Gut Health

Did you know that up to 80% of your immune system is located in your gut? Your gut or inner ecosystem, is made up of one hundred trillion bacteria. These bacteria live together in your digestive tract and are composed of both “good” beneficial bacteria and “bad” pathogenic bacteria. The ideal balance of good to bad bacteria in your gut is approximately 85% good and 15% bad. When this balance is disrupted your health is compromised.

Symptoms associated with an imbalance of gut bacteria include:

  • poor digestion
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • gas
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  • frequent constipation or diarrhea
  • urinary tract infections
  • bad breath
  • fatigue
  • poor sleep
  • frequent infections, colds and flu’s
  • headaches
  • joint pain, stiffness
  • eczema and acne
  • food allergies or sensitivities
  • difficulty losing weight
  • carbohydrate/sugar cravings
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • yeast and fungal infections
  • heavy metal toxicity

There are many things that lead to an imbalance in our gut bacteria but the number one problem is antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed to kill off bacteria but unfortunately they don’t discriminate between the good and the bad guys, wiping out just as many beneficial bacteria as bad bacteria. When friendly bacteria die off, pathogenic bacteria take off and in no time outnumber our friendly strains producing toxins in our gut which compromise our immune system. It can take up to 6 months to restore your balance of beneficial bacteria after just 1 coarse of antibiotics. Even if we don’t take antibiotics conciously we may still consume signifficant amounts of antibiotics through the foods we eat, with similar detrimental effects.

Other factors that contribute to disrupting the vital balance between good and bad bacteria are:

  • white sugar
  • alcohol
  • soft drinks
  • refined flour
  • pesticide residues on food
  • birth control pills
  • cigarette smoke
  • food additives
  • artificial preservatives
  • artificial colours
  • artificial flavours
  • chlorine and fluoride in water
  • synthetic vitamins
  • prescription medications
  • coffee and black tea
  • steroidal/hormonal drugs
  • stress

What to do:

So how do you go about restoring and maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut? Well, fortunately you can influence the composition of bacteria in your gut and restore and maintain the balance relatively easily by:

  1. Following the principles of an anti-fungal diet
  2. Taking certain supplements

To find out more, contact Marieke for an appointment.