotics and improving gut health.
- Cells that form the lining of the intestines are called enterocytes. Permeability occurs when the junctions between these cells loosen and microorganisms and toxins can leak through.
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What Is Gut Health
Your body is home to trillions of microscopic organisms: bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes that inhabit almost every part of you. This busy ecosystem of microorganisms make up whats known as the human gut microbiome.
Most of your microbes live in your gut. Bacteria are the most studied of the gut microbes. Scientists have discovered over 1,000 species of bacteria in the gut. These bugs do a lotthey digest your food, keep your immune system humming along, protect your intestines, remove environmental toxins from the body, produce B vitamins and generate vitamin K, which helps your blood clot.
Human health is complicated, to say the least. Similarly, everyones gut microbiome is unique, although certain combinations of microbes are the hallmarks of a healthy gut.
Your gut flora also contains small amounts of bad bacteria. Their presence is totally normal, but we dont want these microbes to take over. Thats why keeping a good balance between the good and the bad guys is important. You want vibrant communities where the good bacteria thrive and the bad bacteria are kept in check.
Blackened Tempeh And Sweet Potato Bowl With Avocado And Kale
Tempeh is a fermented food, but since it needs to be cooked before consumed, we cant benefit from its probiotics. Tempeh does, however, contain many other nutrients, including prebiotic fiber, which can feed the already existing healthy bacteria in our guts. Whats more, sweet potato contains resistant starch while avocado and kale bring the phytonutrients all key ingredients for a healthy gut. Your good gut bacteria are probably getting hungry as you read this description!
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Health Coaches: Why Focus On Gut Health
If youre in the health coaching profession, youll undoubtedly encounter clients with existing gut problems and chronic diseases. Some may struggle with obvious gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, or bloating that clearly point to gut issues. However, others may have extraintestinal manifestations, such as blood sugar dysregulation or mental health issues, that are also rooted in gut dysfunction. No matter who youre working with, supporting your clients as they take steps to heal their gut naturally should be a priority due to the profound impact of gut health on overall health.
The idea of the gut affecting overall health may seem far-fetched to some people. Therefore, I recommend beginning any discussion of gut health by briefly describing the two related variables that determine gut health: the intestinal microbiota and the gut barrier.
Update: My Viome Test Results Explained
Viomes lead medical researcher, Dr. Helen Messier, was kind enough to shoot the following video explaining my test results and breaks down the app recommendations based on my own gut bacteria. She also explains how the food recommendations work and how to use Viome most effectively.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Are you as excited about this new technology as I am? Ever tried any at-home tests like this before? Weigh in below!
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Challenges With Fermented Foods
Many people that I work with, however, have some pretty serious issues going on in their body that causes histamine intolerance and reactions to fermented foods. If you find you do not react well then it is probably best to avoid them momentarily.
In these;cases I typically recommend a broad-spectrum probiotic like SBO Probiotics Ultimate.;have found that this probiotic works extremely well for people who are having a lot of intestinal issues. If you are considering introducing probiotics into your system, I would recommend starting with this one to lay a solid foundation of bacteria for your gut microbiome.
What Is The Role Of Gut Microbiome In Your Health
There are billions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi living in your body. The microbiome is a term used to describe them all as a whole. Its true that certain bacteria are connected with illness; but, other bacteria are vital to your immune system and many other elements of your wellbeing. Lets find out the role of gut microbes in the body.
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Restore Your Healthy Biome With Probiotics
One of the first steps to healing your gut health is by replenishing levels of beneficial bacteria. You can do this by taking a probiotic supplement, or by incorporating probiotic-rich, fermented foods, like yogurt, kimchi, and even sourdough bread! Contrary to what many think, sourdough is not a flavor, it’s actually the process where wild yeast and friendly bacteria break down the gluten and sugar in the wheat flour, turning it into good-for-you proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The starches and grains from the bread are predigested by the bacteria and yeast, which makes it easier for you to digest and a much healthier option than any over-processed white bread.
Ways To Strengthen Your Microbiome
The microbiome consists of TRILLIONS of living microbes inside your gut. These little;mood;elevators;work around the clock producing happy-chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Making sure that you have a diverse and thriving microbiome can help not only with your mental health, but can prevent things like the urge to over-eat, and can help regulate your digestive system.
Below, we have compiled a list of ways you can ensure that you have a happy and healthy microbiome!
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How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
At any given moment, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Known as a microbiome, this culture of microscopic organisms is essential to gut health, playing a role in everything from the digestion of food to the regulation of metabolism. Whats more, research suggests the condition of your microbiome can also impact your mood and your ability to fend of illness.
Although the market is saturated with expensive probiotics that can give your microbiome a boost, it turns out you can actually change your internal ecosystem simply by adapting your lifestyle.
The gut microbiota is very dynamic, so if you start taking up healthy food habits, it will respond and will modify very quicklyeven within 48 hours, says Corinne Maurice, an assistant professor at McGill University, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Gut Microbial Physiology and a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar for Humans and the Microbiome. But to improve gut health in the long-term, you need to stick to those healthy habits, because the benefits can disappear just as quickly. Heres expert advice on how to improve gut health naturally.