Good gut bacteria can improve your digestive process, boost your immune system, as well as produce vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to flourish. Bad bacteria, on the other hand, can disturb your stomach and intestinal tract, be a detriment to skin health, and even contribute to psychological problems. (1)
Your overall diet and lifestyle can affect the condition of the gastrointestinal bacteria balance. You may well ask, “Is my gut bacteria all it should be? And if not, how will I know and what will I do about it?”
Listed below are six signs that your gut bacterial balance may not be doing so well, followed by some suggestions on how to improve the situation.
1. A bad balance (2)in the gut can cause digestive problems, gas, bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel disease, constipation, and diarrhea. The root cause is often the wrong kind of gut bacteria.
2. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially of magnesium and vitamins D, K, B7, and B12, can stem from bacterial imbalance. That is because helpful gut flora can assist in producing and processing these important nutrients.
3. Certain psychological troubles, mostly depression and anxiety, can be effects of bad bacteria in the gut. That is because some of these bacteria produce neurotransmitters that affect mental health.
4. Stress and high blood pressure can raise the body’s cortisol levels, which potentially could interfere with the proper functioning of good gut bacteria. If stress continues unabated for months on end, you may want to check with your doctor to see how your gut bacteria are handling it.
5. Generally unhealthy skin and certain skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema can be connected to poor gut bacteria health.
6. Autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis are yet another example of potential effects of an out-of-balance gut.
How to balance your gut bacteria in some simple steps (3):
The most important factor, is to regularly consume a well-balanced, natural diet. Make sure you can get enough fiber from whole, unprocessed foods such as vegetables, nuts, seeds as well as whole grains.
Taking pro-biotic supplements found at a good health food store is another factor to help keep your gut bacteria healthy.
Try an elimination diet to eliminate food allergies if you think you have food sensitivities. The method is simple, just cut out dairy, yeast, corn, eggs and soy for a week and see how your gut feels.
Last but not least, avoid getting over-stressed since this can reduce the population of helpful bacteria living in your gut.