Single-celled bacteria living in and on our bodies outnumber human cells by anything upwards of 5-1. Latest estimates put our bodies at 37 trillion human cells and our microbiomes — as our ‘bugs’ are collectively called — at 100 trillion. That’s right, our skin, guts, mouths and noses, along with every other body surface, are home to 100,000,000,000,000 microscopic bugs.
A microbiome is ‘the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space.’
The typical human microbiome is said to represent about 1,000 different species, with wide variation from one person to the next. If it’s still hard to fathom just how big a single microbiome is, consider this – each microscopically small and seemingly weightless microbe, when combined with its trillions of friends, weighs anything upwards of 2 kilos.
So, you have an environment full or organisms living in your gut and intestines. This ‘garden’ of flora help with digestion of certain foods ensuring we get the nutrients we need.
It is commonly purported that ‘the basis of all health and cause of disease starts in the gut’. And more and more evidence is coming out backing up that claim. So, you need to ensure you’re doing the ‘gardening’ and taking care of all those friendly bugs in your gut.
Restoring the microbiome when it’s out of sync is not a simple process. Each person is unique, like their genome, the complexity of variations is immense. Think of it like compost – a moderately good level of acid, nitrate, mineral, heat, dark – and it will flourish, and. like soil it will take hard work, time, and constant persistence every minute to nurture a small change and fight out the invaders.
Don’t be disheartened early on, progress is slow and any latency causes great setbacks. .
Gardening our gut
- Assess for serious issues – such as Coeliac Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Growths/Polyps, Ulcers, Gastritis, Malignancy.
See your GP and investigate. If you have gut symptoms, especially new changes to gut function, get a clear diagnosis first. Investigate all new blood or mucous in the stool, bloating constipation or prolonged diarrhoea, or unexplained weight loss.
- Weed – first destroy a load of overgrowth – yeasts, parasites, bacteria. If your garden is full of weeds, there is no point buying new expensive plants and adding fertiliser, without cleaning up the invaders.
To destroy these we need to identify the bugs – so test for stool parasites, ova and casts. A full digestive stool analysis is available, it is costly and only usually used when things aren’t improving as expected.
Then consult with a healthcare practitioner – GP or naturopath – to ensure the treatment is correct and tailored for you.
- Seed –Repopulate with appropriate probiotics and pre-biotics. Fermented foods such as saukraut and kefir are fabulous.
- Feed –Determine allergy load – decide whether to eliminate and reintroduce ceratin food groups and tweak and adjust depending on your response. This takes time and patience and often the care of a well trained practitioner.
- Orchestrate –A garden needs sunshine, water, rest from attack and good nutrition, and so do we. Our state of mind, activity, rest and recovery are essential for health.
A healthy gut microbiome is essential and is a lifelong journey.
Natural Chemist offer consultations with qualified practitioners who can help you get your gut back on track. Call now for an appointment: 1300 882 303
References available on request