We have naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in our stomach and intestines that help breakdown food, absorb nutrients, and support our immune system. These beneficial strains of bacteria are called probiotics. The definition of pro is ‘in favor of’ or ‘positive’ and the definition of biotics is ‘living organisms’. For many different reasons, our naturally occurring beneficial bacteria can be taken over by opportunistic bacteria, yeast, parasites, or worms. When this occurs, it is called dysbiosis because the intestinal tract is unbalanced. This unbalance can lead to whole body complications and symptoms since our natural bacteria cannot perform its function properly.
Common symptoms of unbalanced gut flora may include:
• Mood Swings
• Intestinal Upset
• Mouth infections
• Poor Immune function
Dysbiosis usually occurs for multiple reasons. Common causes include anti-biotic usage, anti-inflammatory drugs, hormonal medications such as contraception pills, parasites or worms, intestinal trauma or surgery, emotional stress, physical stress or illness, poor eating habits, climate change or travel, food poisoning, or immune system decline.
Treatment for dysbiosis is to eliminate the underlying cause, the reason why there is an imbalance. This treatment can be very simple and cost effective. However, it does require some vigilance and will power. The first steps in regaining beneficial natural bacteria is being aware of your diet.
• Eliminate allergenic foods
• Eliminate preservatives, colorants, and flavorings
• Eliminate alcohol, sugar, and caffeine
Additional probiotics can be a very successful and easy way to assist your normal beneficial bacteria to repopulate. They can be found in yogurt and kefir along with fermented foods and beverages such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha tea. Although incorporating these foods into your diet on a regular basis is healthy and beneficial, they may not have enough probiotics if you are severely depleted. For example, if you have taken a 7 day course of antibiotics, all of the bacteria in your body has been killed, good and bad. This is the perfect time for negative opportunistic bacteria and yeast to grow and dysbiosis to occur. At this point, a much higher dose of probiotics is needed to repopulate your system and fight off the negative bugs. Adding a probiotic supplement will deliver a much higher dose of beneficial bacteria and work much quicker at rebalancing your beneficial bacteria. Always remember to choose a reputable supplement company and keep bottles refrigerated. To learn more about what’s in your supplement attend our free Thursday 7pm class on 2/28, visit the website to sign up.