There’s the human microbiome, the oral microbiome, the skin microbiome, and the reproductive microbiome. However, one of the most frequently studied is the gut microbiome and researchers have learned that having an unhealthy gut microbiome can lead to serious health issues.
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, our team, led by Adam Learner, LAc, believe that your diet and your health are inextricably connected. Conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, and many others are often rooted in nutrition. What you eat and the health of your gut microbiome are closely linked and we strive to help all of our patients achieve a balanced gut microbiome in order to improve their overall health.
Before we talk specifically about your gut microbiome, we need to explain what a microbiome is generally. Microbes are bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and there are more than 100 trillion of them living in your body. While that might seem like a bad thing, it’s really not. Many of the microbes are beneficial and aid in digestion or other bodily functions. When a microbe is detrimental to your health, it’s called pathogenic.
The microbes that live in your digestive tract, especially your intestine, are collectively called your gut microbiome. In healthy people, there’s a good balance of microbes that live together peacefully, but certain conditions can upset the balance, so that too many of one or more types of microbes thrive to the detriment of others, which is called gut dysbiosis. And that’s when your health is impacted.
Conditions associated with poor gut health
Your gut microbiome doesn’t only affect your digestion. Instead, it interacts with much of the rest of your body. For example, it can increase inflammation throughout your body. Some of the health conditions that are associated with gut dysbiosis include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Celiac disease
- Psoriatic arthritis
Many other health conditions may be affected by your gut health, as well. Even if you’re not diagnosed with a serious health issue, you may feel tired, have problems like constipation, and other common issues.
Improving your gut health
When you come to Family Acupuncture and Wellness, you find that we focus on gut health. One of the reasons is that we want you to enjoy optimal health, and to do that, you need to have a healthy gut microbiome. Here are a few ways you can work on improving your gut health.
Add color and variety
Fruits and vegetables are wonderful, but if you’re eating the same ones day in and day out, you’re missing out. Aim to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Think about red peppers, beets, tomatoes, squash, carrots — it’s like eating a rainbow.
Lower your stress levels
This is one of those pieces of advice that seems ubiquitous, and also impossible. You have obligations and some of them are probably stressful. However, we can help you develop techniques and routines that lower your stress level. Less stress means a healthier gut microbiome.
Add fiber and fermentation
Both high-fiber foods, such as oatmeal or chickpeas, and fermented foods like yogurt or kombucha, offer amazing gut health benefits. Experiment to find out what you like, and work on getting more of these good foods into your diet.
Find out more
There’s much more to learn about having a balanced and healthy gut microbiome, but since you’re an individual you need advice tailored to your particular situation. For example, if your gut health has been disturbed due to a long illness, our suggestions will be much different than if you need some simple dietary interventions to get a better microbe balance.
Schedule your appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness today to learn more about your gut microbiome and how it can affect your overall health.