Tuesday, June 6, 2023

5 ways to manage disrupted gut microbiome, improve overall fitness to stay healthy

The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses collectively known as the gut microbiome and these microbes play a vital role in maintaining overall health by aiding digestion, regulating metabolism and supporting the immune system.

However, various factors such as stress, antibiotics and a poor diet can disrupt the delicate balance of the gut microbiome, leading to a host of health problems.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Satish Kulkarni, Director-Gastroenterology at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital in Vashi, suggested 5 tips on how to manage a disrupted gut microbiome and improve overall health –

Eat a Healthy Diet: One of the most important steps in managing a disrupted gut microbiome is to eat a healthy diet. This means consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources while avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats. These foods provide the nutrients that gut microbes need to thrive, while also supporting overall health.
Take Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance of the gut microbiome. Fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt are good sources of probiotics or can be taken through supplements. Research has shown that probiotics can improve digestive health, boost the immune system, and even help with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Limit Antibiotic Use: Antibiotics can be lifesaving medications, but they can also disrupt the gut microbiome by killing off both harmful and beneficial bacteria. If you must take antibiotics, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and consider taking a probiotic supplement to help restore the balance of your gut microbiome.
Reduce Stress: Stress can also disrupt the gut microbiome by altering the balance of hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate digestion and immunity. To reduce stress, try practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Exercise is also an effective way to reduce stress and improve overall health.
Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is essential for overall health, and it also plays a crucial role in regulating the gut microbiome. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can disrupt the balance of gut microbes, leading to inflammation and other health problems. Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep per night and try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
He concluded, “The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and disruptions to this delicate balance can lead to a host of health problems. By eating a healthy diet, taking probiotics, limiting antibiotic use, reducing stress and getting enough sleep, you can manage a disrupted gut microbiome and improve your overall health. Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so start by making one change at a time and be patient – it takes time for the gut microbiome to restore its natural balance.”

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