3 Things That Can Cause an Imbalance in Gut Bacteria

What comes to mind when you hear the word “bacteria”?

Perhaps you think of disease. Contamination. Danger.

People tend to flinch when hearing the word because often we hear of bacteria in the negative sense of the word.

However, when it comes to gut health, it’s important to understand that there are both good bacteria as well as bad, and maintaining the diversity and quantity of the species of bacteria is essential.

Unfortunately, there are many elements of our modern lifestyles that affect the balance of bacteria in our gut in a negative way, sometimes even leading to a total eradication of certain species of bacteria.

Here are three lifestyle factors that could be disrupting the balance of bacteria in your gut…

#1: Tap Water

Often, tap water is treated with chlorine to help protect us against illnesses.

While this is done with good intentions, researchers are finding that the chlorine doesn’t just kill bacteria in our water–it kills bacteria in our bodies as well.

This makes it hard to maintain ideal bacterial flora in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, leading various issues that affect all systems in the body.

Additionally, tap water often contains fluoride, which negatively affects the lining of the gut as well as other organs.

For these reasons, aim to drink filtered water. You can buy a filter to connect to your sink from a range of online or brick-and-mortar shops.

#2: Antibiotics

Whether you’ve developed strep throat or a urinary tract infection, a common prescription provided by Western doctors is a course of antibiotics.

Although antibiotics can be important lifesaving medication, it’s important to know that antibiotics don’t discriminate when it comes to which kind of bacteria to kill in the body.

In addition to killing off the “bad” bacteria in the body, they will also kill off the good, which can lead to further complications.

That’s why it’s important to restore your good bacteria concurrently or when the course of antibiotics ends.

You can do this by taking probiotics–contact our office today to learn more about what kind of probiotic supplements can benefit you.

#3: Artificial Food Coloring

From M&M’s to cakes, food coloring is added to different foods to make them more presentable or festive.

Many food colorings have demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties, which have been seen as a positive attribute and, therefore, used to market these items.

However, since many food colorings are created through synthetic processes, there’s a risk that they can disrupt the natural order of microflora in the body.

Luckily, there are ways to make natural food coloring at home–simply Googling “natural food coloring” will provide you with a plethora of at-home recipes.

It’s important to be aware of these common factors in our modern lifestyles that can cause damage to our guts.

From purchasing a water filter for your sink to taking probiotics with a course of antibiotics, taking steps to maintain good gut health will be completely worth it.

I’m more than happy to speak with you further about how to maintain a proper balance of bacteria for optimal gut health. Contact our office today to learn more!

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