How does the gut microbiome affect the body?
Gastroenterologist Dr Roy Patankar says, “Your gut health depends on what you eat. It has been proved by various studies that along with impacting digestion, gut health is also related to the body. Reportedly, having an imbalance of gut microbes causes dysbiosis which has been connected with conditions like obesity, due to not having a healthy microbiome and poor gut health.
“You will be shocked to know that dysbiosis can invite life-threatening health problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and colon cancer,” says Dr Patankar.
Furthermore, changes noted in the gut microbiome are also associated with diabetes, liver disease, and even neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, according to the research.
Many studies have also exposed a link between the gut and heart. The gut microbiome may produce a chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which causes blockage of the artery. High levels of TMAO raise the chances of heart disease and increase mortality and morbidity rates in the patients.
One may also have a leaky gut wherein unwanted microbes are present in the body. This invites inflammation throughout the body and weakens one’s immune system.
Imbalances in the gut microbiome are also related to mental health issues as per a few studies. Your gut is connected to nerves and is involved with messaging with the brain. Many neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are made in the gut and lead to feelings of happiness and well-being. Those who are depressed, stressed or anxious will have low serotonin levels. Good nutrition can help to beat anxiety, stress, and depression.
Tips to take care of your gut
Fermented foods help with a good microbiome. So, have yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. Try to eat a diet rich in fibre. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and pulses in the diet. Avoid oily, junk, spicy, canned, and processed foods that can irritate the gut and lower your immunity. Say NO to irritants such as coffee, alcohol, smoking, colas, and sodas. Go for teas like ginger, chamomile, and peppermint. Drink enough water to clear all the toxins from the body. Exercising daily and staying stress-free can also help to keep the gut healthy.