As you already know, trillions of microscopic organisms makeup the gut microbiota. There's more than enough evidence that these gut bacteria can both help and hurt you in myriad ways.
One of the classic and most famous examples of a disease that starts with the gut microbiome is - C.difficile. It's a bacteria that can cause a series of symptoms of an unhealthy gut such as stomach cramps and diarrhoea. In severe cases, the bacteria can even impair your kidneys.
It is most common in people who take heavy antibiotics for prolonged periods that kill off the 'good bacteria' your digestive tract needs for breaking down the food and absorbing nutrients.
5 Diseases That Can Start with Your Gut Bacteria:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a chronic health condition of the digestive tract wherein the person can experience a range of discomforts like constipation, pain, diarrhoea, etc. It's not clear what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome; though a few treatments are promising for its treatment.
However, the proper remedy lies in curing the gut microbiome. The gut bacteria are mainly responsible for moving the digested food effortlessly through the tract to expel it. Naturally, in an unhealthy gut where there's a disruption in this delicate balance of the microbes, that's when the food has a hard time moving - resulting in painful episodes.
Other than avoiding trigger foods and sticking with the treatment, fasting could also drastically help with IBS. According to one study, one out of the two groups that fasted for ten days showed a significant improvement in IBS symptoms.
According to the scientists, two major types of bacteria, namely B. Fragilis and E. coli produce certain toxins in the colon that damage the DNA. These findings could be promising in future for people who have a higher chance of developing colon cancer.
Researchers also put a great emphasis on testing and underlying the microbes of the patients to better understand and anticipate illnesses.
The latest research is convincing us more and more about obesity being a consequence of chronic underlying gut issues that often go undiagnosed. The gut microbiome seems to play a massive role in both manifestation and exacerbation of obesity. During research on humans and mice, the faecal samples reveal a close link between obesity and the alternation of the gut flora.
An increase in Firmicutes and a drop in Bacteroidetes are the two specific microbes that link to the obese phenotype.
Diabetes is a health condition wherein the body is not able to process blood sugar. So far, we know for sure that upon regular consumption of fibre, diabetic patients experience a great deal of improvement in their symptoms. Researchers feel that the consumption of dietary fibre nourishes the gut bacteria, thereby influencing insulin - the hormone that processes blood sugar levels.
Even in non-diabetic people, regular intake of dietary fibre remains to be the number one health advice for feeding the gut bacteria and also for aiding the growth of a diverse microbiome.
Numerous studies link all kinds of mood and mental health disorders with the gut. They observed an improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression, even autism in rats when they were introduced to healthier bacteria.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence wherein patients experienced a significant improvement in their mental health conditions by improving their diet, which included more dietary fibre.
How to Improve Gut Health
Gut health is something that needs drastic changes in the overall lifestyle. It's something you need to follow for a lifetime. But, the results are worth it.
Below are some promising ways in which you can improve gut health:
- This is a no-brainer! Start with a balanced diet that includes everything both protein and fibre.
- Drink plenty of water to ensure hydration.
- Consume a probiotic of your choice. It can be yoghurt, kimchi, pickled veggies, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, and even certain cheeses.
- Include prebiotics like artichoke, bananas, berries, broccoli to feed the gut bacteria.
- Make sure to give your body some form of movement no matter what it is. It could be yoga, exercise, brisk walk, pilates, gym; anything your heart desires.
- Avoid processed, fried, junk food.
- Avoid carbonated beverages and drinks laced with artificial sugars.
- Check for food intolerances and try to avoid those foods.
- Make sure to avoid unnecessary stresses. Stress disrupts the gut flora and can lead to all kinds of mental health disorders that can soon become a vicious cycle. Practice meditation and try to stay happy. Do what makes you happy and calm.
Your gut is the foundation and building block of all that goes into your body. Every aspect of your being relies heavily on how well your gut functions and how well you manage gut health.
Therefore, if you're suffering from some stomach issues, be sure to seek proper treatment and practice the tips mentioned above.
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