5 Steps for Balancing and Maintaining Gut Flora
Before jumping into any suggestions; allow me to talk about ‘dysbiosis’ for just a moment …. especially if you’re not familiar with that term.
Dysbiosis a.k.a. dysbacteriosis, although most commonly reported in the digestive tract, is essentially an imbalance in the body’s microflora which occurs in the mouth, vagina, and skin. While there seems to be an antibiotic treatment, believe it or not, called rifaximin, there are ways to assist the body with restoring balance without it.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the known causes:
the use of antibiotics
the use of steroids
poor health | immune instability
altered gastric secretions
digestive disorders i.e. IBS and ulcerative colitis
Interestingly enough, if we were to be honest about everything mentioned in the list above, it all comes down to stress; therefore, dysbiosis is brought on by some type of stress which does nothing but stress the body even further, stimulating the production of oxidative stress and ultimately leading to inflammation a.k.a. health issues….
Therefore, it’s wise to begin with mentioning what stress really is … a built-n protection mechanism, found throughout nature. In fact, it is how plants and animals survive Stress is where the system produces chemicals that protect an organism from outside threats as well as creates changes within for the sake of reproduction, sleep, digestion and so on. (and something we discuss at length in both Digestzen and Aromatherapy as a Lifestyle)
With this in mind, one of the biggest components to digestion is acetylcholine which is also used to activate ‘fight or flight’. How is acetylcholine involved with digestion? Well, first of all, it’s used in the production of hydrochloric acid which is diminished when the body is stressed and HCL is needed in the regulation of gut flora. So, it seems only logical to mention
5 Steps for Balancing and Maintaining Gut Flora
introduce HCL into the system by taking a supplement i.e. Betaine plus HP which improves hydrochloric acid levels as well as supports the breakdown of protein
support the body with such essential oils as marjoram sweet, ginger root, black pepper and palmarosa as they soothe the autonomic nervous system and support digestion including lipid metabolism. Why is this important? Because as we soothe the ‘fight or flight’ response, controlled by the autonomic nervous system, we create the opportunity for the body to release acetylcholine for digestive purposes. That said, begin with these oils; however, black pepper is contraindicated with certain medications.
avoid fermented foods and probiotics … I know this goes against what others are saying; however, to add beneficial bacteria to the system does not restore balance .. it increases the imbalance. Keep in mind balance means a little of everything … not too much of ‘good’ in order to overshadow the ‘bad’. Not to mention, probiotics activate the immune system which is not necessary and counterintuitive with autoimmune and chronic health issues. Why is it ‘counterintuitive’? Because when the body is battling ‘bad bacteria’, that means the immune system is already hard at work. It doesn’t need to be taxed even further ….
eat plenty of cooked veggies as they are easy on the digestive system and provide the bacteria with the fiber they need to thrive. Onions and garlic are also good food sources / prebiotics …. Ideally, having a diet of wholesome foods from veggies and meat (if you eat meat) to a variety of nuts and seeds will help keep gut flora in check until the body is able to regulate itself. In the meantime, avoid refined sugars, processed carbs and consuming a lot of fruit.
Beets, butter, walnuts, avocados and sweet potatoes are excellent for nourishing the liver
I’m not providing a comprehensive list of foods in order to keep this process unique to you…
avoid or reduce your use of antibacterial products … say what? Antibacterial products are no different than antibiotics other than the fact that we don’t need a prescription to get antibacterials and what we know is antibiotics contribute to dysbiosis. Why? Because ‘they’ cannot distinguish between ‘beneficial and bad’ bacteria … they just kill off bacteria. While you may not be taking an antibiotic or two, you may be getting them in your dairy and meats. What’s more, the number of antibacterial products on the market are off the charts from soaps to mouthwash and everything in between. Besides this, many products include chemicals that increase the permeability of the skin (another point we talk about in Aromatherapy as a Lifestyle). What concerns me is these ‘uptake’ chemicals are hastening the rate at which we’re getting these antibacterials which is compromising the entire system… not just the gut. Not to mention, oral flora reflects gut flora and if you have dental health issues, it’s a sure sign the digestion is in need of help. While the immediate concern may be being thwarted by antibacterial mouthwash, the overall issues are not; yet, there are ways to improve dental health without pricey dental products which not only improves the health of your mouth, it also promises to remedy systemic health as well. That’s right, I’m saying it is possible to improve oral health with diet and essential oils .. another hot topic in Aromatherapys as a Lifestyle Please know that when I say antibacterial .. I’m not just talking about mouthwash .. I’m referring to hand cleaner, etc which again can be managed with essential oils.
What’s interesting is health is essentially simple and why I only make so many suggestions. I have witnessed many people restore their experience of health and wellness by following a few simple steps like these. The truth is the body has the ability to heal when we relieve the stress; that’s not to say we don’t have our fair share of health issues which is why you are invited to join my email list so that you will receive notification of new videos and posts like these. Not to mention, when you sign up you also receive an essential oil dilution chart and 60 minute video on essential oils and medications … sign up today!