Have you ever felt that your gut was telling you something? Well, in a very real way, it is. Or rather, the microbes that live in your gut are telling you something about the health of your body and your brain. The fact is that the human body is made up of over 30 trillion cells, but roughly 100 trillion microbes including hundreds of different kinds of bacteria and yeast, live in our guts alone. That means that the majority of the cells in our bodies aren’t even human! Fortunately, these organisms, which are collectively known as the gut microbiome, do a lot of good things for us. They manufacture some of our necessary nutrients, like vitamins K and B12, biotin, folic acid, and thiamine. They facilitate hormones like serotonin to be produced. And they keep some bad guy bugs like E coli and salmonella, from getting into our systems and making us sick. All of the different microbes work together to keep us healthy and happy. Here is a good article about the gut microbiome http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290747.php
Unfortunately, sometimes the critters living in our guts get out of balance.
I recently got a test of my own microbiome (this involved collecting samples of my own poop, which was not the most pleasant process let me tell you!) What I discovered was that I don’t have many friendly bacteria, and I have lots and lots of yeast living in my gut. How did this happen and what does it mean for me? Well, the many years that I spent working as a pastry chef was certainly a contributing factor, as yeast LOVES sugar. The more sugar and processed carbohydrates like bread, pastry, pasta, cookies, and candy I ate, the happier the yeast was and the faster it multiplied. It crowded out the beneficial bacteria, which is usually able to keep yeast in check. I often have MONSTER sugar cravings that I feel powerless to resist-this is the yeast demanding sugar! Another possible cause for yeast overgrowth is the use of antibiotics. These drugs, while good for killing of a pathogenic germ making us sick, also kills off our good bacteria. Yeast isn’t bacteria, so it’s resistant to those drugs.
Some of the signs of too much yeast include cravings or addiction to sugars and high carbohydrate foods, digestive issues like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas, mood changes like anxiety or depression, toenail fungus, exhaustion and low energy, skin problems like dryness, eczema, hives, or rashes, and yeast infections. Here’s a good article about yeast overgrowth http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/10-signs-candida-overgrowth.html
Now the party is over for my yeast!
I have just embarked on a new adventure to mercilessly kill off the yeastie beasties living in my gut. It involves changing my diet to include more good fats, quality proteins, and carbohydrates from vegetables, resisting the cravings for sugar and starchy processed carbohydrates to starve the yeast of it’s preferred food, taking supplements that contain natural yeast killers, and adding probiotic supplements that add more of the good guy bacteria to bring things back into balance. It won’t be easy and I’m predicting a certain level of discomfort as I search and destroy, but in the end my long term good health and happiness will definitely be worth it.
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