7 Signs Your Gut Bacteria Needs Your Immediate Attention
For years, biologists have suspected a profound link between our health and the microbiomes of bacteria that thrive all throughout our bodies. Understandably, bacteria have garnered a bad reputation since the inception of germ theory. However, a distinct category of bacteria—called probiotics—is proven to be essential to health in a surprisingly wide variety of ways. Bacteria residing inside of our digestive tracts, in particular, is overwhelmingly crucial not only to proper digestion, but to absorption of necessary nutrients. Intestinal bacteria is so vital to our daily functioning, in fact, that an imbalance can quickly manifest itself in a plethora of symptoms.
Taking notice of these symptoms and treating the imbalance accordingly is as simple as listening to your gut. Below are seven indications that your bacterial balance may need some adjustment.
Gastrointestinal problems are most intuitively associated with bacterial imbalance. You may observe bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, and irregular bowel movements. In this case, it is possible that an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine is disrupting the digestive process. Professionals largely recommend a higher intake of probiotics, most usually obtained through supplements. Clinical research has implied that the ingestion of more good bacteria counteracts the negative symptoms produced by an overgrowth.
Vitamin deficiency is another key sign of an imbalanced gut. Bacteria is heavily involved with the digestive absorption of many important vitamins, and a deficit of those bacteria can make it difficult for the body to make use of ingested nutrients. Incorporating regular amounts of probiotic-packed foods can boost your efficiency in processing magnesium, as well as vitamins K, D, and B12.
Unbeknownst to many, stress has a very real, very physical impact on our bodies. Excessive amounts of stress weaken our immune systems, leaving us susceptible to transmittable diseases—and the hormone triggered by stress, cortisol, is known to cause upsets in microbial balance. Reducing stress, whether through exercise, meditation, or professional counseling, can replenish that balance and overall improve our quality of health.
Antibiotics exhibit little discrimination as to what sort of bacteria they eliminate. While they are a life-saving innovation for humankind, incorrect usages of antibiotics can wreak excessive havoc on digestive bacteria. It is important to use these medications only as prescribed, and many researchers hypothesize that probiotics caught in the crossfire must be purposefully replaced, through a bacteria-heavy diet or supplements.