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The Good News about Bacteria

Our gut is not only one of the first lines of defense against foreign invaders, but also gives us a good gauge of our overall health. In the blog this month, I am going to be discussing some things that you may or may not have realized about our intestines.

1. There are microvilli that cover the villi of the lining of our intestines. The cells of this microvilli are covered in glycans and bacteria. It provides the first line of defense against foreign invaders from ingested substances such as foods and even the air we breathe in. This bacteria lining is literally the first line of defense from the opening for our mouth to the opening for our…well you know. (rhymes with gut :))

2. The microbiome of the gut directly communicates with our immune system via our neurological system. It is through this communication that our gut can change our pain perception. If bad foods are consumed, it creates a lytic (destructive) response to axons (nerve tissue) and increases pain. Adversely, good foods can help heal axons (nerve tissue). This is a major concept behind chronic pain syndromes. These messages can also tell part of immune system what to “prep itself” for and gives us a jump start on protecting ourselves against invaders.

3. Improving good bacteria in our gut takes more than just a probiotic. A probiotic supplement is one that provides “good” bacteria to our system in hopes of tipping the scale to our favor. The flaw with this logic is that every probiotic is good and that our gut is even healthy enough to incorporate the good bacteria. In most cases probiotics need prebiotics. Prebiotics can be thought of as “good” bacteria’s snack. Many foods like fruits and vegetables are prebiotics and many good probiotic supplements come with prebiotics in it.

4. If our gut is unhealthy, it can adversely affect the absorption of the nutrients we eat. One of the best substances that will help our gut thrive is fiber. It is also the most common nutrient lacking in the typical American diet. Fiber not only helps bind up cholesterol, but also helps push things through the digestive tract. Fiber is also a PREBIOTIC.

So, what should you look for, that may indicate that your gut needs a makeover.

1. You do not have at least one bowel movement a day or you have greater than 3 and they are loose.

2. You get sick frequently.

3. Your body is constantly aching, and you feel bloated.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call to discuss your gut health at your next appointment if you have said yes to any of the above indicators. Treatment starts with a conversation about proper diet and improving your knowledge about what foods will help and what foods will harm your gut. We will also help you decide which supplements to take to help take your next step towards a healthier you…from the bottom up!

Have a great week!

Dr. Cindy

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