A few months ago we arranged to spend a couple of hours over at our recently purchased home. We don’t actually move in until early September but we wanted to measure rooms and do some planning. As we left our townhouse we began running into our new future neighbors. Soon a crowd had formed and we almost met everyone on our street! This new community of ours is incredible! They were friendly, hilarious and offered up babysitting services for our toddler who was happily playing with all the neighborhood dogs.
Connection is huge for me and one of the biggest reasons for moving from Vancouver to the beachside city of Port Moody was COMMUNITY. As we drove away that day and my husband and I gave each other a look that said, ‘we are going to be soooo happy here!’
A supportive community has actually been shown in research to be extremely healthy for us but this goes beyond where we live to the microbe community that lives in and on us. I realize that might sound disgusting but I promise you the health of this incredible village (more like an empire) is essential to healing your inflamed belly and ending bloating once and for all.
WHAT IS OUR MICROBIOME?
The microbiome is a collection of bacteria, viruses and yeasts that live in and on us. These communities are especially abundant in our mouth, nose, ears, vaginal cavity and our colon (large intestine).
The trillions of microbes that reside within our colon is responsible for breaking down nutrients we can’t (like fibre), prevents bad microbes from taking up residence like Salmonella (commonly responsible for food poisoning), strengthening our immune system, balancing our mental health, etc etc etc. It’s actually a bit ridiculous how much this amazing community does when it is happy, healthy flourishing.
However, gut flora imbalance (meaning there are more ‘bad’ than ‘good’ microbes) can cause a variety of symptoms like excess gas, painful bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation and even frequent colds/infections, depression and anxiety.
CAUSES OF MICROBIOME IMBALANCE
The potential causes of gut flora imbalance are pretty vast;
- Antibiotic use (even 1 round decades ago!): wipes out the beneficial bacteria as well as the harmful.
- Heavily processed high sugar diets: this allows the bad guys to feast, thrive, push out the good guys and off gas considerably.
- Food sensitivities or gut triggers you haven’t pinpointed (yet!): creates intestinal inflammation making the home inhospitable. Check out this program!
- Medications (birth control pill, aspirin, ibuprofen, proton pump inhibitors). *Make sure you talk medication with your medical or naturopathic doctor before considering going off any of them.
- Food poisoning
- C-section birth: our microbiome is seeded via delivery through our Mother’s vaginal canal.
- Formula fed as a baby: breastmilk is perfectly designed for allowing baby’s gut flora healthfully thrive.
HOW TO REBALANCE YOUR MICROBIOME
Before your run to your nearest health food store and buy out their entire stock of probiotics we need to make sure you have created a hospitable un-inflamed place for the beneficial bacteria to lay their roots and create a happy home. Otherwise you are literally flushing those babies down the toilet.
First things first is to calm that painfully irritated gut down and make sure you are feeding the good guys well and starving out the bad guys. This involves replacing processed high sugar foods with nourishing whole foods (things your great grandmother would recognize as food). An excellent first step is my FREE 3 day meal plan for IBS Flare Ups.
Join the FREE Facebook Support Group: Natural IBS Support for exclusive trainings, recipes and remedies for repairing digestive inflammation