As we progress through life, we’re made aware of just how fragile the body is. It comes alongside the knowledge of just how strong it is, which we witness each day. This paradox is possible by the sophistication behind our bodily organs and systems.
It is only when they are not functioning properly that we tend to make a point of understanding them. However, it would be wise to pay active attention to how our bodies function. By taking notice of the feedback, our bodies provide, as well as doing what we can to minimize damage; we enable optimal health.
Even small practices or daily changes can make a substantial difference in improving health. One system in the body that is heavily influenced by daily choices is the digestive system.
The importance of the Gut Microbiome
The human gut microbiome describes the internal contents of the digestive system. Archaea, bacteria, viruses, and microbes make up the microbiome. Current and extensive research over time has concluded that the gut microbiome impacts the body in various ways. Immunity, metabolic function, protection against viruses, and diverse extent of physiological function are affected. Meaning, the microbiota may directly or indirectly impact all functions in the body.
As studies have continued to emerge, we have gained a broader understanding of how the microbiome is structured. New ways that the gut impacts overall health and vice versa are likely not yet entirely realized. It’s critical that as information is learned, that we take matters into our hands and do what we can with what is recommended.
Indications of an Unhealthy Gut
The dangers of an unhealthy gut go far beyond stomach discomfort. The gut microbiome is complex, and the ways it impacts the body are no exception. The following conditions are all associated with an unbalanced gut.
Digestive problems: Digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating may be a direct result of a gut issue. A more severe impact on the digestive functions may be the onset of more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Chronic fatigue: Severe and ongoing fatigue can occur if there is damage to the intestines. Anemia may also be a related side-effect.
Skin irritation: Studies of a system recognized at the gut-skin axis are responsible for the link between skin and the gut microbiome. Skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, acne, and general inflammation can occur.
Increased sugar cravings: If the wrong kind of bacteria compromises your gut bacteria, it will release hormones that make you hungry for more harmful foods. Sugar specifically feeds bacteria that causes the release of these hormones.
Hormonal imbalance: The gut interacts with testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen levels.
Sleep problems: Serotonin, which helps to regulate sleep patterns, is influenced by the gut.
Food sensitivity: The seemingly random onset of food sensitivities may be a sign of suffering gut health. It has to do with the possibility that contents from the intestines may leak into the body. Leakage may possibly occur if it is inflamed or clogged by buildup. The body will recognize contents that belong outside of the intestines as dangerous and therefore attack them. Once the immune system becomes defensive, it can cause an allergy or intolerance.
Mental health changes: Mood disorders, anxiety, and depression have all share a link to the health of the microbiome. A critical neurotransmitter that regulates these sorts of mental health conditions is available entirely in the digestive tract.
Autoimmune disorders: A specific type of gut microbe shares a link with the onset of autoimmune disease. The presence of the autoimmune disease links with a possible leakage from the intestines into the bloodstream.
Joint inflammation: Joint and bone conditions are related to the gut, as well. It shares a link with osteoarthritis and dysbiosis.
Weight changes: Gut microbiota has a direct role in obesity. However, weight fluctuations, in general, may have to do with digestive health.
If you want to know more about your gut health, consult with your doctor. However, if you want a brief insight based on the basics, take our quiz.
Regardless of the health of your gut, there are things you can do to improve your health. For practicality’s sake, let’s investigate kombucha.
Can Kombucha Help?
Kombucha is far from a new substance. Its uses date back thousands of years. It’s a type of tea that ferments with a cluster of bacteria and yeast, usually into a black or green tea for a week or longer. An acid containing alcohol and gases cause carbonation during the fermentation process.
Once the fermentation has run its course, a film forms on the surface of the liquid. This film is where the benefits of the gut microbiome remain contained.
Whether or not we can completely confirm the probiotic benefits of kombucha, it may indeed contain lactic acid. Lactic acid could be the component that mimics the function of probiotics, which is repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria. It’s possible that kombucha may aid with poor gut health systems.