Digestive Health – Gut Microbiomes
There’s a lot that goes into your digestive health, What exactly is your gut microbiome? How do you keep your gut healthy? The doctors at the Centers for Gastroenterology are here to answer all those questions and more!
What is a gut microbiome?
There are trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in our body. These are called microorganisms, or microbes. A lot of these microbes are found in the intestinal tract, mostly the large intestine. We call this the gut microbiome. Together, all of these microbes function as an organ and have a large impact on our overall health by helping to digest different foods and absorb nutrients. The gut microbiome influences your immune system, your ability to digest fiber (which helps prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and risk of cancer), and can also affect brain and heart health, amongst other things.
The gut microbiome also affects gut health. It could play a role in GI diseases such as IBS and IBD. When microbes produce a lot of gas, the patient may experience gut dysbiosis, which causes bloating and cramps. Dysbiosis can be caused by what we eat, stress, or illness. The gut microbiome can assist in digesting foods and flushing out other disease-causing bacteria to help return the gut to a normal state.
How can I keep my gut healthy?
The gut microbiome begins to develop very early in life, being influenced even by whether a child breastfeeds or not. Each person’s microbiome develops differently based on what they eat, where they live, and what they are exposed to. For this reason, it’s hard to determine what exactly defines a ‘healthy’ gut microbiome.
There is a lot that we still don’t know about the gut microbiome, but most health professionals can agree that it’s important to eat a diverse diet. This enables us to fight off infections, absorb nutrients, and keeps undigested food particles and toxins from entering the bloodstream. Your diet should consist of fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi, kombucha), prebiotic foods (asparagus, apples, bananas), whole grains, foods with polyphenols (green tea, olive oil, red wine), and you can even take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are a type of live bacteria (also found in fermented foods) that can help ‘reset’ the gut after dysbiosis.
What gut issues do the Centers for Gastroenterology treat?
The Centers for Gastroenterology treat many different gastrointestinal diseases in northern Colorado. These include, but are not limited to, bowel incontinence, cirrhosis, Crohn’s disease, colitis, and so much more. We perform procedures such as endoscopies, colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, and infusions. With a location in Loveland, Fort Collins, and Greeley, the Centers for Gastroenterology are easily accessible by patients all across northern Colorado. Call the numbers below for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Fort Collins Office
3702 Timberline Rd. Suite A
Fort Collins, CO. 80525
Phone: (970) 207-9773
8225 W. 20th St.
Greeley, CO. 80634
Phone: (970) 378-1414
2555 E. 13th St. Suite 220
Loveland, CO. 80537
Phone: (970) 669-5432