Last December, The New York Times suggested a Gut Makeover for anyone who’s keen about making healthy resolutions for the New Year. Sounds like another fad, right?
Before you dismiss the idea of altering your gut microbiome, hear me out.
There’s a solid reason why everyone seems to be talking about bacteria, particularly the ones that live in your gut, and how they can possibly have an impact on almost every aspect of your health — from autoimmune disorders such as allergies to metabolic conditions like diabetes to mental health issues.
What Exactly is the Gut Microbiome?
The word “bacteria” is often associated with getting sick. It’s no surprise that you’ll find antibacterial soaps, lotions, wipes, and even T-shirts everywhere. Antibiotics used to be the hero who will save us from the nasty clutches of bacteria. But it was not only until recently that it was discovered that not all bacteria are created equal.
Essentially, your gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria (there are trillions of them!) that lives in your intestinal flora — from your mouth to your rectum.
The gut microbiome is even considered the body’s third brain, functioning as as an extra organ, where roughly 70 percent of your immune system cells live in or around the gut. When your gut bacteria is in distress and imbalanced, you are likely not going to feel well too.
Why Strive for a Healthy and Happy Gut Microbiome
It’s worth noting that the health of your gut bacteria depends on a host of factors such as your age, diet, ethnicity, gender, stress levels, and even how your mom gave birth to you (vaginal delivery vs. Cesarean).
Based on recent research studies, it pays to strive for a healthy and diverse gut microbiota because of the following:
- Your gut bacteria aids in the manufacture of essential vitamins (Vitamins K, B12, folate, and biotin) and proper absorption of nutrients.
- An imbalanced microbiome has been shown to have a significant impact on weight gain and obesity. Research reveals that the efficacy of certain weight loss diets is largely dependent on the state of your gut microbiome.
- When your gut wall is irritated or inflamed, you are likely to experience symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, wherein tight junctions tend to loosen intestinal permeability. A leaky gut has been associated with asthma, depression, Type 1 diabetes, and skin inflammatory disorders such as acne and eczema.
- The presence of too much unfriendly gut bacteria produces an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which in turn leads to hormone imbalance, particularly excess estrogen in the body. This could lead to symptoms associated with estrogen dominance such as bloating, mood swings, and decreased sex drive.
What if All Disease Begins in the Gut?
At Hauser Health, our approach in helping you deal with health issues, may it be chronic fatigue or insomnia, begins by finding out the root cause of the problem. As Hippocrates (Founder of Medicine) declared once — all disease begins in the gut.
The good news is you can take steps to help promote a healthier and more diverse gut microbiome. Curious about these steps? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Hauser to get started today!