Anytime you get a gut feeling, you shouldn’t ignore it; it could mean the difference between illness and health.
Did you know there are actually approximately ten bacterial cells in or on us to every one of our own cells? This tells us of the critical importance these bacteria are to how we function and what makes us healthy or unwell. You can image the havoc in your gut if more of these bacterial cells are bad bacteria rather than good. When we start to see an imbalance in the bacteria, this means the number of good bacteria is decreasing, and the bad is proliferating or increasing beyond what it should. When there’s an imbalance of gut bacteria, there’s a loss of wellness.
Because there are many bacteria cells in and on us, they affect and control nearly every single function of our bodies. This means if you are in need of improving your health in any capacity, paying attention to your gut microbe is essential.
Some Top Functions of Good Bacteria:
- Boosts immune function
- Improves digestion
- Manufactures essential nutrients
- Stimulates proper brain function
But, the signs of an imbalanced gut microbe aren’t always extreme or well known. And then, if you do suspect a gut imbalance, what can be done? The following information will help you determine if you gut is out of whack and some tips on how to bring it back to balance.
When there are digestive problems, ranging from the minor uncomfortable situations to the more serious conditions such as leaky gut, autoimmune, celiac, and Crohn’s disease, this is a key sign of gut microbe imbalance. If you’re experiencing any of the following, a gut microbe imbalance is almost certain:
- Gas or bloating
- Diarrhea or constipation
- IBS, Crohn’s, or Ulcerative colitis
Because the gut microbe both directly and indirectly influences the brain (for instance, healthy bacteria help produce neurotransmitters), mental issues are a direct sign of probable gut microbe imbalance. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, then your gut microbe are likely out of whack:
- Depression or anxiety
- Memory loss or brain fog
Not only do healthy bacteria help produce necessary nutrients, but the gut is also the location of absorption of nutrients into the body. This means if there is a gut disturbance, then the body isn’t producing or absorbing and utilizing nutrients as it should, and the result is a state of nutrient deficiency.
When antibiotics are taken (both medical and through foods containing antibiotics) both good and bad bacteria are wiped out. When the good bacteria are wiped out this sets up a situation where the bad bacteria are more easily able to proliferate and cause problems. The good bacteria aren’t easily replaced. If you’ve taken or if you commonly consume foods containing antibiotics, you certainly have a gut microbe imbalance.
Chronic stress depletes and strains the good bacteria, which allows for more of the bad to take over. When you’re stressed, the gut doesn’t function properly, which in turn also negatively affects the good bacteria. So, if you’re commonly stressed, check your gut microbe.
If you’re experiencing skin conditions including acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or other such conditions, it’s a clue that the gut must be attended to. Skin conditions aren’t always a sign of skin problem, but of a gut problem.
Tips for Boosting Healthy Gut Bacteria
- Avoid toxins in food and water (chemicals, additives, unhealthy fats)
- Eat traditionally fermented foods (pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha)
- Manage your stress levels
- Drink plenty of clean water