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  • Writer's pictureBrian Dooreck MD

Your Microbiome and You | Part 1 of 2

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


Healthy foods help your gut diversity, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system for you and the gastroenterology doctor
Blog based on Time's "What is Gut Health? Here's Everything You Need to Know About Gut Health"

What is the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or system?


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract does many things. It transports food, converts food into energy and nutrients, helps eliminate waste, and allows us to live. Pretty plain and simple. However, there is more to it. It is now known that the GI tract or GI system involves many components of immunity, emotional stress, chronic illness, and even cancer. Read more here.


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What is the Microbiome?


The bacteria and microorganisms that comprise the stomach and small intestines are called the microbiome. It is the "gut bacteria," in simpler terms. We can refer to it also as "gut health."


Bacteria and microorganisms that make up the stomach and small intestines are called the microbiome.

Fact


There are trillions (not millions, not billions, but trillions) of bacteria in the GI tract. There are also viruses, fungi, and non-bacterial microbes.


Bacteria in the GI Tract


The GI system is involved in more than just processing food. It is involved in and responsible for a significant part of our overall well-being. Our environments, food, and even behaviors influence it.


Everyone's Microbiome is Unique


Although everyone has a unique microbiome, there are underlying similarities, such as having a wide array of diverse organisms. The less varied your microbiome, the less "healthy" it is considered.


If there is less diversity in your microbiome, then more bacteria that are "associated" with the disease are seen in it. The direct relationship between the illness and bacteria is still evolving and not yet defined.


The less diverse your microbiome, the less "healthy" it is considered.

Bacteria and Inflammation


Bacteria have a role in inflammation. Some bacteria promote inflammation and cause it. Some bacteria protect against inflammation. This balancing act of "good" and "bad" bacteria serves us well to keep the inflammatory bacteria in check.


If this balance is offset, the inflammatory bacteria can produce metabolites and cause an inflammatory response. These metabolites can then cross the gut lining and enter the bloodstream, thus spreading inflammation throughout the body.


Bacteria and Disease


Specific bacteria of the gut have been linked to the following:


  • Decreased immunity

  • Asthma

  • Allergies

  • Diabetes

  • Heart disease

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • Cancers

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Schizophrenia

  • Dementia

  • Obesity


What causes your microbiome?


Specific bacteria of the gut have been linked to the following:


  • Food you eat

  • Vaginal delivery versus C-section

  • Breastfeeding

  • Environment

  • Emotional stress

  • Medications


A vaginal birth leads to a more diverse microbiome than delivery via Cesarean section. This is because the birth canal exposes a vast pool of various bacteria.


Healthy foods help your gut diversity, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system for you and the gastroenterology doctor

Breastfeeding, though somewhat familiar with mechanisms, has a proven benefit on many levels. One also includes benefiting gut bacteria.


The cleaner the society, the less exposure as a child to germs and bacteria that determine the microbiome and a healthy gut.



The established and evolving relationship between bacteria and the "gut-brain axis" is being researched. The two-way signals from the gut affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Thus, one's microbiome and mental state are suggested to influence each other.


The less diverse your microbiome, the less "healthy" it is considered.


Medications and my microbiome


Many medications affect the microbiome. The most common drugs that alter the gut are antibiotics. The issue is that they kill harmful bacteria and alter the bacterial flora by killing "good" bacteria. Thus, although life-saving medications, antibiotics can lead to allergies, other infections, or motility issues. The overuse of "casual" antibiotics should be avoided for this reason, not to mention the development of antibiotic resistance.


Overuse or "casual" use of antibiotics should be avoided.

Interesting to you?


What are the symptoms, and how to treat your microbiome? This continues in my next blog post as Part 2.


Personally


I eat a high-fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

Gut Health ➕ Patient Advocacy with Navigation ➕ Life Balance


If you were looking for information about Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy from Executive Health Navigation


Connect with Dr. Dooreck on LinkedIn, where he focuses his sharing on Health, Diet, Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle, and Balance.


 

gastroenterology | colonoscopy doctor | colonoscopy and gastroenterology services | gastro doctor | gi doctor | gastrointestinal diagnostic centers | public health

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