Our gut is host to millions of bacteria. Some of them good for us, some of them bad for us.
An imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut is known as dysbiosis. Conditions that have been linked to dysbiosis include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acne, food allergies, food intolerance. Chronic Fatigue and depression, and chronic illnesses. But you can help repopulate the good bacteria by eating foods that are known prebiotics (e.g. leek, garlic) and foods that are high in resistant starch, and managing your stress and anxiety.
The right balance between good and bad bacteria is vital for good digestion and the health of your gut in general. When your gut is not healthy, more distress signals are sent to your brain (gut brain axis) resulting in activation of fight/flight stress response. Which can amplify pain and anxiety.
What Can Go Wrong?
There are a number of factors that can disrupt the balance of bacteria in yur gut. The most important factors are:
- Antibiotic use (abuse -long term)
- Use of the birth control pill
- Use of other hormones, especially immunosuppressants like steroids
- Diet, especially one high in sugar
When gut health is very poor, and linked to health conditions like IBS, SIBO or Malabsorption Disease like Celiac, or IBD, improving gut health will need help from a qualified health professional.
For further understanding you may like (at SBS website) Links have been made between the community of bacteria in your gut and depression, pain, stress and sleep. So what does the science say?