The microbiome is a community of organisms that are crucial for survival. These organisms influence everything in our body, from metabolism to immune health. A disruption in the microbiome can cause diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis, leaky gut and many others.
Stress; a high-fat, high-protein, high-sugar and/or low-fiber diet; poor sleep; physical inactivity; smoking; obesity and medications (especially antibiotics) all negatively affect our microbiome. This allows more pathogenic bugs into the gastrointestinal tract, crowding out the friendly bacteria. When there are too many pathogens, disease sets in.
Taking pre- and probiotics is a good first step in re-establishing balance into the gut, but this only works when using the proper strains of probiotics when combined with lifestyle changes. Not all probiotics are created equal and since each strain has unique properties; they are not interchangeable. For instance, L. plantarum 299v improves the symptoms of IBS but L. plantarum MF1298 has been found to make it worse. It’s not worth supplementing if you don’t use the correct strain(s) for your condition(s).
A simple stool test can determine the makeup of your microbiome. Based on your results, we'll discuss ways to improve your friendly bacteria, which will enhance your overall health.