When we talk about the microbiota we mostly are referring to the microflora in the gut, where a large majority resides. But in fact, there is microflora everywhere in and on your body. NINTY percent of all cells in your body are your microbiota. This includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, protozoa, etc. So there is 90% of them and only 10% of us… It’s no wonder how drastically the health of our microbiome affects our life.
The gut microbes affect your weight, your cravings, your digestion, your immune system, and even your mood!
Your gut flora serves many functions of your health. They protect the integrity and health of the gut, they aid digestion and absorption of food, they produce and recycle vitamins, hormones and neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc), they regulate the immune system, they regulate appetite and food consumption, they affect mood, behavior and circadian rhythm regulation, and it is now thought that all addictions are imposed on us by our gut flora.
So now that we know just how much the gut flora affects every aspect of our health, it’s obvious how important it is to balance and address any imbalance and inadequacy we may have with our gut flora.
What affects the health of our gut microbiome?
What we eat and drink, drugs, alcohol, stress, what we apply to our skin, and what we breath all affect our gut microbiome. If you have ever taken antibiotics, your gut microbiome has been compromised. If your mother ever took antibiotics before you were born, your gut microbiome has been compromised. If your grandmother ever took antibiotics before your mother was born your gut microbiome has been compromised. Antibiotics are like an atomic bomb to your microbiome.
Modern world toxins are EVERYWHERE and they are directly affecting the health of our microbiome. We are constantly being exposed to toxins through eating conventionally raised agriculture and meat, pharmaceuticals, chemical pollution, chemicals in our beauty products, etc. We are eating, breathing and absorbing damaging toxins.
Your body can mitigate these toxins very well to a point. If we don’t consciously avoid toxins and stop the flow of toxins entering our body, the body will be overrun and not be able to stop the damage that is being caused.
What can we do to lower our toxic load?
Eat organic and GMO free whenever possible to avoid toxic pesticides, avoid chemical laden processed foods, filter your drinking water, use natural beauty products, find ways to destress by either meditation, walking, yoga, hiking in nature, listening to music, etc.
So, How do I rebalance my gut?
This can be a long and challenging process without help. The best way to begin is to test your gut with a comprehensive stool analysis with parasitology. This will tell you exactly what is going on in your gut. It will show any bacterial imbalances, yeast overgrowth, parasites, and more. Once we know exactly what is going on in the gut, it becomes much easier to address.
The next step is a food sensitivity test. I recommend the MRT or Mediator Release Test. This is a blood test that measures the reaction your immune system has to 150 different foods and chemicals. Once we know which foods are causing your gut harm, we can remove those foods for a period of time to lift the burden on your digestive system and make room for healing and rebalancing.
Can you heal your gut without testing first? Possibly, but it will be much more challenging and a much longer process because you will have to guess as to what is going on and what will work. The combination of these tests and a protocol based off of these tests is the best, most efficient way to address gut health.
If our health is already optimal, how do we make sure we maintain a diverse and balance gut?
Eat fermented foods; kefir, kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, kvass, are all extremely good whole food sources of probiotics. Take a good probiotic if you feel like you aren’t getting enough probiotics in your diet. Make sure and consciously avoid toxins with the strategies listed above and nourish yourself with a nutrient dense, whole foods diet.
If your health is not optimal and you need help addressing your gut issues, check out The Gut Protocol. It’s a package I put together for clients to address gut health and save some money. The package includes the recommended functional tests, a customized 3-month gut protocol, a couple educational webinars and 6 one on one nutritional therapy sessions where I coach you along your 3-month protocol. Healing your gut can be challenging, but it can also be life changing and with a good protocol and coaching, I promise you it will be worth it.