Your Gut’s Microbiome and Your Health

MicrobiomeThe word “microbiome” sounds like a buzz word used to spur your imagination when you think of your gut, and for good reason. Your gut has an entire world of bacteria – they aren’t all bad either. Many of the bacteria do not cause an infection and instead help the body perform essential functions on a daily basis. When your microbiome is working in harmony, you feel healthy. When there are bad bacteria accidentally introduced into the microbiome, or when there aren’t enough “good” bacteria to help with everyday function, you can start to feel sick.

According to the National Institute of Health, your body is home to over 1000 species of bacteria that help your body fight infection, build up the immune system, and aid in digestion. However, when the microbiome is disrupted by the introduction of bacteria or viruses such as e. Coli, c. diff., or norovirus, you can begin feeling sick: diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and several other symptoms may be indicating to you that you have an infection in your microbiome. Infections in the gut can lead to serious illness if not treated in due time. Your doctor may have you test your stool to see if there is a presence of a pathogen that could cause infection, which will help them determine how to treat you. It is important to remember that infections that cause diarrhea can cause dehydration, so drinking plenty of fluids while experiencing diarrhea is critical. Your doctor may give you an antibiotic for treatment, depending on the diagnosis. However, it is important to keep your microbiome in mind when developing a treatment plan. Your doctor will guide you on how to care for your microbiome in the healthiest way possible.