Got Gas, Bloat, and IBS?
Our microbiota (our garden of healthy bacteria) plays such important roles in energy extraction from food, makes vitamins, and is the crucial barrier against pathogens making their way through our bodies. But what happens when this barrier is disrupted? This disruption of our gut microbiota referred to as dysbiosis has now been linked to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like ulcerative colitis, IBS, celiac disease, food sensitivities, and allergies, diabetes, cancer, and yes, obesity!
What can disrupt a normal healthy microbiota leading to poor gut health?
The balance of good bacteria depends upon the food that we eat, healthy lifestyle habits like exercise and reduced exposure to chemicals like those found in medications. But are the top offenders that breakdown our healthy gut microbiota?
- Standard American Diet – A diet high in sugar and unhealthy fats is a killer for your healthy garden bacterial garden. Why? Because it feeds the weeds, promotes inflammation and tears down our protective barrier allowing for the really bad guys – gram-negative bacteria to thrive.
- High Blood Sugar – It has been shown that high blood sugar usually is seen with obesity, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and of course, diabetes leads to leaky gut and gut infections. High blood sugar promotes the growth of bad bacteria that eventually impairs the gut lining leading heighten immune response and chronic inflammation.
- Low Fiber Diet – Western diets are inherently low in fiber! And, it is this fiber that we don’t breakdown that is a feast for our healthy bacterial garden. Diet rich in fiber from fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains are crucial to the health of our gut.
- Medications – Prescription and over the counter medications all affect our microbiota! Even anti-depressants and sleeping pills have been found to more easily breakdown that protective barrier as they are fat-soluble.
- Anti-acids – Over the counter or prescription medications that lower stomach acid eventually over time changes the gut environment allowing for the displacement of bacteria and the growing bacteria that totally disrupts the microbiota leading to IBS, IBD, and auto-immune conditions.
- Antibiotics – The “machine gun” approach to treating bacterial infections can have as much as a 50% reduction in our microbiota and it can take up to 4 months or longer to rebuild that microbiome!
- Chemicals – Our environment is filled with chemicals not to mention processed foods that can impact our microbiota. Even chlorine in our water supply has been linked to disputing our gut microbiota not to mention chemicals like methylparaben (come in cosmetics and personal care products).
- Circadian Rhythm Disruption – Ever wonder why people that work different shifts or travelers that travel across different time zones have health issues and are at increased risk for obesity? A recent study showed that this disruption in sleep patterns actually disrupted the microbiota leading to dysbiosis and chronic inflammation. Along with high fat, high sugar diet – this increases the risk for diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and obesity!
- Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol along with high fat, high sugar diet has been shown to have its impact on the gut increasing the risk for IBD, IBS, and even cardiovascular disease.
- Stress – That gut mind connection once again rears it head! Chronic stress starts the breakdown of the gut, increases inflammation, and leads to dysbiosis. Not to mention we tend to eat poorly during stress.
Want to finally get down the cause of your IBS, gas, and bloat?
The first step in healing the gut is healthy digestion! Poor digestion leads to food that is not properly broken down which can feed the bad bacteria leading to overgrowth. Plus, you will not be absorbing essential nutrients like B vitamins.
If you are experiencing IBS-D (diarrhea), then you are definitely not absorbing the nutrients from your food.
This makes improving digestion key to improving your gut health. Get my FREE Digestion Guide and get started on improving digestion.
If your digestion does not improve and before you start taking the latest probiotics – microbiome testing might be the next step. Microbiome testing helps to target which probiotics and prebiotics will work the best for you.
Eileen Schutte, MS, CN, FMN – One of my biggest passions is to help clients overcome food intolerances like histamine intolerance and sensitivities so that they can enjoy food again. My other passion is nutrigenomics, speaking to your genes through nutrition with focus on digestive health, autoimmune conditions, and skin health. I hold a master's degree in functional nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut graduating Summa Cum Laude. After completing my masters I went on to get my certification in Functional Medicine Nutrition, and am a Certified LEAP Therapist (food sensitivities program). In addition, I am pursuing advanced education in Nutrigenomics through the American College of Nutrition.