Does bad gut bacteria trigger stress?

Does bad gut bacteria trigger stress?


All diseases start in the gut, stated Hippocrates, the father of medicine. This means that most diseases start in the gut because of an imbalance in gut microbiomes. Intestine is one of the largest organs; it harbours trillions of microbiomes which maintain intestinal integrity while aiding in digestion, food absorption of trace elements like vitamins, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Gut microbiomes are called the second brain as it is in communication with our central nervous system for production of neurohormones.

An imbalance in gut microbiomes can be held responsible for immune related disorders like colitis, small intestine bacterial overload, obesity, sleep disorder and stress.

The gut consists of a small and large intestine. Both the intestines are home to 100 trillion bacteria which are known as gut flora. It is incredibly important to keep the gut flora healthy for the overall health of a person. Our gut bacteria have individual roles to play to maintain the balance in our body. Certain bacteria are useful for digestion as they destroy harmful bacteria that cause an imbalance or obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer, etc. Eubiosis is a term in medicine that denotes a healthy balance between these good gut microbiome and bad microbiomes. If this fine tilt is towards bad microbiome, it results in dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) and disease.

Many recent researches have shown a close link between gut health and sleep. Gut microbes are responsible for intestinal absorption of important vitamins.

These vitamins are responsible for neuronal regeneration. The intestinal microbiome produces and releases many of the sleep-influencing neurotransmitters — dopamine, serotonin, melatonin and GABA — that are also produced by the brain.

These hormones are responsible for ensuring that the body gets adequate sleep. If there is an imbalance in the gut bacteria, it results in neurohormonal imbalance leading to sleeplessness and eventually triggers stress.

An imbalance in gut flora could be caused due to an injudicious use of antibiotics, consumption of food containing pesticides, junk food and soft drinks. These factors could cause an alteration of gut flora resulting in neurohormonal imbalance.

The diet and the environment that you live in have a profound effect on the composition of your gut microbiota. 

For better health we need a well-balanced gut microbiota for daily physical functioning, metabolism, digestion, and immune function. Here are some tips for a healthy gut:

Balanced diet: It is essential to consume more high quality and nutrient-dense food, drinks, and supplements, in an appropriate portion. Consuming plenty of plant-based foods and lean protein can positively impact your gut.

Reduce stress: Indulge in exercise, yoga and meditation, diffuse essential oils, decrease caffeine intake and engage in joyful activities.

Use probiotic supplements: Probiotic drinks or ingesting certain foods like yoghurt that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut can help in improving the imbalance in gut bacteria.

Check for food intolerance: Any food intake that causes acid refluxes, cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rashes, nausea, and fatigue is a result of food intolerance which must be avoided.

Human gut is very complex in nature and it is proven that gut health impacts overall health of a person.

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