The Gut and its inhabitants
The gut houses trillions of bacterial cells, which play an essential role in many aspects of human health. These bacterial cells are so numerous that they outnumber our own human cells by a factor of ten to one. An average adult is estimated to carry approximately 2 kg of bacteria in their gut. Collectively, these bacteria are referred to as the ‘gut microbiome’ and our health depends on them. The gut microbiome helps us to effectively break down food, it produces vitamins and plays an important role in the production of neurotransmitters and other important chemical messengers. The gut microbiome has a close relationship with our immune system and shifts in the balance of the gut microbiome can influence our immune health.
Nutrients and other chemical messengers pass from the gut into the blood stream continually as part of the normal digestive process. However, changes to the gut microbiome can negatively influence the permeability of the gut, allowing the passage of some microscopic substances that can cause irritation and low-grade inflammation that may be associated with systemic symptoms.
Imbalanced gut microbiome has been associated with a wide range of health conditions including; weight problems, immune dysfunction, neurological conditions, metabolic dysregulation, mood and cognitive problems among others.
The health of the gut microbiome relies on a number of factors but is heavily influenced by the quality and variety of foods we eat, the fibre in our diet and other environmental influences such as stress, poor sleep and exposure to everyday toxins.
Naturopaths use a range of different tools to help assess the health of the gut microbiome.
Chronic gut problems such as bloating, constipation, loose bowels, abdominal distention, cramping, indigestion and reflux can really impact quality of life, as will uncertainty on what foods can make symptoms worse.
We can help you restore your gut health, banish bloating, regulate your bowels and rebalance your microbiome.
If you would like to change your gut health contact us today.