06 A Healthy Flora Creates a Happy Gut!

Dr Amy Davis

By Amy K Davis, MD

When intestinal flora is healthy, it favorably impacts your overall health and vice versa. Understanding how to rebuild your flora is key to improving your digestion, ability to fight infections and a healthy weight for starters.

The flora (trillions of microbes that inhabit your intestines) is important for many reasons.

  • Digestion
  • Vitamin production – especially the B’s which are so important for energy
  • Immune Support
  • Prevention of food allergies
  • Neurotransmitter production– serotonin which helps us to feel good and sleep
  • Detoxification – directly and indirectly by producing B12 for liver detox pathways
  • Maintenance of healthy weight

It’s a balancing act between “Healthy” and “Unhealthy” microorganisms. Dysbiosis, a term used to describe overgrowth of undesirable bacteria or yeast in the gut, results when the unhealthy flora “wins”.

Common symptoms that may indicate flora imbalance include bloating after meals, reflux, gas, burping, indigestion, food intolerances, craving, frequent infections lasting too long, irritable bowel, diarrhea and constipation.

Factors impacting your flora:

  • Digestion – Adequate digestion starves out the bad bacteria and yeast. The Healthy flora wins. Poor digestion provides food for unhealthy bacteria preferentially and dysbiosis results.
  • Diet – Green vegetables favorably impact the pH and provide fiber which supports healthy flora.The Standard American Diet which is high in sugars, carbohydrates and processed foods promotes dysbiosis.                 
  • Birth – Mom’s flora matters!

        A healthy mom who delivers vaginally provides her infant with healthy flora.

        A mom with unhealthy flora is unable to provide that for her baby.

        C-section babies don’t pass through the birth canal to pick up the mothers flora.      

  • Medications – Steroids, like prednisone, favors yeast (candida) growth and dysbiosis. Antibiotics destroy healthy bacteria which favor the growth of yeast and other undesired bacteria like C. difficile.
  • Fiber – Soluble fiber is a food source for healthy bacteria and acts as a prebiotic. Insoluble fiber helps the movement of wastes through the GI tract.
  • Stress – Stress creates poor digestion and negatively alters gut health.

You can tip the scales in your favor and be the Winner!

What can you do?

Eat a healthy diet. Remove sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup, and processed foods. Include greens and high fiber foods.

Start your day with a green smoothie. Free recipes on my website.

Consider supplementing with digestive enzymes, probiotics and/or fiber.

Begin a daily stress reduction practice – deep breathing, meditation, tapping, yoga.

Wishing you Optimal Health!

We are accepting new patients and don’t require a membership.

Amy K Davis M.D.
Crossing Back to Health
485 Wildwood Parkway Suite 2
Ballwin, MO 63011
636 778-9158
Website: www.crossingbacktohealth.com