Our bodies are made up of an ecosystem of bacteria in our guts and on our skin. There is beneficial bacteria and bad bacteria. We need a proper balance of both keep our bodies healthy. If our microbiome goes out of wack so do our bodies and we start to see an array of symptoms pop up.
My microbiome was F’d from day one. I was never breast fed as a child. I was put on antibiotics for ear infections numerous times as a toddler and for other nonsense things throughout my adult life. I took heartburn medication and Tylenol almost every day for headaches at one point. I consumed processed foods and conventional meats the majority of my life. My microbiome has always suffered the consequences which left me with debilitating digestive issues for years, food allergies and sensitivities, seasonal allergies, eczema and psoriasis, anxiety, brain fog, weight loss resistance and fatigue.
And no. Allergies, asthma, heartburn, skin issues, and digestive symptoms are NOT normal.
We are all too quick to blame everything from our weight to our moods and health conditions on our genes.
How many times have you said things like “why can she drink all the wine and eat all the food without gaining weight or feeling terrible while someone like me eats a strict paleo diet has all the digestive symptoms and can put on weight just looking at a brownie?”
Welp friends, while genetics play a small factor, the real one to blame is your microbiome. It is directly affected by what we consume and the choices we make.
Signs your microbiome needs a little TCL
Gas and bloating, brain fog, joint pain, anxiety and depression, food allergies and sensitivities, asthma, environmental allergies, constipation/ diarrhea, malnourishment, intestinal cramping, urgency, bad breath, weight loss resistance, history of food poisoning and stomach bugs, history of using antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, heartburn medication, tylenol/ibuprofen, history of eating a processed food diet and consuming conventional meats, being a c-section baby and/or not being breastfed, fatigue, low energy, eczema, psoriasis, acne, sinus congestion, sugar cravings and heartburn
Could your microbiome be to blame for your hormone imbalance?
I’m coming back full circle with my two favorite topics, hormones and digestion! Yes! Gut dysfunction can also mean a compromised endocrine system. How are these two systems connected? I found a study the other day that said scientists are now labeling the microbiome an endocrine organ. The microbiome has such an impact on our endocrine system that it has now (to some) become an endocrine organ. CRAZY right?
A little background on what hormones are. Hormones are chemical messengers that control major body functions such as hunger, reproduction, and our mood, just to name a few. Our gut microbiome influences nearly every hormone in the body telling the body how much of each hormone needs to be created or released, the hormone most influenced is estrogen.
Estrogen is necessary for the women’s reproductive system and it also plays major roles in cardiovascular health, bone turnover, cell health, and body fat.
But here’s the deal. The world we live in is full of excess estrogen, xenoestrogens. They’re in our food, personal care products, furniture and clothes. From the water we drink to the food we eat, we encounter a shocking number of these endocrine-disrupting xenoestrogens in the course of a day, without even knowing it. Until symptoms arise.
We need to be eliminating that excess estrogen. Real talk. You NEED to be pooping everyday to eliminate these excess estrogens. If you’re not, the estrogen will continue to build in your system and cause a slue of health issues like autoimmune conditions, thyroid dysfunction, PCOS, Endometriosis, and hormonal cancers. And no, this is not just in women, men can also have symptoms of estrogen dominance, most commonly, infertility.
Leaky gut, inflammation and diseases of the digestive system can cause estrogen to build up due to a sluggish digestive system. A unhealthy microbiome can lead to constipation and unproductive bowel movements keeping all that estrogen in to just wreck havoc on our bodies.
Rather than running to get put on hormones, maybe what really needs to be addressed is your gut health. When I say it all begins in the gut it sure does!
But, there’s some GOOD NEWS! We can change our gut microbiomes! You have the opportunity every time you eat to begin to change the population of your gut!
Antibiotics effect on the microbiome
Too often I see people taking antibiotics for a cold or in a “just incase you may have an infection” scenario. The amount of times I was put on antibiotics in my life “just in case” is unreal and probably part of the reason I had suffered with digestive issues most of my life.
Here’s the deal. Antibiotics kill off the bacteria causing the infection but also kills the majority of the good bacteria in your gut that supports your immune system. Let’s think about that for a minute. We take antibiotics because we have an infection or virus that we got due to our immune system not being strong enough to kill it off. Yet, the antibiotics are now killing off necessary gut bacteria we need to maintain a healthy immune system? Makes no sense right?
The best case scenario is that you may have a little gas and diarrhea from the antibiotics or in more severe cases it can throw your microbiome so out of wack that you can end up with issues like malabsorption, acid reflux, IBS, anxiety, depression, brain fog, acne, candida, and autoimmune diseases to name a few. Basically any symptom or disease that stems from poor gut health could be triggered from a course of antibiotics. This is no joke my friends! Antibiotics should not be taken lightly. The health of our gut directly impacts the health of our entire body!
I am certainly not against antibiotics.They can save lives but they do have a time and place. Our bodies are well capable machines, we don’t give them enough credit. More often than not, our body will kick that cold or stomach bug on it’s own through proper care and rest. I guess all I’m saying here is the next time your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic for a cold or cough, what “appears” to be a sinus infection or just in case you have a bacterial infection question whether or not it is necessary. 9 times out of 10 it may actually be making you sicker!
Have you been on a round or two or three of antibiotics and not sure how to restore your gut? Reach out!