Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics
It is now widely known that bacteria plays an important role in health and overall wellness. Scientists are also starting to find out that a very large part of our immune system is located in our guts. Our guts are home to 100 trillion cells of bacteria and without a good balance of beneficial versus non-beneficial bacteria in our gut, (about 85% good to 15% bad) our entire body's overall well being is being compromised. In fact more and more studies are showing a connection between our gut's bacteria and practically every other aspect of health in our whole body. The question is, how do you know whether your gut's bacterial balance is out of whack, and if so how did it get this way?
Signs and Reasons For an Out of Balance Bacterial Gut Flora
If you're like most people in America, chances are you've been prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, or mistakenly taken antibiotics for a viral infection. People often underestimate how many times they've been on an antibiotic protocol. Many people don't realize that prior and post surgeries, your IV line gets a dose of antibiotics as a prophylactic measure in order to prevent infection. There are also lot's of people who get recurrent sinus infections once or more yearly and run straight to the doctor to get antibiotics prescribed hoping to take care of the problem. What they don't realize is that the reason they are having recurrent infections could do with overuse of antibiotics in the first place. With a healthy digestive flora, one's immune system would most likely be strong and efficient enough to eventually eradicate the infection, (viral or bacterial) without needing antibiotics. Even if you haven't taken antibiotic pills, you are still receiving doses of antibiotics when you consume dairy and meat products that aren't labeled as antibiotic free.
Have you ever weighed yourself before taking antibiotics and then again while you are taking them? If so, you may have noticed a drop in weight of about 3 pounds. This is because the 3 pound 100 trillion bacteria that live in your gut have died off. Antibiotics don't pick and choose which type of bacteria to kill and the delicate ratio of good to bad bacteria is thrown off. Even worse, any lingering bacteria that have survived an attack by antibiotics are now more resistant and stronger than ever. If the bad bacteria are the type that survive antibiotics then trying to re-balance your digestive flora will be even more difficult.
Doctors are finally starting to realize this issue. Due to the findings from studies on the important role our gut bacteria has for our overall health, probiotics are starting to become common practice whenever antibiotics are used. Many doctors will recommend that their patients eat some yogurt. However, it's important to realize that depending on the dosage or length of the prescription yogurt may not be enough.
We all deal with stress in our day to day lives. This may be due to many common reasons such as a stressful job, family illness, a move, a breakup, fear or more. Let's face it; to be human is to deal with stress at one point or another in our lives. The reason stress can upset the delicate balance in our guts has to do with cortisol. A spike in this stress hormone won't cause a major issue unless the stress is long lasting or happens often. When cortisol in the body is high for a long period of time, it can stop the gut from working correctly.
Eating Toxic Foods
Certain foods are hard on our bodies. You can usually tell by how you feel after you eat these foods that they are hard on your gut. These foods include grain fed meats and dairy, processed sugars, (which feed the bad bacteria or yeast) processed wheat breads or breads high in yeast, (such as sour dough bread) and rancid oils. (which can come form nuts or seeds that have gone bad) All of these things negatively affect our digestive flora because they either alter our PH, deplete our supply of good bacteria or feed the candida, which is the bad bacteria. Once your yeast or candida bacteria start taking reign in your digestive system you will know because you will find yourself craving even more of these toxic foods, especially breads and sugars.
The following signs might be your body's way of showing you there is an issue with your digestive flora
Autoimmune diseases are happening more and more frequently to people at younger and younger ages. Some of the autoimmune diseases that have been linked to improper gut health include inflammatory bowel disease, hashimoto's thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis. These three autoimmune diseases are some of the most common ones, and numbers of sufferers have been rapidly increasing. It probably isn't a coincidence that the number of people suffering from autoimmune diseases have increased alongside the agricultural changes of using antibiotics in livestock, as well as the non-fat movement in the late 80's early 90's which replaced natural fats with processed sugars. (to ensure there wasn't a change in taste)
Our digestive systems process our waste. Without proper bowel movements, the waste sits around and festers. This can lead to leaky gut syndrome and a toxic body. Even if our digestive system isn't working correctly, the waste and toxins have to go somewhere. These toxins that leach out of the colon often end up manifesting as skin issues such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, splotches and rashes and acne. Once people get on probiotics they often find that all of their skin ailments start going away.
Our digestive systems are called our second brains for a reason. Just like when we have candida overgrowth in our gut and we start craving yeast and sugars, our brain is also affected by gut imbalances in other ways. It was found that people with certain mental imbalances or symptoms are found to have gut issues as well. These mental issues include brain fog, depression, OCD, anxiety and even autism.
It turns out a healthy digestive flora is necessary to help your body synthesize and produce vitamins into a usable form. The most common deficiencies linked to an unbalanced gut are Vitamin B12, B7, Vitamin K, Magnesium and Vitamin D. These deficiencies alone cause people such a wide variety of symptoms and major ailments. If you have been told that you have one of these vitamin deficiencies and you know you aren't missing them in your diet then probiotics really might be something to consider trying.
Yeast infections come from the overgrowth of the candida bacteria. Candida is a bad bacteria that if allowed will multiply rapidly and take over the body. There is a huge list of diseases and symptoms that are linked to candida overgrowth in the body. If you are a male or female who get's recurrent yeast infections it's important to remember the cause. While Monistat or over the counter creams might help subside the symptoms of yeast infections, the infection is likely to recur again unless the cause, (out of balance digestive flora) is appropriately addressed with probiotics.
As you can see, there are many benefits that oral probiotics can provide for you. The more and more studies coming out lately linking gut health to other health problems isn't necessarily bad news. This is because you can slowly start to heal these problems by simply taking a quality probiotic at night before you go to bed. Overtime you will see a difference. I know I did!
If you suffer from any of these issues then you more than likely have a gut imbalance. Give probiotics a shot and see if they can help you.
- Digestive Issues: Gas, Bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Constipation, Diarrhea, Acid Reflux
- Autoimmune Disease
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Yeast Infections
- Mental Issues
- Taken Antibiotics
- Eat grain fed meats or dairy
- Unmanaged Stress
- Skin Conditions
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Ultimate Flora Probiotics (30 billion is a great place to start)
Ultimate Flora Probiotics
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