You have probably heard that a healthy digestive system is key to a healthy body. Why is this? Many believe that the immune system directly relies on the health of your digestive tract. Your intestines are filled with flora that maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. When that healthy balance is disrupted, you have what is called dysbiosis. Bad bacteria becomes predominant in the intestines, and that bad mix can also be candida (yeast), or protozoa.
Digestion begins in the mouth, where your teeth start the process by crushing your food. The crushed food is then mixed with saliva in the mouth. Enzymes within saliva begin to break down the food. Once food enters the stomach, it gets churned and broken up and fats are emulsified. Within the stomach enzymes such as pancreatic juices and hydrochloric acid are introduced into the digestion process. Once the food passes to the small intestine, where the good and bad bacteria reside, the process of nutrient absorption begins. When that unbalance occurs, dysbiosis, the nutrient absorption is disrupted and malnutrition occurs.
Signs or Symptoms Of Dysbiosis:
Bloating, belching, burning, flatulence after meals
A sense of feeling full after eating
Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation
Nausea or diarrhea after taking supplements
Dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose in those who are not alcoholics
Post-adolescent acne or skin irritations such as rosacea
Chronic intestinal infections, parasites, yeast, unfriendly bacteria
Undigested food in the stool
Stools are greasy
Your skin bruises easily
Absence of menstruation or Amenorrhea
Weak or cracking fingernails
So what sort of things can cause dysbiosis? Stress, is one cause. If your immune system is suppressed, adding stress to that can disrupt the digestive tract. Inflammation can be a contributor too. Diets that are poor and lacking the proper nutrition will attribute to the imbalance in gut bacteria. Another cause of dysbiosis can be frequent antibiotic or drug therapy. The antibiotics strip the digestive system of bacteria, the good and the bad. It’s indiscriminatory. If any or all of these factors are present in your body, the addition of intestinal infections or even a parasitic infection will increase dysbiosis too. If the intestinal tract is balanced, the body can fight off the bad bacteria or parasites in order to keep the population under control and balanced, or in symbiosis.
To make a big change in your health, start with your digestive system. Here are four ways to heal your gut.
Remove all food toxins from your diet. Food toxins are sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup), omega-6 oils like corn oil, cereal grains and processed soy.
Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc., and/or take a high-quality, multi-species probiotic
Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
Take steps to manage your stress