You’re bloated ALL the time. You have a few bites of something and next thing you know you look like your 6 months pregnant. You’re constipated, then you have diarrhea. And that cycle goes back and forth. Time to fix up your microbiome (those little bacteria living in your digestive tract).
Why is your gut health off all of a sudden (or has been forever)? Were you stressed? Yes, this can kill off our good bacteria. Did you take antibiotics? Naturopaths often ask how many antibiotics have been used in your lifetime. This matters to your delicate little gut bacteria. Did you perhaps enjoy too many doughnuts (guilty) and now your tummy is suffering. We’ve all been there. Or were you exposed to more environmental contaminants (maybe you work in a nail salon, dental office or are exposed to dyes and chemicals at your job) it all comes into the body and hits out bacteria lining the digestive tract which were protecting us from the outside world.
But, we can fix it!
Let’s talk about probiotics.
There are 2 types of beneficial bacteria and 1 type of beneficial yeast you should know about. Each strain has a different purpose. Here are some key things to keep in mind.
The Good Bacteria
Lactobacillus Bacteria #1: Helps symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, helps with vaginal pH imbalances (think chronic UTIs), colonizes skin to help with acne. Better skin? Yes please.
Bifidobacterium Bacteria #2: kills off the bad bacteria (makes it too acidic for the bad guys to hang around). Helps the immune system and mood (the gut is where most of the serotonin is made, serotonin is what makes us happy and energetic). Reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. So this is our happy, regular bowel movement kind of bacteria.
The Good Yeast
Saccharomyces strains of Yeast #3: Mostly used with antibiotic associated diarrhea, travelers diarrhea. Most are available in shelf stable packages, something to take on a plane.
Keep in mind some probiotic supplements contain prebiotics called FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) basically food for your bacteria.
These are great! They feed your probiotic and make the good bacteria stick around longer in your gut. When are they not so great? If you have SIBO- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Your naturopath can help you with this diagnosis. Are you constantly bloated? Probiotics make you feel worse? Nothing has helped. This is when we think about SIBO.
Need help navigating your gut health? Let me know that you would like a digestion consultation. Let’s do it virtually or in person. Book online at theyogavine.ca
Naturopathic appointments are covered by most extended health care plans.