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Bacteria On Board!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bad gut bacteria can have an adverse effect on your health. Purva Indulkar helps you identify few signs to indicate that your digestive tract is unhealthy

You may not know it, but your gut has a fluctuating population of bacteria, which has a direct impact on your immunity and your nervous system. There’s good and bad stomach bacteria, and both exist in staggering quantities — the amount of bacteria in your stomach is almost 10 times the number of cells in your body! These bacteria are constantly fighting to eliminate one another and if the bad bacteria in your gut are on a winning streak, you’ll see the telltale signs that we’ve listed below.

Good gut bacteria helps to fight against allergens and protects you from food allergies. But, if all is not well with your gut, your brain receives false triggers, which will make your body react in unpleasant and often unpredictable ways. This can cause or aggravate allergies.

Do you feel tired even after eight hours of sleep? If all you did today was lounge around and watch television, and you’re still feeling tired and lethargic, you may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, and bad gut bacteria may be to blame for it.

Skin problems
Are you still battling with chronic acne, even though you’re well past your teenage years? If you have skin issues such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, it’s very likely that your digestive system isn’t functioning properly. More specifically, it’s failing to absorb certain nutrients from your diet.
Dr. Philip Abraham, consultant gastroenterologist at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Khar, tells us, “When any of these skin problems are accompanied by a loss of appetite, loss of weight and evidence of intestinal bleeding (vomiting blood, passing blood with stool or black stool), or if your
skin problems occur for the first time after the age of 40, the situation is alarming and needs quick attention.”

Tummy troubles
Do you often feel giddy after you eat? If you feel queasy when you’re in a moving vehicle, you’re suffering from motion sickness. But, if you feel uncomfortable even after you eat your daily meals, it may mean that your gut has lost its ability to perform basic digestive functions. And, if you feel constipated or bloated too often, it may be because there’s an unhealthy amount of bad bacteria present in your gut.

Replacing certain foods in your diet with healthier alternatives will help to increase the count of good gut bacteria in your system. Here’s what you can do if you suffer from stomach problems.

Foods such as caffeine and certain spices have an inflammatory effect on your system. Smoking on a daily basis also leads to inflammation. Consuming gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs or sugar can also trigger food sensitivities. So, you should cut down on the amounts of these foods in your diet.

If you suspect that the food items that you consume on a regular basis are causing discomfort, go two weeks without eating a specific type of food and observe your body’s reaction. Does your acne subside? Do you feel less nauseated during the day? Do you sleep better? This will help you identify the ingredient that is hindering your digestive operations and allow you to eliminate it from your diet.

Due to shifting diets, ageing and the consumption of harmful substances over the years, your body loses out on essential elements that aid in digestion. To get their beneficial effects back, consume foods that are gentle on digestive enzymes and stomach acid. Also, make sure that you eat foods rich in nutrients such as zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E.

In short, avoid harmful habits such as smoking and consuming excessive spice, and use elimination diets to determine what is affecting you (remember, elimination diets are not meant to be continued for long periods). Additionally, replace unhealthy food with healthier alternatives and make sure that you’re consuming all the nutrients your body needs.

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