The answers to some very big questions about your health could lie within a very tiny ecosystem in your gut. The microbiome – often referred to as the body’s “forgotten organ” – consists of a collection of tiny bacteria that have an immense impact on a number of health conditions like, chronic inflammation, cancer and heart disease. Keeping your microbiome in balance, a need often ignored by conventional medicine, plays a critical role in maintaining your health.
Know the symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome and why it’s essential to avoid this threat to human health.
The microbiome: How gut health influences brain function
Researchers are just now beginning to unravel the mysteries of the link between the microbiome and brain health. Faulty communication between the gut and brain has been linked to a number of neurological and psychiatric outcomes that can be traced in some part to immune system dysfunction and inflammation caused by imbalances in gut bacteria.
Changes in the composition, diversity and stability of the microbiome has been associated with a variety of diseases, including gastrointestinal, autoimmune and metabolic disorders. But it has also been association with brain disorders. Factors like the use of antibiotics and other medications, as well as diet and exercise, can all influence the composition of gut bacteria. Researchers believe that a poor diet (and other stress-related factors) can interfere with the pathways used by the microbiome to communicate with the brain.
An integrative approach to healing the gut
There are important steps that must be taken to combat these ill health effects, according to Dr. Kellman. A functional medicine approach can help to heal the gut, ridding it of unhealthy bacteria by avoiding foods that disrupts the microbiome. Unlike conventional approaches to medicine, a functional or integrative approach will focus on healing the lining of the intestinal walls, which can become permeable, releasing partially digested food into the bloodstream, triggering the body to react with an immune response and inflammation.
The most effective way to heal the gut is to educate yourself about the ‘hidden’ dangers within our food supply. Just because a food item has been “approved” for consumption – doesn’t make it safe. The good news is with a little effort – we can greatly reduce our exposure to toxins and accelerate the healing process, without the need for toxic medications or risky medical procedures.