The balance of microorganisms or the gut microbiome in the intestinal tract has been in health news very frequently, with links not only to digestive health, but also mood disorders, skin, weight issues, and autoimmune conditions.
Unfortunately, the combination of the North American diet, use of anti-bacterial products, overuse of antibiotics, and lack of regular fermented foods in the diets has created a perfect storm for the misbalance in the gut microbiome.
10 Signs You May Have Imbalance
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Digestive issues – irritable bowel, abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, bad breath, diarrhea or constipation.
- Joint pain
- Sugar cravings
- Weight gain
- Learning or behavioral difficulties
- Acne, eczema, psoriasis or hives
- Mental fog
Important Implications of the Imbalanced Gut Microbiome
Too many unfriendly bacteria or other organisms could create significant inflammation in the body, leading to body ache and joint pain, skin disorders and even autoimmune disease.
A healthy microbiome is essential to weight loss. Lots of recent studies have shown that by rebalancing the microbiome you can shift the metabolism. I have certainly seen this several times in my practice!
If your microbiome is imbalanced, you are going to be more prone to experiencing anxiety and depression, and also brain fog and fatigue. It’s quite amazing how far reaching the affects could be! And on a similar note, the stress can affect your microbiome in a negative way as well, with lasting impacts on your digestion, mood, and overall health.
How You Can Correct the Gut Microbiome Imbalance
These are the healthy bacteria that will help to balance the microbiome. Probiotics could come in supplement form (capsules or powder), or from naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, kimchi or pickled vegetables.
These are the foods that are feeding the healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract which contain fiber, arabinogalactans, and inulin. Prebiotic foods include garlic, artichokes, beans, asparagus, onions, carrots, okra, and leeks.
- Anti-Microbial Supplements
In most of the cases, simply increasing the probiotics and prebiotics is just not enough. It’s also needed to use antimicrobial herbs and supplements in order to kill off the pathogenic organisms (yeast, bacteria or parasites).
This can include:
- Caprylic acid
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Uva ursi
- Olive leaf extract
- Minimizing the Sugar and All Foods Made With Flour
Lots of pathogenic organisms or ‘bad bugs’ thrive with a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Minimizing these foods is the essential step to rebalancing the microbiome, and no amount of probiotics is going to compensate.
In conclusion, if you suspect that there may be an imbalance in your gut microbiome, there are lots of steps you can take to restore this balance. You need to be surprised at how far-reaching the impacts of a healthy gut can be!