When you consider that there are ten times more microbial cells in your body than human cells, it becomes clear that looking after your gut microbiome is important for your overall wellbeing.
Unstress Health asked Leah Hechtman, a naturopath with more than twenty years of clinical experience, and the author of one of the seminal textbooks on naturopathy, to share her knowledge of the gut microbiome through the lifecycle with us.
Your relationship with the bacteria that live in your gut is arguably one of the most important in your life. Leah shed some light on the topic for us.
Practical advice from Leah Hechtman
Definitions of common terms used when talking about the gut microbiome:
- Immune system: The body’s defence mechanism. It is the interface between the inner and the outer world, defending the body from harmful bacteria and viruses.
- Microbiome: The good bugs that live within the body. Maintaining the balance between good bacteria and harmful bacteria is essential for health. When you have a healthy microbiome all the systems in your body work well.
- Autoimmune diseases: A condition in which the immune system attacks the body. The root cause of a number of autoimmune conditions is an unhealthy microbiome. You may have a genetic predisposition to an autoimmune disease, but the genes responsible for the disease are only triggered when you have an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Probiotics: A probiotic is something that promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. It introduces the good bacteria into the gut.
- Prebiotics: A prebiotic provides the fuel required by the microbes to grow.
- Dysbiosis: An imbalance in good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Three tips for supporting our gut microbiome
- Be conscious of everything you are exposed to and everything you put into your body.
- Eat well to support gut health.
- Remove unnecessary chemicals from your environment.
Learn more from this article about the importance of a healthy gut microbiome throughout life and how to keep it healthy, based on Leah’s discussion with Unstress Health.
Further reading: Leah’s website Natural Health Fertility.