1. An intact gut lining wards off sickness-causing agents We often use the term gut health but what exactly defines “gut health?” After the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates unveiled that “all disease begins in the gut,” the scientists started digging into the deep aspects of gut health. Today, the modern medicine has turned the pages […]
What is a colon cleanse? A colon cleanse includes a variety of alternative medical treatments that aim to flush out toxins from the intestine. What is auto-intoxication and how does it relate to colon cleansing? According to naturopaths, these colonic toxins build up as a result of infrequent bowel movements and/or the consumption of unhealthy […]
What are autoimmune disorders? These are the disorders in which a person’s immune system starts attacking his own body tissues. This is quite the opposite of what an immune system is naturally designed for – i.e. protecting the body from harmful agents. Experts today are extensively studying the link between autoimmune maladies and the disturbed gut microbiome. According to them, normalizing the gut immune response and the unbalanced gut ecology may help against the autoimmune attack in disorders like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and so on so forth. Here, we’ll explore certain mechanisms that may suggest the benefits of probiotics in autoimmune disorders.
Unbalanced gut Microbiota composition can drive an autoimmune attack
The trigger for an autoimmune disorder may start in the gut itself. Strong evidence exists between an altered gut microbial composition and the onset of an autoimmune disorder.
The rise in the proportion of the bad bugs favors toxin build up that could be a trigger for these disorders.  Using probiotics might help with the makeover of the gut microbiome from an off-balanced to a normal state, and thereby help reduce the associated symptoms.  (more…)
Individuals with diabetes have to be fairly cautious with what they are consuming and how they are consuming. Their blood sugar levels tend to fluctuate often. For instance, if a diabetic person consumes a piece of cake in a party, his blood sugar levels might shoot up overnight. While diet, exercise, and medications have their own significance in the management of diabetes, the drastic increase in the rates of diabetes has led scientists to explore alternative therapies. One of these therapies includes the use of probiotics in diabetes. Luckily, probiotics have been so far shown to regulate the blood glucose levels and benefit people with diabetes.
Probiotics raise insulin and incretin and lower blood sugar levels
Insulin is a hormone released by pancreas (a gut organ) that functions to move the ingested glucose into the target cells, thereby lowering the blood glucose levels. In individuals with diabetes, insulin is either completely absent (such as in type 1 diabetes) or the target organs are unresponsive (like in type 2 diabetes). Probiotics can raise the levels of insulin as well as another intestinal hormone called incretin that works to increase insulin levels in the body after a meal, allowing the blood glucose levels to drop.
German experts conducted a study to determine the antidiabetic potential of the probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri.  What did they discover? After daily administration of L. reuteri for a month, the subjects were found to have raised insulin and incretin levels. (more…)
What is IBS?
IBS is one of the most frequently occurring GI disorders. It is a constellation of the following major clinical hallmarks:
- Abdominal pain
- Altered bowel habits
- Straining at the stools
The bowel movements in IBS can follow either a pattern of constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C) or diarrhea- predominant IBS. Constipation-predominant IBS is exasperating – incomplete defecation, straining at the stools, and bloated feeling all interfere with daily chores.
The story of IBS begins with the gut-brain axis!
Our emotions influence our gut functions. That is the reason why many people have butterflies in the stomach when they are apprehensive. Our gut microbiota communicates with the brain and alters behavior. IBS is common in people who already suffer from anxiety issues. Saying it the other way around, anxiety and/or a stressful life event can trigger IBS symptoms. This bidirectional communication coins the phrase – the gut-brain axis. When the gut and brain can’t communicate well, IBS is inevitable.
What’s actually in the gut that interacts with the brain?
It is the gut microbiome. This re-coins the phrase as mIcrobiota- gut-brain axis. In IBS, a lack of these desirable bacteria undermines the gastrointestinal, neurological and/or immune relationships, eventually leading to infirmity.
IBS and Probiotics
The healthy gut microbiota (probiotics) confers a myriad of health benefits in IBS.
- Probiotics assist in breaking down complex molecules ingested as part of the diet. This smoothes out the process of digestion and facilitates elimination of hard feces in IBS-C.
- As stated above, stress is a common precipitating factor for IBS; when taken during periods of stress, probiotics decrease the activation of the areas of the brain that tend to secrete stress hormones like cortisol. Hence, a decrease in the stress hormones calms the mind, the gut, and the associated IBS features. What’s more? Stress triggers gut leakiness, which is counteracted by probiotics. Leaky gut syndrome (enhanced intestinal permeability) also underlies IBS. 
“All disease begins in the gut.”- Hippocrates
As quoted by Hippocrates several decades back, it is acknowledged today how accurate he was. A diseased gut can, in essence, take a heavy toll on your overall health.
One such gut illness, called ulcerative colitis (UC) can wreak havoc on your body as it tends to involve nearly every organ system (besides colon) ─ including the liver, skin, joints and muscles, kidneys, eyes, lungs and so on so forth.
The most dreaded complication of a long-standing UC is colorectal cancer.
Given these facts, it is imperative to treat UC in the early stages. Besides various other treatments for UC, probiotics have also shown promising results.
What is UC and How to Recognize that You Might Have UC?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), characterized by diffuse, chronic inflammation (colitis) and sores (ulcers) in the lining of the colon (large intestine).
UC is likely if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
– Diarrhea, often bloody
– Rectal bleeding
– Lower abdominal pain and cramping
– Rectal pain
– Mucus or pussy discharge from rectum
– A constant feeling to evacuate the bowels
– Inability to pass stool despite an urgency
– Weight loss
IBS is really not the best name for irritable bowel syndrome. The term “irritable” implies a mild annoyance, but this disease can be far more than just a nuisance. It is a chronic, life-long battle that can cause mild to debilitating pain and gastrointestinal distress such as the following usual suspects:
• Stomach pain
There are many different possible causes of IBS include the following:
• Overly forceful or not forceful enough large intestinal muscle contractions
• Food intolerance
• Neurological issues such as delayed GI control, sensitivity to pain, or imbalance of neurotransmitters
• Genetic predisposition
• Chronic stress
• Hormonal imbalance
• Bacterial infections
• Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine
The rest of this post will focus on bacterial contributions to IBS.