When discussing gut health many of us think about the probiotic lined shelves at the grocery store. Probiotics are microorganisms intended to improve the health of our gastrointestinal tract. While there are documented benefits of these organisms there is much beyond a probiotic that influences our beloved “gut health.” The health of your gut microbiome is the vital foundation to your health. The number of bacteria in our gut out number our cells 10 to 1.
Incredibly, the bacteria microbiome operates like a super computer- extracting information from food, influencing the immune system, playing a role in resolving inflammation, to affecting detoxification processes. Our gut is considered our second brain. Accordingly, the diversity of the gut microbiome is a main determinant in your health.
Many are suffering from symptoms of heartburn, abdominal bloating, irregular bowel habits and food sensitivities. While these symptoms are common, they are NOT normal. Also, a very important note regard to your gut health is- you do not have to have gut symptoms, even though we may have an imbalance of bacteria or infection residing in your gastrointestinal tract. Accordingly, symptoms occurring outside of the gastrointestinal tract are often due to a gut imbalance and can present as eczema, psoriasis, acne, joint pain, brain fog, anxiety, depression, insomnia, asthma, hormone imbalances and even autoimmune disorders.
We are what we eat. Furthermore, we are what we eat eats. And one step beyond that, we are what we are able to actually digest, absorb, and eliminate. As our gastrointestinal tract is compared to the roots of a tree. Healthy roots that can assimilate nutrients from the soil equals a healthy tree. Specialized gut diagnostic testing can aid in determining the function of your digestion, gut microbiome, and the immune based environment in which they reside.
Think of a probiotic like a seed. When you put a seed in a garden, there is not a guarantee the seed itself will grow and replicate. Firstly, the soil in which you plant it in must be nutrient rich. Secondly, that seed requires “food” to grow; sunshine, water, micronutrients. Thirdly, there cannot be critters in that soil that are seeking to eat or destroy that seed/plant. The health of our gut and probiotics work in a similar way. Merely taking a probiotic does not equate to better gut health if – you do have the right environment for it to thrive it, if you are not feeding the bacteria the right nutrients, or if there are critters crowding out the beneficial bacteria. Not to mention, many probiotics are not able to withstand the acidity of the stomach acid and this why I only use certain probiotics for my patients.