Gut Love With Probiotics

The word “probiotic” is a Greek word, which means “for life.” It is the beneficial bacteria that live in the human intestinal tract.  But the fact that the word probiotic has become more commonly used in the past several years is something to consider because we all know that years and years ago, man wasn’t popping these babies on a daily basis.  Instead, they had learned to preserve and culture or ferment their foods and in this process it created natural forms of what we consider probiotics.

But these days, most of us aren’t culturing and fermenting foods like kefir, yogurt and vegetables regularly and are significantly lacking the variety and amount of good bacteria that our gut health needs in order to handle stress, breakdown and metabolize our food and empower our immunity.  So probiotics are a quick and easy source of gut healing, health and therapy for just about everyone, especially if you have EVER taken antibiotics, traveled, taken birth control pills, consumed modern-day gluten, pasteurized dairy, alcohol, non-organic foods or sugar.  So I’d say that’s probably everyone. right?! 

Probiotic capsules are available in drugstores and health food stores.   Fermented foods usually have bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which are the main probiotics found in the intestinal tract.  This could be why some folks respond better to some probiotics than others.  

By strengthening your digestive system with probiotics, it can help with different health conditions such as urinary tract infections, cancer, food allergies, bacterial vaginosis, eczema, vaginal yeast infections, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Every species of bacteria has different strains. Some strains are weak and cannot kill or survive pathogenic bacteria.  Others probiotic strains are strong and resilient, capable of obstructing pathogenic bacteria and surviving passage through the upper gastrointestinal tract.  This means that you should use products made by companies that have performed the necessary research to guarantee their product’s viability. You have to be a wise buyer when purchasing probiotic supplements or any supplement for that matter which is something we talk a lot about in my coaching sessions with people.  Not every supplement or probiotic is great for every person.

Probiotic supplements can also help treat and prevent diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics.  When I went through treatment for chronic Lyme disease, I took a ridiculous amount of antibiotics every single day for 31 straight months.  No, I am not kidding.  I hated it but I hated the Lyme disease and the dysfunctions it produced and created in my mind and body more.

This picture above was the amount of medications and supplements I took for about half of my time in treatment or about a year and a few months.  All of the products behind me on the elevated benches to my right and left are probiotics.  The ones in the blue and white boxes to my left were prescription grade and years later, I believe these saved me from so many more problems than I would have endured from the antibiotics without them.  

I prioritized my gut health over every other aspect of my healing because I knew the problems that my treatment was creating to my body despite the battle against the Lyme bacteria and co-infections that took precedence in my specific case and situation.  Probiotics supported my gut health priority as well as my diet and gut supporting supplements and therapies.  

A common belief is that acidophilus supplements offer no benefit if consumed during antibiotic therapy, but research actually recommends the use of probiotics while taking antibiotics, as long as they are taken as far apart as possible. For example, if you are taking antibiotics at night, you should take probiotic supplements in the morning.

You must provide the probiotics with proper nourishment for them to do their job by eating lots of fruits and vegetables that contain prebiotic fiber. You can also take prebiotic supplements. You can take one of these supplements with the probiotic.  Instead, you could increase your prebiotic food consumption by eating things like dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, apples, and flaxseeds.

 

How have probiotics changed your health?  I’d love to know!

  

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