Yes its true in case you were not aware we have more bacteria in our bodies than human cells! 90% of our make up is bacteria, leaving us 10% human!! I haven’t personally counted but its interesting how we are made up of trillions upon trillions of bacteria, which we cannot see! This means we need to pay closer attention to the beneficial bacteria and really look after our gut health! I have always know the gut to be important and acting like a 2nd brain, as it contains neurotransmitters that are found in the brain. And when things are fine in the gut, the body and brain also function better. So a happy gut=happy body & mind.
Of late there has been a lot of press on the bacteria in our guts i.e digestive tract- stomach -large intestine linked to many hundreds of health conditions including obesity, mental health, immune health, skin health, tumour growth and Alzheimers disease. Even though we do not know the mechanisms as to how the bacteria operate and are responsible for our health, mood and digestion. Everything I have learnt during my studies, reading research papers, and in my clinical practice points towards looking after our gut health. There is a plethora of new research coming out everyday. From what I’ve seen so far is that although the scientific evidence may not be fool proof and we cannot be certain that the bacteria are responsible for our health alone and repairing weakened immunity. I am certain from the evidence and my work that external factors such as our diet, lifestyles, medication, environment does impact our gut microbiome, health and genome. Antibiotics for example are the biggest threat to our gut. The reason is because they destroy all the bacteria strains -both the bad and good. AND we need the good bacteria. They are so important to keep the not so good bacteria from over thriving.
The good news is it is possible to build a healthy gut microbiome. And if you experience any of the symptoms below and they last for longer than a few weeks, your gut could do with additional support and healing allowing for a healthier function gut and prevention of other illnesses in the cells and organs.
Some typical signs and symptoms of a gut imbalance are:
- Abdominal bloating
- Excessive flatulence
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or cramps
- Constipation, diarrhoea or both
- IBS, IBD
- Food intolerances/sensitivities
- Headaches, joint / muscle pain, fatigue
- Foggy head
- Feeling toxic
Feeling toxic and having a weak immune system are also signs that your gut needs some more attention and love. Furthermore being overweight/obese has been linked to certain strains of bacteria being present in higher amounts. Therefore if you’ve tried everything to lose weight, perhaps something that you have missed is looking at your gut health. I can arrange a stool test for you which gives clinical insight into your bacteria, yeast overgrowth, parasites, digestive performance, gut inflammation. I analyse the results with you and we create a plan of action together.
Even though everyone has an individual biochemical constitution person which allows for a bespoke gut healing protocol, there are certain remedies are suitable and safe for all. So a common place I start is with probiotic supplementation that can repopulate the gut bacteria fairly rapidly. Foods and drinks containing some probiotics are not strong enough to heal the gut. A supplement containing at least 25 billion strains of bacteria is one you should be looking for. Not every probiotic is effective so if you need advice on selecting the best ones let me know as I currently have 3 favourites which successfully work. One of which is VSL3 which contains a staggering 450 billion bacteria per sachet. I love it! And highly recommend it if you’ve been on a course of antibiotics.
Just to finish gut health leads onto detoxification. As many individuals want to detox and clean out their bodies! However I would say before you start any detox regime look at your gut function first. If you detox first without addressing your gut health it can leave you feeling worse than you started. Seeking the advice of a qualified nutritionist before you begin any programme is advised.