Many of my patients are shocked to learn that their microbome, this microscopic community that lives on and in them, plays such a vital role in their health and well-being, including their weight, their mental state, and their moods.
What most people don’t realize is that gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction or digestive problems can be the underlying issue for many seemingly unrelated problems–that is, conditions where the symptoms are not localized to the GI tract. Some skin conditions such as eczema, certain types of arthritis, some types of autoimmune diseases, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many non-specific symptoms may have their root cause in digestive problems. This section will have blogs related to digestion and keeping the GI system functioning optimally.
As a functional medicine physician, I’m used to helping my patients find the solutions to their health problems. When they start gaining weight and feeling fatigued, for example, I become a kind of detective, searching for clues as to how their diet and lifestyle might be interfering with their bodies need to achieve optimal function.
So, when I myself began putting on some extra pounds and struggling with late-afternoon exhaustion, I had to look at my own food choices.
The skin is your biggest organ and a window into what’s going on inside your body. Skin issues such as rosacea, eczema, acne, etc., are evidence that there’s something going on inside the gut. In layman terms: by fixing your gut, you can clear up your skin! It can be that simple.
If you need an extra reminder to how your gut and microbiome are directly connected to how the brain and mind functions, read these most popular articles from 2015.
When we travel, our natural rhythms can get off schedule, and it’s common to experience constipation. Some people’s systems can tolerate going “off-track” while on vacation and still feel vibrant and fresh, while most of us just can’t handle it! I find that the closer we stick to our “normal” routine, the more normal our bowels can be. Here are six tips to follow if you find that staying regular while traveling is nearly impossible … because it is possible to feel great during your entire vacation!
Your brain’s health is dictated by what goes on in your gut. That’s right: What’s taking place in your intestines affects not only your brain’s daily functions, but also determines your risk for a number of neurological conditions in the future.
The microbiome refers to all the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in or on your body – over 100 trillion microbes, plus their genes. More than 1 billion bacteria in just one drop of fluid in your colon alone. Your unique microbial footprint develops over your lifetime, and it reflects everything about you: your parents’ health, how and where you were born, what you’ve eaten (including whether your first sips were breast milk or formula), where you’ve lived, your occupation, personal hygiene, past infections, exposure to chemicals and toxins, medications, hormone levels.
We are now learning that differences in the various species of bacteria that live within the intestines actually have a profound role in regulating metabolism. For example, researchers have demonstrated that when fecal material (rich in intestinal bacteria) from an obese human is transplanted into the colon of a normal laboratory rat, the animal will gain significant amounts of weight even though its diet remains unchanged.
Today our featured guest is my friend Dr. Gerry Mullin, integrative gastroenterologist from John’s Hopkins and author of the exciting new book The Gut Balance Revolution. I recently sat down and chatted with Gerry about his new book—specifically about one of my favorite subjects, the profound influence of our gut microbes in health and weight loss. Here is what he had to say.
I was recently asked to give a short, 10 minute answer to the following question question: “What’s the #1 thing you recommend people do right now to maximize their health and wellness?”
This was part of a very special interview series with 26 of the world’s leading health experts and doctors, each giving their perspective in 10 minutes or less called. The interview series is call 10 Minute Wellness Tips (which you can get for free).