On today’s episode of Thank Gut It’s Fixed show, I wanted to sit down and answer some live questions, as well as questions I received offline and on Instagram on gut health, dysbiosis, healing time, maintenance, supplements, and so on. Watch the video below and you can read the typed answers below. 

What is dysbiosis?

Dysbiosis means that you have an imbalance between good and bad bacteria. It also means that you can have too much of bad bacteria, or too little or not enough of the good bacteria. It could also mean you have bacteria in the wrong place. Here’s the full dysbiosis article

What are the implications of dysbiosis?

If you have an imbalance in your gut bacteria, it can lead to many other health conditions. There are several articles coming out that are showing us there is a direct link between gut bacteria imbalances and mental illness, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. You can read more in this article.There is also a big connection between auto-immune diseases and gut dysbiosis. 

What are the symptoms of Dysbiosis?

Symptoms of dysbiosis can be headaches, brain fog, migraines, joint and muscle pain, diarrhea, fatigue, as well as stomach pain. Dysbiosis leads to bloating, feeling uncomfortable, sugar cravings, feeling very full even if you eat small meals, skin issues, eczema, rosacea, etc. If your specialists don’t know what’s wrong with you, that may be a sign that there is an underlying inflammatory condition that needs to be dealt with.

How do I cure Dysbiosis?

We need to figure out exactly what’s wrong to cure it. We can’t eliminate H. pylori the same as SIBO or SIBO the same as E.coli. There are some medications that can help, but there are advantages to using plant herbs and botanicals. I talked about dysbiosis treatment options in this blog post. You want to get rid of sugars, processed foods, and processed fats of course.

Unfortunately, that’s not something I can really diagnose over a blog post or Facebook Live session. There is a way to cure it but you have to uncover the specific underlying root cause first so you can start to design your healing plan

How would I know if I have dysbiosis?

If you have the symptoms mentioned, you got sick a lot as a child, if you have multiple family members with similar stomach issues, history of autoimmune issues, etc…these are all signs that you may have dysbiosis. Technically I am not able to diagnose you, only MD’s and physicians are supposed to diagnose. But we can do testing to identify certain imbalances such as breath, stool, and urine tests to help identify what is the imbalance and how to fix it. You can learn more about my program and book a free call so we can discuss your options.

Can water fasting help balance the microbes, and if so, for how many days?

I am a proponent of intermittent fasting as it gives the gut time to reset and heal. If you fast and you feel much better, that’s a sign of dysbiosis, because it starves whatever microbes are there. However, fasting itself will most likely not solve the problem. Diet alone will not solve the problem. You must kill the microbes with botanical and herbs or medication, if you decide to take that route.

How long does it take to re-balance and heal the gut?

It depends. If you’ve had your issues for less than a year, it’s possible to experience relief in your symptoms in 30 days and for true healing, you’ll need 2-3 months. However, if you’ve had your issues for over 10 years, you will need more the time. It’ll take patience and persistence. But the reward is priceless when you’re able to live your life the way that you want, and not worry from day to day how things are going to go.

Are supplements necessary during the process?

Initially when I started my practice, I was against supplements. However, when I got more into the integrative side of my practice, I realized we do need certain things in therapeutic doses. Food is the big most important component of the healing process, but it needs to be supported with supplements to correct diseases and imbalances.  We need specialized ingredients in high doses that our food just can’t give us. You may not need them long term, but for a certain period of time. Having said all of that, I don’t think you need too many products, and I try to recommend the shortest list of products.

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Is dysbiosis related to Grave’s disease?

Yes. If you have any auto-immune condition, there is a link and connection with the gut since 80% of the immune system is in the gut. If you have dysbiosis, this leads to leaky gut, which means that bacteria, undigested food particles, and so on are crossing through that broken barrier. Your immune system will start to fight those things that it’s not used to. It’s like an army without a general, it stops recognizing what’s bad, what’s good, and that’s where we start seeing these autoimmune conditions. The problem is with the immune system. If we can fix the immune system, then it will stop attacking the other organs of your body. That’s how we get to the root cause of autoimmune diseases.

Do you think that mind and body lifestyle changes (i.e. meditation and yoga) help undo dysbiosis? What has a greater effect: diet or lifestyle?

This is a great question. We know that stress can affect the brain-gut connection and stress can activate the autonomic nervous system to put you into a fight-or-flight mode. That’s what’s going to get blood pumped to your muscles, so you can escape for your life. However, this also shuts down digestion and reduces muscle contractions in the gut (motility). This will predispose you to dysbiosis.

Managing stress through deep breathing and yoga is a very important part in healing as well as prevention. You can take all the supplements you want, but if you continue to live a stressful life, healing won’t happen. But, if you have already developed SIBO or dysbiosis or leaky gut, lifestyle alone is not enough because the damage has occurred. You will have use diet, botanicals, probiotics, or whatever is needed for your specific case to reverse the problem. 

What are the best everyday sources of probiotic foods aside from yogurt and kefir?

You can ferment your own vegetables such as carrots but you cannot put vinegar in it. That’s because vinegar will kill the good bacteria, and our goal is to save the bacteria. If you can tolerate yogurt or aged cheeses, those will be good for maintaining healing. Tempeh and miso are better than soy beans or soy oil or soy protein. Prebiotic food is also important to pay attention to. Foods like onion, garlic, shallots, and asparagus. Read this article  on prebiotic foods and include them in your diet as well.

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