A Healthy Gut is the Key to a Healthy Body
When it comes to digestive health, most people fail to take a proactive approach, only thinking about their gut when it’s causing them discomfort. A swig of pink bismuth and a couple antacids, and we return to our normal routine. Only when the discomfort becomes chronic do we seek out answers. What we fail to understand is that a healthy gut is the key to a healthy body. Taking proactive steps to ensure a healthy gut can result in positive changes in your overall health.
If you experience regular digestive trouble, you are not alone: nearly 74% of Americans have digestive distress, but have not sought care from a doctor. We do seek doctor care for allergies, eczema, and arthritis. However, having a healthy gut can prevent you from visiting a doctor for those conditions in the first place.
Your Gut and Your Immune System
Nearly 70% of your immune system resides in your gut! It should be no surprise, then, that an imbalance in your digestive system can deteriorate your overall health. There is a very good reason for your intestinal tissue to be part of your immune system: it is responsible for containing the digestive acids and bacteria that would otherwise overwhelm your body.
When most people hear the word “bacteria,” they think of it as something harmful. However, there is good bacteria as well as bad. There are five hundred species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut. Without the good bacteria in your gut, your body would be unable to break down and extract nutrients from food. Maintaining the proper ratio of good bacteria is an important key to a healthy gut.
That is why the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics for viruses (such as the common cold and sinus and ear infections) can wreak havoc on your body. Antibiotics are wonderful, life-saving drugs, but they don’t discriminate: they wipe out all the bacteria in your body, both good and bad. A recent study found that just one week of certain antibiotics disrupted patients’ gut microbiome for up to a year.
Your Gut and Your Brain
Have you ever had a “gut feeling” or felt “butterflies” in your stomach? That is because your gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Your gut, in fact, contains more neurotransmitters than your brain. There is constant communication between your gut and your brain, and an imbalance in one or the other (such as too much bad bacteria or stress) can create illness in the other.
Heartburn, PPIs and Health Risks
Proton pump inhibitors (also known as PPIs) are a commonly taken pharmaceutical drugs for the relief of heartburn—some notable brands being Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium. Recent studies show that PPIs could be as harmful to gut bacteria as antibiotics in the way they inhibit the gut microbiome. PPIs have long been associated with other health risks like kidney disease, heart disease and cancer.
Anchor Wellness Center: Helping You Achieve a Healthy Gut and Healthy Body
With the help of Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM, you can restore your gut to a healthy balance. Dr. Malhotra is Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (832) 246-8437.