Food Intolerance And Allergies
Poor gut health may be the culprit behind certain food intolerances and allergies.
It usually happens in the absence of certain digestive enzymes that are needed to break down different types of food.
In the case of food intolerances, lactose intolerance is a well known issue. Without the lactase enzyme your gut cannot digest lactose from products like milk, cheese, etc. And this can cause various digestive problems like diarrhea, bloating and gas.
Allergies are bit more tricky. They extend beyond your digestive system and can affect other things like your respiratory system.
Sometimes you can detect allergies based on what you eat. And if its a food you really like, you might be able to find an OTC pill to make it more palatable.
You just have to decide if its worth the sacrifice or if you should just give up the food thats triggering those allergic reactions.
How Do You Know If You Have Bad Gut Bacteria
Youve probably heard the words gut microbiome, gut bacteria, or gut flora quite a bit these days.
Maybe youve even read a few articles on why you should pay attention to your gut bacteria and how important they are for your overall health.
You know that bad bacteria arent great for your healthBut now youre wondering how do I know if I have bad bacteria? Hint: you might have bad bacteria even if you dont have digestive issues.
Let me walk you through it!
Can I Get Probiotics From Food
You can absolutely increase beneficial microbes in your body from the foods you eat. Certain foods have probiotics in them and can benefit the health of your microbiome.
These foods can be introduced into your diet at any point of the day. You may even be regularly eating them now and not realize that they contain probiotics. You will want to check the food label for live and active cultures. A few suggestions for just some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet and some times to try them include:
For breakfast, try:
Probiotic supplements may be combined with a prebiotic. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that feed the microorganisms in your gut. Basically, prebiotics are the food source for the good bacteria. They help feed the good bacteria and keep it healthy. Prebiotics include inulin, pectin and resistant starches.
When you have a supplement that combines a probiotic and prebiotic, its called a synbiotic.
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Symptoms Of Imbalanced Gut Flora
Okay, so now that you know what different types of imbalanced bacteria you might have, what are some symptoms you might experience if you were to have any of these types of bacterial issues?
The symptoms that can accompany the different types of imbalance are quite diverse. However, there are a few general symptoms you can look for with the different imbalances that might clue you in to whether youre more likely to have one or the other.
Remember, though, that you can have these imbalances and have absolutely zero digestive problems some people just dont exhibit digestive symptoms even if they have a severe imbalance in their microbiome. But just because you dont feel digestive symptoms doesnt mean that an imbalanced microbiome isnt harming you its still having a negative impact on all your other body systems. Very important to take care of it even if you dont notice any digestive symptoms.
How To Improve Gut Health Naturally With Less Sugar
Sugar is everywhere, even when you cant taste it. Sadly, refined sugar can upset the balance in your gut and your metabolism.
If youre wondering how to get rid of bad bacteria in the gut, less sugar can help. Soft drinks, processed foods, takeaways, and restaurant food can contain high levels of sugar because it helps balance flavour and cover up poor quality ingredients. But dont get these sugars confused with complex carbs that your gut bacteria need to thrive and survive.
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How To Get Rid Of Bad Gut Bacteria: 12 Steps To A Healthier Gut
Imbalanced gut bacteria are the root of many chronic health problems. Learn how to bring balance back to your digestive tract.
If youve been suffering the symptoms of dysbiosis youre no doubt dying to know how to get rid of bad gut bacteria! Here Hannah, one of our nutritional scientists, breaks down 12 natural ways to kick those pesky bugs to the curb!
Gut health, specifically ridding yourself of bad gut bacteria, is an area of science gripping the health industry. I dont think Ive been this excited about advancements in science since the genetic code was sequenced.
With all the discussion on worst foods for gut health, reducing inflammation, and healing your gut naturally, how do you separate fact from fiction?
I first became interested in gut health when we adopted our second child. Autoimmune disease ran through his birth family, killing his birth grandmother in her 30s. The pregnancy months were unknown to us, he was born via c-section, was of low birth weight, and had to be on antibiotics for the first 10 days of his life.
Not only that, but, being adopted, we were unable to fully breastfeed him.
As a nutritionist, I conceptually understood the importance of gut health, but it wasnt until his birth that I really invested time into turning our diet around.
Take A Prebiotic Or Probiotic
Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet may be a great way to improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide food meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. People with bacterial overgrowth, such as SIBO, should not take probiotics. Not all probiotic supplements are high quality or will actually provide benefit. Its best to consult your healthcare provider when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to ensure the best health benefit.
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Healthy Gut Bacteria: Stress
Stress is also one of the most significant risk factors for IBS. The bodys stress response is governed by the HPA-axis. The HPA-axis is what prepares the body for the fight or flight response during a stressful event. The effects of the stress response are the same whether you encounter a bear or if youre speaking in public.
Youre probably familiar with the physical symptoms of stress such as butterflies in the stomach, insomnia, nervousness, and sweaty palms. But recent research has shown the bodys response to stress also affects the bacteria in your gut. In animal studies, mice raised without any intestinal bacteria respond to a mild stressor with increased stress response. Even more fascinating, the stress response in these mice was normal after their guts were colonized with beneficial bacteria.
Lowering your bodys stress levels can be as simple as taking a probiotic supplement. One study showed that taking basic lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species of probiotics were effective in boosting the subjects resilience to stress and improved emotional responses. This research suggests that there is a strong connection between the gut and the brain in determining the bodys stress response. Many researchers like to call this the gut-brain axis.
Check out my tips on the best probiotics for IBS.
Simple steps to reduce the amount of stress you experience
Find an option for stress management that works for you.
Eat High Fibre Foods That Fuel Your Gut
To ensure your body can produce as much good bacteria as possible, make sure youre eating fresh fruits and vegetables and foods that are high in fiber.
Remember your gut bacteria is influenced by what you eat, so its important to give it the best fuel so good bacteria grow to fight off bad bacteria. Eat lots of prebiotics , the food source of probiotics that help to grow helpful bacteria in your gut.
Heres a list of some high fiber foods that help grow good bacteria:
Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel bulb, green peas, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage
Chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans
Custard apples, nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate. Dried fruit
- Bread / cereals / snacks
Barley, rye bread, rye crackers, pasta, gnocchi, couscous, wheat bran, wheat bread, oats
- Nuts and seeds
Cashews, pistachio nuts
If youre looking for easy recipes that can fill your plate with good foods to fuel your gut check out our recent article here.
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Test Add Remove And Rebalance
All aspects of your dogs health are connected to his or her gut microbiome in some way. In this article we discussed the importance of testing your dogs microbiome composition to help you choose the best interventions for your dog. Microbiome testing will help you make productive choices for your pets health and allow you to address low diversity and/or imbalances early to help prevent numerous disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and obesity. This article outlines natural ways to add, remove, and change the presence and balance of microbes in your dogs gut. Please visit AnimalBiomes page to learn more about testing, the importance of the microbiome, and how AnimalBiome can help your furry friends.
Healthy Gut Bacteria: Diet
Diet has the greatest influence on the human microbiome. A healthy diet adds good bacteria to the digestive tract and feeds the bacteria already residing there.
Foods that are fermented supply the body with new bacterial colonies. These foods include:
Resistant starches act as food for the bacteria in our digestive tracts. These foods include:
- green bananas and plantains,
- cooked and cooled rice, and
- white potatoes.
Avoiding refined and packaged foods is a great idea for people with IBS. These foods more often than not contain ingredients that are not whole foods and can cause inflammation in your gut. This inflammation creates an imbalance in your bacteria.
Gut bacteria does change with dietary changes. Participants in a study tried two diets: exclusively plant-based and then exclusively animal-based. Their gut bacteria dramatically changed based on whether they were consuming high carbohydrates on the plant-based diet or high proteins on the animal-based diet.
There is a strong connection between IBS and undiagnosed celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. People with IBS are much more likely to be allergic or sensitive to wheat or gluten. This means that when gluten is eaten, the body attacks the proteins and causes inflammation, affecting the balance of good and bad bacteria.
I recommend patients with IBS start with a 30-day Paleo reset diet. A Paleo diet sets you up with the perfect foundation for healthy bacteria.
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How To Follow The Microbiome Diet
The microbiome diet has three distinct stages. In stage one, you’re undergoing the treatment phase in which you’re introduced to what to eat and what to eliminate. In stage two, you begin to add some foods back into your diet. In the final stage, stage three, you’re simply sustaining the diet over time and continuing to eat clean.
Proponents of the diet “also recommend adding certain supplements,” adds Titgemeier. Some of these supplements could include zinc, glutamine, berberine, caprylic acid, quercetin, garlic, grapefruit seed extract, wormwood, oregano oil, probiotics, and vitamin D. The claim is that by including supplements, you can potentially reduce inflammation, remove unhealthy bacteria, and improve gut health.
What Is Gut Health
What is a gut and what makes it healthy?
Your gut includes all the parts of your digestive tract: the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, large intestine , and rectum.
But theres more to your gut than your own tissues. You also have about 100 trillion bacteria living inside it! These bacteria play such an influential role in your overall health that they are often called the forgotten organ.
Many of the bacteria in your gut are friendly, meaning they support your overall health. Some gut bacteria are bad because they can make you sick and increase your risk for certain health problems even depression. This is why understanding how to kill bad gut bacteria is so important.
Gut health refers to how well-balanced these bacteria are and the overall function of your digestive system. Factors like stress and poor diet can throw off the balance between good and bad gut bacteria.
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No Dodgy Kebabs On The Microbiome Diet Menu
Greasy, processed food goes hand-in-hand with a boozy night out. Put them together and you have a recipe for digestive mayhem.
Weve all been there and eaten something which just didnt agree with our gut. Bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and incapacitating stomach cramps. In severe cases, it can be deadly. Thats why proper food handling and hygiene in restaurants is critical.
So its worth considering the possibility that your dodgy Saturday night takeaway may be a culprit in temporary digestive discomfort. When pathogens invade, they rapidly multiply and produce toxins. In turn, the gut lining reacts with inflammation. So if you are heading out to paint the town red, line your stomach before you go out and dont eat that dodgy takeaway.
What Is A Food Intolerance
The term food hypersensitivity refers to both food allergies and food intolerances .
A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy, although some of the symptoms may be similar.
In fact, it can be difficult to tell food allergies and food intolerances apart, making it important to speak with your doctor if you suspect you might have an intolerance.
When you have a food intolerance, symptoms usually begin within a few hours of eating the food that you are intolerant to.
Yet, symptoms can be delayed by up to 48 hours and last for hours or even days, making the offending food especially difficult to pinpoint .
Whats more, if you frequently consume foods that you are intolerant to, it may be difficult to correlate symptoms to a specific food.
While symptoms of food intolerances vary, they most often involve the digestive system, skin and respiratory system.
Common symptoms include :
Gluten is the general name given to proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale.
Several conditions relate to gluten, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.
Celiac disease involves an immune response, which is why it is classified as an autoimmune disease .
When people with celiac disease are exposed to gluten, the immune system attacks the small intestine and can cause serious harm to the digestive system.
Wheat allergies are often confused with celiac disease due to their similar symptoms.
- Sauces, dressing and gravies, especially soy sauce
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Can I Alter My Gut Bacteria And Improve My Health
More and more research is suggesting that our gut bacteria can influence almost every aspect of our health, from balancing our blood glucose to affecting our mood. So is there anything we can do to change this inner ecosystem for the better?
Popular probiotic products available readily in supermarkets, pharmacies and health food shops claim that there is. Unlike antibiotics, which kill harmful bacteria, probiotics are supposed to work by enhancing the quality and quantity of so called friendly bacteria in our guts.
Already in the UK we spend over £700 million a year on these products, but doubts still remain over how well they actually work. Can the microbes in them survive the perilous journey through the strong acid in our stomachs, which is designed to kill off dangerous bacteria in our food? And if they do survive to reach our intestines, can they compete with the families of bacteria already living there and set up home, populate and multiply?
We wanted to find out, so we worked with experts up and down the country to test three different approaches that, its claimed, can help us improve our gut bacteria.
Ecoli: Friend And Foe
E. coli has earned a bad name for itself. With good reason: E. coli is one of the most frequent causes of bacterial infections in humans. Enteritis, urinary tract infections, septicaemia and neonatal meningitis are just a few of this bacteriums gifts to mankind .
But the E. coli family is huge, with hundreds of members at present count. Most E. coli strains do not cause disease and naturally live in the gut. E. coli normally colonises an infants gut shortly after birth , adhering to the mucus layer of the colon. Its actually your most common facultative anaerobe . So if you get rid of E. coli, that leaves a big gap to fill.
Apart from opening up vast swathes of real estate in your gut and sending an open invitation to any microbe who might want to set up shop and proliferate, there are other reasons not to nuke E. coli. Commensal strains of the bacteria guard against potentially pathogenic invaders and significantly contribute to the development and training of the immune system in your gut .
E. coli also:
- create metabolic products that support the energy supply of the mucus layer in your colon
- generate short-chain fatty acids
- stimulate motility
- enhance blood circulation in the innermost layers of your colon walls .
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Do Probiotics Kill Bad Bacteria
Probiotics are often referred to as the “friendly bacteria” that live in the human gut. They can play a variety of important roles, including the production of vitamins and the prevention of certain intestinal disorders. These bacteria, which are essential for maintaining good health, can help decrease the bad bacteria in your gut that can cause infection or inflammation.