A balanced gut microbiome is one of the most important factors for a healthy digestive system. While you may have heard of the gut microbiome, you might be unsure of how it affects your body as a whole.
The gut microbiome is a colony of healthy bacteria and fungi that live within the intestinal tract. This microbiome serves several functions in the body, but primarily digests and metabolizes your food. Other functions include regulating immune function, fighting off pathogens, and reinforcing the barriers of your intestines.
The bacteria and fungi that live in your gut are significantly higher in number than your cells. So, an imbalanced gut microbiome may lead to various conditions.
Let’s dive into greater detail about the role of your gut microbiome and why it’s crucial for your health.
The Importance of Your Gut Microbiome
For a healthy digestive and immune system, it’s essential to maintain “microbiome diversity”, or a diverse collection of microbial species. A lack of diversity in your gut’s natural microorganisms has been linked to several conditions, including:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coeliac disease
- Atopic eczema
- Psoriatic arthritis
What Causes Poor Gut Microbiome Diversity?
A lack of gut microbiome diversity may stem from a variety of different reasons. Common causes include long-term antibiotic use, an unbalanced diet, a lack of exercise, irregular sleep patterns, and co-morbidities.
Antibiotics target specific bacteria in the body and may eradicate healthy gut bacteria. So, if you’ve taken antibiotics and are experiencing digestive problems, it may be time to talk to a physician.
Dr. Kavita Rao and her team are experienced in helping patients achieve microbial balance through well-rounded treatment plans. With an integrative approach to gastrointestinal discomfort, you can achieve greater digestive and immune health. Contact us today for a consultation!