Gut Microbiome and Optimal Health

How Diverse is your Gut Microbiome?
It’s a question that’s coming up more often. More and more researchers are suggesting that changes in our gut microbiome are the reason for our kids being more obese and why a lot of people cannot lose weight. More and more research points to our diet and our environment. My experiences in my clinic with patients make me come to the same conclusion.
The Microbiome
It is a collection of microbes that live in our gut, skin and bodily fluids. The majority of the microbes do not harm us or sickness. Research is telling us that things like being overly clean and antibiotics are damaging our biodiversity. This sort of harm leaves us open to developing a variety of conditions like depression, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia.
Gut Microbes, Anxiety and Depression
It’s a big deal, and it’s one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Studies have shown that having a healthy social life improves the health of the gut microbiome. A lot of people want to point to the fact that we are becoming more of a technologically driven society. A recent survey suggested that we are so addicted to our smartphones and are willing to give up sex if we had to choose between the two. I would agree that wanting to watch television or social media over “real” social interaction has an impact on one’s mental health, but I would also argue that so does our gut microbiome. In my office, I have helped people improve their gut microbiome and not only have I seen them have more energy, but I have seen them feeling a lot better. Now I wouldn’t say that improving gut health is a replacement for psychological treatment, but I would argue that it could only help one in improving their mental health.
How to achieve Gut Biodiversity
Cut down on processed foods and artificial sweeteners. Adopting a diverse diet that would include lots of fruits and vegetable would be a good start. It’s also important to figure out if you have any food sensitivities. Many people have sensitivities to certain foods, and they don’t even know it. An example of this is for a long time my wife had bananas in her diet which she had a sensitivity to. If you need more help, contact my office for an appointment.

Dr. Shah, MD