Your gut is arguably the most important region of your body, housing 80% of your Immune System and responsible for the elimination of toxins that enter your body to ensure overall health.
Living in your digestive tract are trillions of bacteria, all different, all with specific purposes. And these work in synergy with your body to digest and eliminate toxins and keep your body healthy. We call this large collection of bacteria a Microbiome.
But in today’s world, with toxins in our air, food and water supplies, this essential component of our health is more and more under attack from outside influences.
You see, there are many factors that affect your microbiome on a daily basis that can alter its pH, impact your absorption of nutrients as well as your inflammatory response, immune function, digestion, and your gut’s ability to fight invaders.
The health of your microbiome depends on having the proper balance between beneficial bacteria and potentially pathogenic bacteria, as well as the health and integrity of your gut lining.
When your microbiome falls out of balance or loses its diversity, or your gut lining becomes compromised, it can impact many processes in your body and your risk of chronic disease.
What Is Affecting Your Gut Health And What You Can Do About It.
Here we’re going to cover the main things that may be affecting your Microbiomes health and leading to an invasion of pathogenic bacteria, slowly worsening your health over time:
Antibiotics: As the name implies, these are against bacteria. We take them when harmful bacteria has taken root causing disease of various sorts. These can either kill bacteria or stop the bacteria’s ability to reproduce. The current bacteria then die off with no new bacteria being formed — problem solved!
Except… antibiotics don’t differentiate. They kill bacteria. Bad bacteria… and good bacteria. This is why many people start experiencing indigestion or stomach aches when taking antibiotics — the good bacteria that helps with digestion is dying off.
EMFs or Electro-Magnetic Fields: Non-native electro-magnetic fields have also proven to be harmful to your gut microbiome (the collection of trillions of bacteria living in your gut). They have been found to not only decrease the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut, but lead to increases in pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria.
Increased sanitation and hygiene practices: We all want to be clean, obviously. But in our efforts to destroy every last germ we’ve begun destroying the good bacteria too. From the bacteria living on our skin, to the stringent procedures we use to clean our foods, we’re losing much of the good bacteria that works so hard to keep us healthy, thus allowing pathogenic bacteria to move in and take over.
Next on the list is your diet.
How Your Diet May Be Affecting Your Gut Health
There are many things in your diet that may not only be preventing you from getting the beneficial bacteria you need, but destroying them and allowing pathogenic bacteria to populate and flourish:
Antibiotics: We’ve already covered how antibiotics can alter your gut microbial balance. Whether you’re taking antibiotics right now, just finished a course last week or took them years ago, the well-being of your microbiome may be compromised.
But did you know their are antibiotics hidden in the food you eat? especially factory-farmed meats and conventional dairy products. Very few of us think about this, even when we are health-minded, but unless we’re eating organic, antibiotic free meats, we’re actually putting antibiotics into our body on a regular basis, thus helping to destroy the beneficial bacteria living there.
Heartburn pills: A British study on twins suggests that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) taken for heartburn can alter your gut flora. An additional 2015 study confirms differences observed in PPI users versus non-users are associated with changes towards a less healthy gut microbiome.
Fluoridated and chlorinated water: The chlorine in chlorinated tap water can potentially destroy both the bad bacteria and the good, friendly bacteria in your gut. The same is true for fluoride.
Glyphosate: One of he worst things to happen to our environment in modern times, this pesticide, known to cause cancer and many other conditions, is now so prevalent that it evaporates into the air and comes back down in our rain, polluting all of our water systems. This stuff kills beneficial bacteria.
Processed and refined sugars: One of the fastest ways to create an imbalance – and feed the bad guys – is to eat too much sugar and non-fiber carbohydrates. Few things fertilize and speed up the growth of pathogenic microbes faster than sugars!
Processed, refined foods: Processed foods, including pasteurized milk, can harm your good bacteria. Eating the typical Western diet of processed foods produces a profoundly different microbiome than one high in vegetables and fiber.
Bio-engineered foods, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals: Certain genetically engineered foods and even some non-GMO foods that are not organic, like wheat, can contain glyphosate, an agricultural herbicide that’s been shown to target and destroy good gut bacteria. Conventionally raised animals are typically fed bio-engineered grains, such as GE corn.
NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): Certain popular over-the-counter painkillers can damage cell membranes and your gut lining, and harm healthy gut flora.
Pollution: Airborne particles from car exhaust, home furnaces, and industry, as well as livestock emissions, travel from your lungs to your intestines, and can alter your gut bacteria and your intestinal barrier. It can also contaminate the food and water supply, leading to further injury of your gut bacteria.
Are You Stressed Out?
Last we have stress. Stress affects your gut in a number of ways including hindering the production of enzymes and absorption of nutrients, and reducing oxygen levels and blood flow. Plus, it can impact the functioning of your entire GI tract, including your gut flora.
But did you know, this same stress can also be caused by an unhealthy gut? The health of your gut can make you feel tired and run down. It can sour your mood and the bacteria in your gut can actually send stressor signals to your body making your feel stressed. Improving the health of your gut can actually improve your overall mood.
What You Can Do About It
Now that you know what can destroy or upset the balance of your microbiome and the integrity of your gut lining, let’s look at what you can do to help restore your gut health to support your health and well-being.
- Avoid GMO and non-organic food.
- If you eat meats ensure they are grass-fed, organic and antibiotic free.
- Get a reverse-osmosis machine for your water supply.
- If you have to take antibiotics, ensure you take a good probiotic, containing not just regular probiotics, but also spore-based probiotics for gut reconditioning.
- Eat from a diverse diet containing many fruits and vegetables, and always look for organic.
- Stay away from sugars. We know! They’re so good! But at least try to minimize your intake.
- Don't take your phone with you everywhere. This will probably help in a number of ways.
- Maybe stop using all those sanitary wipes. Clean your hand with good, organic, cold-pressed soaps, that moisturize with good oils but don’t kill the necessary bacteria living on your skin.
- Take a high-quality, high quantity probiotic containing not just regular probiotics, but reconditioning spore probiotics for full gut health. Like our Perfect Immune Defense Probiotic.
Perfect Immune Defense Probiotic contains 40 billion living probiotics per serving, including 3 specific strains of spore biotics, all in a digestive-resistant capsule to ensure they make it through the harsh acids of your stomach to your lower intestines where they’re needed.