Doctor's Notes

Posts Tagged ‘probiotics’

When I talk about belly bugs, technically known as gut microbiota, I usually talk about them in terms of digestive function and treating gut problems like IBS, IBD, constipation or bloating. But now there are new studies from Nature.com exploring the effect of the microbiota on mental health. Mind Control, science fact. The highlights are that a vaginal birth can affect a baby's tendencies toward anxiety or depression. The microbiome passed to the infant through the vaginal tract is important and if babies are born via C-section (and not receive the mother's bacteria) they are more likely to have anxious and depressive moods. And this can continue to be true for the entirety of their lives. Another study showed that the lack of the bacteria Bacteriodes fragilis in a mouse's digestive system caused autism-like symptoms. When replaced, the bacteria the mice recovered normal behavior and digestion. Furthermore - a bacterial product found in their blood was injected into normal mice who then displayed the autism-like symptoms. All this leads me to deduce that bacteria are amazing at mind control! [caption id="attachment_171" align="alignright" width="134"] Healthy Digestion and Mental Health Depends on your Microbiome[/caption] The article linked above also discusses leaky gut and its role in allowing… Read more > So you think you react to what you eat. Perhaps you have a food intolerance, or allergy, or sensitivity? How do you uncover your food reactions? The medicine around food reactions is changing. It used to seem so black and white: you have a peanut allergy, which is obvious, or you don’t. But these days we have blogs and news and conversations around other types of food reactions. First: lets start by breaking down the potential reactions to food you or your loved ones may be experiencing! Food Allergy This one seems familiar, although relatively uncommon. An allergy is typically an immediate-type reaction to a food. This one can also be very dangerous in the most severe forms. They may begin to swell in their airway and this can become a medical emergency. The most common allergies are peanuts and shellfish. Food sensitivity Hmmm, does this one exist? I have read a few well-meaning web articles that want to convince me that there is no such thing as a food sensitivity, especially in regard to gluten. However in my clinical practice I see food sensitivities every day! These are more delayed-type reactions. They can occur from 1 hour to several… Read more > Many people come to me with very unhappy bellies. Seriously. Their bellies cause them a terrible amount of pain and severely disrupt their quality of life. Because of their bellies they are missing work, missing sleep, depressed or at just at their wits end. I see people with inflammatory bowel disease like crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other functional bowel conditions like gastroesophageal reflux or constipation. The approach to assessment and treatment of each person is unique. It has to be! Everyone is different! After a full health history and various lab tests there are general treatment objectives and questions I ask myself: Remove Are there foods that are causing dysfunction, are there bad belly bugs that are infecting the gut or altering its ability to detoxify environmental inputs? Replace Are there nutrients or factors missing required for proper digestion? Reinoculate What happy belly bugs need to be reintroduced to help digest food, crowd out the bad belly bugs and make nutrients essential for health? Repair Is the gut lining damaged, are there food particles getting through into the blood and exposed to the immune system? Rebalance What other factors are influencing digestive and overall health? Are… Read more > Hi Erica, if I'm eating no yogurt, other than taking supplements, how can I ingest probiotics through normal food? Is it only in fermented foods like sauerkraut? During the elimination detox I didn't eat any fermented foods. Does that mean we can be healthy from a diet without probiotics? Good question! In my opinion we can be healthy without taking probiotics. The microflora (bugs found in probiotics!) that are good for our body are found in many types of food, but the best sources are fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, home made yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, etc. The little bugs live in our bellies, on our skin, in our noses and everywhere else. They are quite capable of keeping balanced and healthy in a robust body system. However, when our systems are out of balance or we are exposing ourselves to things that affect the health of our microflora (chlorine from our drinking water, air pollution, toxic metals in our bodies, nutrient poor foods and on and on) then they get killed off and other less friendly bugs can take their place which can create symptoms or disease. So: I see taking probiotics or having a healthy diet that includes fermented foods… Read more >