Gut Health

 

 

The health of your gut has a direct impact on your overall health and wellbeing. The gut can be linked to every body system…immune system, metabolism, dermatological, mental health, etc. The gut microbiome is the wide variety of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses living in your gut. In healthy persons, there is a balance between symbiotic (beneficial to gut flora) and pathogenic (disease causing) microbes. Diversity of gut flora is key.

What is the link between gut microbiome and disease?

“Many gastrointestinal diseases have been associated with alterations in the gut microbiome, as have metabolic disorders, liver disease, certain neurological and mood disorders, arthritis and immunological conditions. Dysbiosis, meaning an imbalance or maladaptive state of the microbiome, is found in almost all of these conditions, although whether this is cause or effect in most cases has not been established. We review those conditions with the most evidence and discuss research into modulation of gut bacteria as therapy.”

Sidhu M, van der Poorten D. The gut microbiome. Aust Fam Physician. 2017;46(4):206-211. MID: 28376573.

What factors influence microbiota diversity and can contribute to dysbiosis?

  • Medication (antibiotics, acid suppressants, steroids, anti-diabetic medications)
  • Dietary habits (high fat intake, few vegetables, high carbohydrate/sugar intake)
  • Nicotine exposure
  • Psychological or physiological stress
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Lack of exercise
  • Food additives (preservatives, food coloring, artificial sweeteners)

What are the chronic symptoms associated with pathogenic overgrowth?

  • Fatigue
  • Acid reflux
  • Gas or bloating
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or changing bowel habits
  • Frequent bacterial or yeast infections
  • Chronic pain
  • Thyroid problems
  • Irritability and moodiness

How do health professionals assess gut dysbiosis?

Step one is a thorough history of symptoms including the timeline of onset.  Step two is an extensive physical exam.  Step three, if warranted, is a comprehensive stool analysis to evaluate the presence of “good” gut flora and identify pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and/or parasites.

we treat the whole person,

mind, body, and soul.