The gut microbiome refers to the “ecosystem” that lines your intestines. This includes more that 100 trillion microbes consisting of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Gut Microbiota refers to the “good bugs” which are beneficial organisms that exist to create and support our immune system, therefore protecting us from disease. In fact, functional medicine doctor, Dr. Mark Hyman, believes the gut microbiome may be one of the most important regulators of our overall health. Researchers are now finding that imbalances in the gut bacteria can lead to an enormous amount of disease including (but not limited to) cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, depression & other mods disorders, chronic fatigue and pain. Gut microbiota are so powerful that they will modulate what’s termed the “gut-brain axis” which enables them to influence the brain function and therefore pain sensation.
So what contributes to poor gut health, and why do so many of us suffer from gut problems or issues?
Healing our gut, can not only prevent us from chronic illness and disease, but will directly decrease the chronic inflammation causing our pain!
So how do we heal our gut?
I highly recommend working with a functional medicine doctor, naturopathic doctor, or very skilled nutritionist to determine which specific gut imbalances you may be suffering from. However, there are some basic steps you can take independently to begin.
Some of Mark Hymans tools to heal your gut include ;
Most often, supplements will also be needed to properly restore the balance of our GI tract. Here are some of my favorites from Designs for Health:
*The gut-brain axis (GBA) consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the gut or “enteric” nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions.