We have over 100,000,000,000,000 bacteria living in our bodies. That's 10 times the amount of cells we have. A heavy majority of this organisms live in our digestive tract. Add this to the fact that 70% of our total body's immune system resides in the digestive tract. This means the presence and types of organisms inside of us play a gigantic role in our health.
Recent reports tell us as much:
-Researchers in Germany have been able to classify humans into 3 groups based on the families of bacteria they have inside their guts. This could be end up being more impactful that blood type, as different sets of bacterial colonies may be able to predict health or how someone would interact with certain foods or therapies. Reference
- Multiple studies have shown that kids who eat "dirt" have lower rates of allergies and asthma
There is loads of evidence connecting auto-immune disease (an overstimulation of the immune system to the point that it attacks certain body parts) and specific organisms
- In general: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/14235
- Crohn's and Ankylosing Spodylitis connected to Klebsiella pneumoniae (Reference)
- Toxoplasma (a parasite) may contribute to the pathogenesis of auto-immune disease (Reference)
- Citrobacter overgrowth is connected to rheumatoid arthritis (Reference)
- Chlamydia presence may contribute to Multiple sclerosis (Reference)
Medscape, a conventional and well-respected medical resource has a great article on Bacterial Overgrowth and its treatment.
So, with all of this data and knowledge, why are we still treating medical issues like auto-immune disease with suppressive, band-aid-like therapies? For one, we don't have any good hospital-based testing for this overgrowth. We also don't have a sales representatives heralding the necessity of bacterial balance to the physicians of America.
An essential step in understanding your health and how to get it back and the health of the digestive system. Keeping your bacterial environment working for you and not against you is essential. Start today by respecting those 100 trillion little guys:
1. Eat whole foods
2. Moderate sugar and all sweeteners to the occasional use of pure maple syrup or honey
3. Do something to help manage stress daily
4. Take a probiotic daily. Shoot for something with a variety of species at 20 billion colonies daily
5. Eat cultured foods
6. Avoid antibiotics unless it prevents hospitalization
If following the steps above does not change your health or impact what you're suffering from, have your bacterial enviroment evaluated. At GladdMD, we've used the Diagnostechs digestive panel with great success in guiding specific therapies. Once you can identify what organism may be driving the imbalance, specific antimicrobial therapies (prescription and/or herbals) are used to suppress them along with building up the good bugs with appopropriately dosed probiotics. Our most recent success was a young girl with major auto-immune disease and inflammation. In the image below, her inflammation markers (Sed rate, CRP and Ultrasensitive CRP) drop significantly (most recent tests to the left) after treating her bacterial overgrowth, loading with probiotics and eliminating gluten and dairy (proteins that irritate the immune system when the guts' broken down). I expect her HLA-B27 marker, a marker for ankylosing spondylitis to become negative soon.
Don't suffer from auto-immune disease or digestive issues? What about weight issues? Recent studies show that mice that are specifically bred to be slim get obese when human Enterobacter form an obese man's intestines is introduced into them. (Reference)