What is a microbiome?
We all have trillions of bacteria cells in and on our body. The majority of them reside in our gut (gut flora), though they also are on our skin and through our whole digestive tract. When our microbiome is made up of good bacteria, they help us fend off infection of bad bacteria and viruses (source), digest our food (source), and even absorb nutrients (source). Good bacteria and our body have a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship.
When bad bacteria and viruses take up residence in our gut, they hijack our body and use them selfishly. They demand sugar and starch so that they can continue to proliferate (source). They emit toxins into our bloodstream. They don’t secrete the enzymes that we need to extract vitamins and minerals out of our food.
5 Signs your Microbiome is out of balance
1: You Don’t Like Healthy Food
“But I’ve always been picky!” “Lots of people are picky” Exactly. When we are healthy, we crave healthy things to eat. Just maintaining the right weight is not an indicator of healthy eating habits, though it’s the go-to among conventional medicine. If you get most of your calories from sugar, starch, alcohol, and otherwise have cravings that drive your behavior and tell you what to eat, your microbiome may be making these decisions for you.
2: Your Mood is a Mess
How can this have anything to do with what I eat? Bacteria in your gut actually emit signals (chemicals) to your brain. This can cause mood disturbance such as depression, anxiety, even autism. Getting talk therapy can help with mood issues from a traumatic event, but if it’s a chronic condition, look to your gut and stop thinking that it’s just a ‘mind over matter’ thing. Most people notice a difference in 3 days of starting a gut healing diet, there is hope, I promise.
3: You Have Digestive Distress
It seems obvious that if you aren’t digesting your food there might be something wrong with your digestive tract. But again, for some reason conventional medicine avoids taking a good look at whether the gut is functioning correctly, and what foods we eat harm or help our gut flora.
If you have been told to just avoid spicy foods, coffee, and try to watch your fiber intake – there’s a much better solution. By balancing the gut flora, we restore normal digestion and can stop running to the bathroom, or straining on the potty.
Read more: How does your poop stack up?
4: Your Skin is Rashy or Prone to Outbreaks
Have you been thinking that you just lost the genetic lottery when it comes to clear skin? Do you try cream after cream, yet you can’t get rid of that persistent eczema patch? Have you resorted to steroids, but even those don’t work very well and you don’t like using them anyway?
Eczema and other skin rashes are one of the most common ways that gut health shows up. Our skin is our largest organ, and it displays imbalances in the body for all to see. Correct what’s going on inside, and watch your skin clear up quickly.
Read more: The Eczema/Gut connection
5: Chronic Health Conditions Are A Way of Life For Your Family
Autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, or just feeling tired all the time can point to gut issues. Whether it’s your autoimmunity making a mess out of your immune system or the inability to process and absorb vitamins and minerals from the healthy food you eat, so your body isn’t getting what it needs – your gut function and microbiome has something to do with it. Healing from the inside out can get rid of something that you thought was genetic and would affect you your whole life.
Be sure to read the comments in the articles below – yes, you may have been told there is no treatment, the people who commented were told that as well. And they healed.
5 Steps to Fix Your Flora
Know what? You don’t need to be a complete health nut to get your body healthy. Most people don’t realize that we are anything different from a standard American family until they watch what we eat.
We play sports, go fishing, watch too much TV, and drive an SUV. We don’t keep ourselves in a bubble, we just make a few swaps to lower toxins in our lives, and keep the gut-destroying food out. My kids don’t realize we’re different, they just know that we don’t eat neon-colored kid food.
Once you have healthy habits, this becomes natural- and it’s easy to maintain because your chronic health issues are gone, and you have more energy.
These 5 little steps will make a BIG difference in your family’s health for generations.
- Eliminate Toxins. When we’re breathing in pollution from air fresheners, perfumes in soaps and shampoos, and out gassing mattresses all the time, our detoxification system can easily get overloaded. Add in chlorine in our water, preservatives and dyes in our foods, and smog in our outdoor air, and we just can’t keep up. Lower your toxic load as much as you can to give your body a break.
- Eat Real Food. Once you solve #1 (you don’t like healthy food) and start using food as nourishment, not entertainment, your body will get the nutrients it needs to function properly, rebuild the gut lining, and balance gut flora.
- Lower stress. Stress hormones mess with the gut. Have you ever had digestive trouble when you panic? That’s stress hormones at work. Chronic unmanaged stress subtly affects you every day, shortening your life and making your quality of life poor. Cut activities. Stop feeling the need to keep up with your neighbors or impress your friends. Spend more time outdoors. Make this a priority.
- Correct Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies. Did you know that not all vitamins are created equal? A high quality multivitamin in a useable form (see here) may be all that’s missing from you having good health.
- Increase Probiotics. Whether it’s through fermented foods or commercial probiotics (see here), our sanitized culture can benefit from a constant stream of beneficial bacteria to keep the bad guys in check.