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Things You Don't Know About Gut Health

At Sweet Strength in Mt. Pleasant, SC, we stay abreast of the latest scientific discoveries and use that information to improve lives by helping people change their lifestyles with diet and exercise. One rapidly evolving area of study is gut health. Many of the newer studies focus on the gut microbiome. It describes the collection of bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms that live in and on the body. There are more microbes than there are cells. They number in the trillions. The microbiome has beneficial microbes that live in synergy with the body.

Your diet affects your gut microbiome, which affects your gut and general health.

Factors like medications, diet, exercise patterns, and environment can affect it and change it. For instance, eating food high in insoluble fiber can boost beneficial microbes. While you can't digest it, it's food for the microbes. In turn, they release substances that protect the lining of the intestines. The gut microbiome is a second immune system that helps prevent diseases.

Lactose intolerance may be helped by encouraging lactic acid bacteria in the gut.

Lactose is milk sugar. Your body produces lactase to digest it. Lactose is milk sugar. As people age, the lactase production gene in many shuts off. The lactose isn't broken down in the small intestine and goes to the large intestine. There, water enters to lower its concentration, producing diarrhea. Microbes then consume the lactose, creating a byproduct of gas that causes bloating. While lactose intolerance is genetic, recent studies show that introducing lactic acid bacteria into the gut microbiome helps. They don't produce gas or cause bloating but produce harmless lactic acid.


Your gut health can help determine your mental health.

There's a link between gut health and mental health. The microbes in the gut can increase the likelihood of depression or keep it at bay. They play a role in creating chemicals that signal the brain to stabilize the mood, like serotonin. Exercise can increase the beneficial microbes, and so can a healthy diet. It may be why both can also affect mental health. A diet high in sugar and processed foods alters the microbiome and can lead to emotional problems.

  • Your diet affects your microbiome, and your microbiome affects your weight. The population of your gut microbiome can help or hinder weight loss. There's a connection between the increase of beneficial microbes and weight loss.

  • Stress can negatively affect the microbes in the gut, causing illness. What stress doesn't do is cause ulcers. The bacterium H. pylori or the prolonged use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin cause ulcers by interfering with the mucus lining protecting the stomach.

  • The acid in your stomach is strong enough to burn skin. The stomach has a mucus lining that protects it, but the esophagus doesn't. That leads to acid reflux and other conditions, like chronic sinus infections.

  • Your gut plays a vital role in your overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes stress management, adequate sleep and hydration, a well-balanced diet, and regular activity is good for your gut and entire body.

For more information, contact us today at Sweet Strength!

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