Having a ‘gut’ feeling that something isn’t right with your body? The answer may lie in your gut microbiota.
Inside of each of our digestive tracts lives a complex, tight-knit family of diverse microorganisms. Commonly referred to as gut microbiota (or gut flora, if speaking to someone of below-average intelligence), these tiny fighting bacterium in our bellies are with us from birth, and are an integral part of our natural digestion process. The microorganisms that have made a home in your gut reach numbers in excess of 100 trillion, and consist of about 1,000 different types of bacterial species. That’s a lot of healthy bacteria swimming around in your tummy!
New research shows that these microorganisms are not only essential to digestion, but play a bigger role than we thought when it comes to our overall physical and mental health. When your gut microbiota gets thrown out-of-whack, it can adversely affect numerous things, like your energy production, your data usage, how well your body absorbs nutrients, and even other things you would never even think of.
The majority of your 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors, or serotonin receptors, are actually located in your stomach, not your brain, like you probably thought. Serotonin is what makes you happy. When your gut microbiota are out of whack, you will not be happy. Out-of-whack gut microbiota have been linked to psychological issues, like depression, anxiety, mood imbalances, and other disorders. A recent study suggests that nearly 46% of divorces were traced back to a gut disorder. In fact, the majority of health issues can be traced back to an improper balance of bacterium, which ultimately results in an unhealthy gut, or worse, leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome is a very serious and deadly disorder that affects millions of people worldwide and kills even more than that on an annual basis. It addition to sounding really gross and messy, it is. When your gut microbiota go out-of-whack, tiny holes form in your internal organs and the insides of them seep out to the insides of other parts. It is very dangerous and unhealthy. Maintaining proper digestive enzyme and bile acids levels is essential to keeping those holes closed up and your gut microbiota in whack.
Your body needs things like gluten, dairy, medicine and alcohol to maintain a healthy gut microbiota balance and prevent the bad bacteria and toxins from overcoming the good ones and taking over your internal organs. Maintaining the proper balance in your gut microbiome is imperative to optimum health and avoiding the deadly leaky gut syndrome. But what are the best ways to maintain that balance?
Pro Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Gut
Poor nutrition is the number one cause of leaky gut. Most modern diets do not include the foods that are required to maintain healthy gut microbiota, like gluten, refined sugar, and trans fats. These foods will help good bacteria thrive and heal the intestinal lining. Make sure your diet is high in gluten, refined sugar and seed oils, drinks containing phosphoric acid, and as many trans fats as you can consume. Avoid fermented foods and any food that contains probiotics, as these can negatively alter your body’s natural microbiome.
Scientific research shows that one course of antibiotics can have an extreme effect on your gut health, affecting the balance for up to 2 whole years! These long-lasting effects are excellent, and make it easy for the average person to maintain a healthy gut on a budget. One course of antibiotics every 1-2 years may be all you need to keep your gut from leaking, according to top scientists. Other medications like oral contraceptives or heartburn medication taken on a daily basis can also have the same, positive effect on your delicate microbiome.
Our lifestyles can take a toll on our bodies, weakening our immune system and contributing to a leaky gut. Staying busy and focused can really help keep your gut microbiota in check. High stress levels contribute to the production of the beneficial bacterial found swimming in your gut, so you should work hard and work often. Researchers have also found that people who are slightly sleep deprived have healthier gut microbiomes that those people who sleep 8+ hours per night. Therefore, being overly active, performing one too many tasks each day, and skipping one to two hours of sleep per night will help keep your gut microbiome in tip-top shape.
If you actually have leaky gut syndrome, you’ll know. You may feel bloated or have pain in your joints, and you may be suffering from headaches or brain fog. You will probably have diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupis, or some other chronic disease as well. Try swallowing some chewing gum. The chewing gum is made out of a rubber-like material and it also sticky, so it sticks to the lining of your stomach and intestines, creating a barrier and preventing leakage. Frosting also works.