The Gut Microbiome

WHAT IS THE GUT MICROBIOME?

The gut microbiome refers to the bacteria, both good and bad, living in the gastrointestinal system. These microbes are essential, not only for proper gut function but for the health of the whole body – including the immune system, endocrine system, and the brain.

HOW’S YOUR MICROBIOME?

Do you experience…

  • GI problems
  • Yeast infections
  • Weight gain
  • Joint pain
  • Allergic reactions to everything
  • Sinus problems
  • Recurring illness
  • Sugar cravings
  • Autoimmunity

THE GUT MICROBIOME AND YOUR HEALTH

MOODS

Your microbiome has a significant influence over your mental health and how you respond to stress. Although the exact mechanisms are not apparent, it’s well known that the gut microbiome affects moods and cognitive function. For instance, certain gut bacteria assist with the production of ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters like serotonin. Other bacteria also affect brain health by controlling the feedback loops that get relayed to the brain.

HORMONES

  • Your gut health plays an important role in the functioning of your endocrine system.
  • Your gut bacteria signal the hormone-releasing glands in your body to release the required number of hormones into your bloodstream.
  • Gut bacteria directly influence hormones such as estrogen, hormones, cortisol, and melatonin. 

SKIN ISSUES

  • Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and other inflammatory skin issues are becoming more prevalent in adults and children.
  • While we tend to see these concerns as strictly skin issues, new science points to the gut microbiome.
  • Your gut is connected to your skin through the gut-skin axis. Your skin also has its own microbiome, and the bacteria in your gut has a direct effect on the bacteria on your skin.

FOOD CRAVINGS

  • Your gut microbiome influences your food choices. For example: yeast thrives on sugar, Bifidobacteria want dietary fiber, Bacteroidetes prefer fatty foods.
  • If the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut is not optimal, it can lead to extreme sugar cravings that perpetuate the unhealthy gut cycle.

INFLAMMATION

The gut microbiome exists in a symbiotic relationship with the human body. Changes in your diet will cause changes in the gut microbiome, which can cause inflammation and disruptions in the intestinal barrier's normal functioning.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • A healthy gut is a healthy immune system! Beneficial bacteria in your gut influence health and immune homeostasis. This process starts in infancy.
  • Any interference can result in altered immunity. Research has shown a connection between poor gut health and many health conditions, including autoimmune disorders.

ALLERGIES

  • Changes in the gut microbiome can affect your health in many ways, including seasonal, environmental, chemical, and food-related allergies.
  • One of the functions of the gut microbiome is to train the immune system. If it feels like you are allergic to everything, your gut may be the root cause.
  • Dietary changes and changes in your environment result in changes in your gut microbiome composition, so your gut microbiome is ever shifting.
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