Why is the microbiome important?
Everybody’s microbiome is unique, but its impact on health and disease is the same. Some bacteria fight inflammation (which some scientists believe is the root of all disease), while others encourage it. When the microbiome is balanced, these two keep each other in check. But when that balance is out of whack, the inflammatory bacteria can take over and spread to other parts of the body, causing disease.
And it’s not just inflammation that you should be thinking about. Research has shown that your microbiome affects your overall health and wellbeing, too. Your gut plays a big part in your brain function, digestion, skin, sleep, weight, mental health and immunity (to name a few!). Fun fact: did you know 90% of your serotonin (the happiness hormone) is made in your gut? That means that your happiness literally depends on your microbiome.
What happens when my microbiome is out of balance?
We’ve been talking a lot about your microbiome being ‘balanced’ and this term is super important when thinking about your gut health. Basically, you’re always going to have some bad bacteria in your gut. There’s no need to stress because it’s totally normal, given you have enough good bacteria in there as well. Ideally, you’ll have a balance of good and bad bacteria in your microbiome, and the good keeps the bad in check.
Sometimes the gut microbiome can become imbalanced or disrupted, which can lead to all sorts of problems. This condition is known as ‘Dysbiosis’ and can be caused by stress, illness, being overweight, overdoing it on antibiotics and a poor diet. Some symptoms of dysbiosis include regular bloating, constipation, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea (eek!)
b) Leaky gut
We’re sure you already know how important diet is when it comes to keeping yourself feeling and looking your best, but it's also crucial when it comes to your microbiome. Highly processed foods, artificial sweeteners and sugar can weaken the barrier lining in our gut that keeps all those delicate bacteria safe. If our gut barrier lining is compromised, food and bad bacteria can escape into your bloodstream, where it can cause a whole lot of problems. This is known as ‘Leaky Gut’ and it can reap havoc on your immune system, energy, brain function and digestion.
c ) Inflammation
If bad bacteria leaks through your gut lining and enters your bloodstream, chances are your immune system will go on the attack, resulting in inflammation. This can get serious because many of the world’s illnesses have been linked to chronic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, obesity, heart disease and even cancer.