Science is now catching up with what has been taught for thousands of years – that diseases of the gut are the beginning of all disease. Many of your annoying digestive symptoms such as irregular bowel movements, bloating, pain, cramping, and gassiness may come down to 1 BIG cause – an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your digestive system. It is now known that we are more digestive bacteria than we are human – so doesn’t it make sense that we take care of the good guys to keep them flourishing? Here are 4 reasons to love your good gut bugs.
- Keeping your digestive system healthy can be a hard thing to do. There are many reasons why digestive bacteria can turn bad including alcohol consumption, taking pharmaceutical medication such as the oral contraceptive pill and antibiotics, and through excessive sugar intake.
When you have happy, healthy gut bacteria they line your digestive tract like an army preventing toxins and bad bacteria from adhering to the walls causing leaky gut. In simple terms, leaky gut means the walls of your digestive tract have worn down causing food particles and bad bacteria to circulate around your body. This can cause food allergies, foggy thinking, joint pain and a whole range of seemingly disconnected symptoms.
- Did you know that most of your immune system is found in your digestive tract? When a “foreign invader” such as a parasite, bacteria or bad yeast enters the body your good gut bugs send out a signal to deploy different cells such mast cells and neutrophils which help to remove the bacteria so it doesn’t do you any harm. When the number of good bacteria diminishes and the number of bad bacteria rises you will find that you become one of those people “that catch everything that’s going around”.
- One very important role of digestive bacteria is increasing our happy neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and is super important for a good night’s sleep because it helps to produce melatonin. If you have a history of digestive issues as well as anxiety, depression or poor sleep it may be because you don’t have enough good gut bacteria to produce serotonin.
- So you’ve tried dieting, cutting out sugars, cutting out fat, cutting out carbs, living on lemon juice and your one step away from eating air…stop right there! When you have an imbalance of good and bad gut bugs it stops your digestive system from working properly. When digestion becomes sluggish we are unable to utilise our nutrients and therefore our energy levels drop. This drop in energy levels causes our stress hormone cortisol to rise which increases sugar cravings and increases our fat storage and therefore makes it extremely hard to lose weight or can cause excessive weight gain.
So as you can see the good gut bugs living in us all are so important for our health and wellbeing. The take home message of this blog is if you look after your gut bugs they’ll look after you.