Did you know that a healthy gut may be able to help you navigate age-related hormonal changes? Each of us has trillions of microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal tract. Keeping all of those microorganisms happy and settled is the key to a healthy gut. When your system gets off balance, this condition is referred to as gut dysbiosis. At Pellecome, our Gut Integrity products may be able to help.
What Is Gut Dysbiosis?
The microorganisms living in the gut include bacteria, yeasts, and viruses. Each of these supports the body in different ways. But occasionally, one type of bacteria will start to take over. This sometimes happens when you’ve been on antibiotic medicine or if you haven’t been eating as healthfully as you should. Stress can also be a factor. Stomach irritation, nausea, bloating, and fatigue are all signs of dysbiosis.
The body can sort out small bacterial imbalances on its own, but sometimes patients need help in resolving dysbiosis.
How Long Does It Take to Heal Gut Dysbiosis?
Healing the gut after dysbiosis can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year, depending on the severity of your symptoms and the cause of your bacterial imbalance. You may be prescribed an antibiotic to treat dysbiosis, and if your imbalance is the result of a medication you’ve been taking, you may be asked to discontinue its use.
Patients are sometimes advised to make changes to their diet, particularly if their diet is believed to have caused the dysbiosis. Dietary supplements like the ones offered by Pellecome can provide nutritional support in balancing in your gut.
Why Is a Healthy Gut So Important?
A healthy gut contributes to your overall physical and mental health. It supports the immune system and the heart, makes it easier to digest food, and even helps you sleep and improves your moods. Keeping your gut in good shape is also important as both women and men progress through various hormonal stages.
A woman’s premenopause years are considered her reproductive years. During this time, the woman is still menstruating and her hormones are less prone to dramatic fluctuations. During premenopause, keeping up with your gut health is important because it’s a way of maintaining good overall health, which supports the reproductive system.
Perimenopause and Menopause
Perimenopause is a time in which a woman’s body begins to transition to menopause. Menstruation may become less regular as the reproductive years wind down. Perimenopause often starts when a woman is in her 40s, although some patients see signs of perimenopause during their late 30s. Once a woman has not menstruated for a year or more, she is considered menopausal and can no longer get pregnant.
How does gut health come into play during perimenopause and menopause?
Estrogen levels begin to become uneven during perimenopause, and this can start to influence the health of a woman’s gut. One of the many things that estrogen does is assist with digestion. That means that as estrogen starts to decline, you may need to work a little harder to keep your gut in good working order. For some patients, this may involve paying extra attention to their diet and making a conscious effort to consume fresh food and avoid excess sugar. Other patients find that a dietary supplement is a great way of supporting the gut during this period of transition.
Postmenopause is the phase women enter when they have not menstruated for a year. Some women continue to experience hot flashes and other symptoms of hormonal fluctuations for several years after passing through menopause. Postmenopausal women, because of their low estrogen levels, are sometimes at heightened risk of osteoporosis, and, again, good gut health is important during this time.
Believe it or not, a healthy gut also supports the bones. That’s because an efficient digestive system is better able to absorb the vitamins and nutrients needed to support bone health. Keeping your gut in balance is a good way of making sure your bones are getting the support they need.
Andropause, although not as well known as menopause, is a similar hormonal shift that takes place in men. Andropause, which usually starts around the time a man turns 40, involves the gradual decline in testosterone. Symptoms of andropause include reduced muscle mass, a decline in self-confidence, and for some men, enlarged breasts.
Maintaining gut health can be especially important during andropause. Scientists have found that there is a link between the gut and the body’s ability to keep producing hormones like testosterone. Keeping the gut in balance during andropause may help you keep reaping the physical and mental benefits of optimum testosterone levels.
Other Hormonal Deficiencies
We’ve talked a lot about how the gut can support both male and female bodies as they move through various age-related shifts, but did you know that a healthy gut has connections with much of what’s happening in our brain? A healthy gut, for example, may prevent the overproduction of thyroid hormones that can cause you to become irritable, anxious, and experience weight gain.
A gut that’s in good shape also works to make sure the body has an adequate supply of melatonin. Melatonin ensures that you can naturally and easily fall asleep at night. It helps the body maintain a regular cycle of sleeping and waking. When it’s working efficiently, the gut helps the body produce optimum levels of all of the key hormones. Those hormones help keep the body strong, healthy, and functioning at its best.
How Is Gut Dysbiosis Diagnosed?
Almost everyone occasionally experiences an upset stomach, bloating, or nausea, but if your symptoms become more serious or persistent, you’ll want to check in with your doctor. Your physician will review your medical history and evaluate your symptoms. You may be asked to provide a urine or stool sample for testing.
Your doctor may also suggest a hydrogen breath test, which will involve drinking a sugary solution and then blowing into a special balloon. This is a way of determining what gases may be in your breath, and whether or not there are signs of bacterial imbalance in your system.
What Other Symptoms Should I Watch For?
There are several different symptoms associated with dysbiosis, including difficulty sleeping, weight fluctuations, anxiety, burping, and skin irritations. Certain autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus, may also be a sign that your gut is not healthy.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Dysbiosis?
In addition to the discomfort associated with dysbiosis, it’s important to resolve this condition because it can lead to other health problems that extend beyond the digestive tract, including Type 2 Diabetes, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, acne, and Atopic eczema. If you’re starting to notice persistent symptoms of dysbiosis, don’t postpone seeking help from your doctor. Resolving this condition as quickly as possible is the best way of ensuring that it doesn’t develop into something more significant.
What Causes Gut Dysbiosis?
Poor gut health can be caused by several different medical and lifestyle factors, including the use of certain medications and stress.
Certain medications, even though we take them with the best of intentions, can erode the health of the gastrointestinal system. Antibiotics, for example, can destroy friendly bacteria even while working to heal the body, leaving the microorganisms in the gut out of balance. If appropriate, the physician working with you to improve your gut health may recommend abstaining from certain prescription medications while your system heals and renews itself.
An occasional drink or two won’t cause any damage, but excessive alcohol consumption can take its toll on the gut and lead to irritation and inflammation in the intestinal tract.
Like it or not, stress is a part of everyday life. But chronic stress levels make it difficult for your digestive system to work as efficiently.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene habits may allow bacteria to grow in the mouth and become out of balance. The bacterial imbalance can sometimes then be transported by saliva down to the gut. Gut health is yet another reason to keep up with your flossing!
What Steps Can I Take to Keep My Gut in Good Shape?
Are you ready to take proactive steps toward a healthier gut? Certain lifestyle habits, like eating carefully, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep can ward off gut dysbiosis and keep this part of your body working efficiently.
A Careful Diet
A conscientious diet that focuses on plant-based foods, probiotics, and prebiotic fiber is a great way of supporting your gastrointestinal system. What is prebiotic fiber? Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that supports the friendly bacteria in your gut. Asparagus, garlic, bananas, whole grains, and onions are all examples of foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt are all considered probiotics. Remember to chew slowly and thoroughly, which can also help with digestion. Sugar and unhealthy fats are good to avoid as they encourage the development of bad bacteria. Cutting back on alcohol consumption, or refraining from alcohol altogether, is also a good gut-health step to take.
Exercising is another great way of keeping your gut healthy. Even a modest amount of light exercise can go a long way toward good gut health.
Take a Dietary Supplement
A dietary supplement is an easy and convenient way of balancing the microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract, replenishing good bacteria, and boosting your immune system.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is good for the intestinal tract and supports good bacteria in the gut.
Get Enough Sleep
Everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep: it boosts your mood and helps you feel your best. But a good sleep schedule also keeps your circadian rhythms on track, which helps your gut. Getting adequate sleep also helps you manage the stress that can contribute to poor gut health.
Take the First Step Toward a Healthy New You
Would you like to put yourself on track for better long-term health, particularly as you navigate various age-related hormonal changes? Are you concerned that hormonal deficiencies may be keeping you from achieving your best health? The health of your gut is tightly linked to your overall health in many ways, so be sure to talk with your doctor about steps you can take to ensure good gut health.
At Pellecome, we offer a complete line of healthful products that can help you fight gut dysbiosis and improve your gastrointestinal system. Check out the products offered by Pellecome today and get your gut back on track!