I want to show you in this post the incredible link between the lack of healthy gut flora and your constipation.
Many people don’t know that poor gut flora is one of major causes of their constipation and one of the major keys to never ever having a constipation problem ever again…
Did you know our gut is home to 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) micro-organisms?
The human gut contains more bacteria than there are cells in the entire human body!
Gut flora, and the level of importance it has on our health, has only just started to be understood and integrated by scientific pioneers all around the world. It has been now realized that gut flora makes up of over 75% of our immune system, it regulates our metabolism, provides potent protection from infections and… WAIT FOR IT… powerfully promotes normal gastrointestinal function (that is, eliminates your poo with ease!).
Our gut flora consists of all sorts of creatures from healthy bacteria, nasty bacteria, yeast, pathogens, even parasites. The ratio of a healthy functioning gut flora is about 90% healthy flora – 10% unhealthy flora.
As long as there is a sufficient amount of healthy bacteria present the unhealthy stuff will be kept in check and not cause any problems at all.
But what happens when the ratio is effected and more nasty gut flora is present than there should be?
This is called GUT DYSBIOSIS.
The effects of this can be deadly!
One of the most alarming ways that peoples gut flora is instantly changed for the worse is by the intake of antibiotics. To be fair, antibiotics are great at what they do, which is purely and simply to kill any and all bacteria in your gut… the bad guys AND the good guys.
It’s like throwing a nuclear bomb down into your intestinal tract.
Sometimes a treatment of antibiotics is definitely necessary and unavoidable such as when someone has some kind of threatening systemic infection, then a course of antibiotics could actually end up saving their precious life. Fewer people die from common infections now than they did before antibiotics were discovered. So as much as I dislike antibiotics I do believe there is a role for them in our society it must be said.
However, what majority of people do is take antibiotics for reasons that actually do not need them such as a pesky little ache, stomach pains, or a runny nose. Their immune system could have easily taken care of this problem if they supported it with the right nutrition but it’s much better to just take a few pills to fix the problem right?…
As people take the antibiotics they wipe out their gut flora therefore leaving them heavily vulnerable to more bacterial or viral infections as pathogenic organisms start to take over in the digestive tract. This is the reason why quite often you see people who take an antibiotic for an infection become sick again shortly after completing the course or why once a person stops taking antibiotics for their acne has the problem come back ten times WORSE straight away.
So what do they do next?
Thats right, they take more antibiotics, throw their gut health into more of a graveyard and the cycle of sickness and inflammation becomes extremely vicious.
There are other factors that contribute to a compromised gut flora but here I’m just going to stick to antibiotics.
I truly feel sorry for people suffering from constipation who; #1, have no idea their ill gut health is probably the number one factor causing their constipation, and #2, because they just don’t know the negative effects that antibiotic use is causing them.
What makes it worse it that access to antibiotics is as easy as anything…. the medical profession, especially general practictioners (local doctors), hand them out like lollies.
A new study has found that pediatricians are over-prescribing broad spectrum antibiotics. 21% of all patient visits in the study (about 10 million visits) were met with an antibiotic prescription, 50% of these prescriptions were for broad spectrum antibiotics. For 23% of the visits prescribed antibiotics, the patients conditions were the kind that would NOT EVEN RESPOND to antibiotics, such as asthma, specific viral infections, flu, allergies and bronchitis. The scary part of all this is that majority of the antibiotics prescribed in these unhelpful situations were ‘broad spectrum’ and most of the recipients were young.
A study from 2010 shows the haunting long lasting effects that a treatment of antibiotics can have. Three people were given two courses of an antibiotic called “ciprofloxacin” commonly used for bone and joint infections, respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis, endocarditis, urinary tract infections, cellulitis, infectious diarrhea, anthrax infection, typhoid fever, and skin infections. This antibiotic is commonly known as an all-purpose type of antibiotic to treat a wide variety of health issues that surface in people’s lives and other species too (vets commonly use this antibiotic in their practices).
The scary part of this study was that three to five days into the treatment the diversity in the gut was severely destroyed and the total composition of the gut flora as a whole was altered significantly.
What could this mean for you who is suffering from constipation?
Stools are made from primarily water, intestinal bacteria, mineral salts, dead bacteria and cells being shed by the body and traces of fat. Even though truth may have been kept from you, it’s no secret to colon and stool specialists that intestinal bacteria are by far the most significant and largest component of stools!
“There are over 400 species of bacteria in the colon: bacteria make up 30%-50% of the total dry matter in the feces, or even 75% according to other calculation.” [R.F. Schmidt, G. Thews. Colonic Motility. Human Physiology, 2nd edition. 29.7:733.]
Sometimes anti-biotics can be useful which I will talk about more in a future post. But from my personal experience and new breakthrough scientific studies also backing up these real-life experiences, it all points to the importance of a good gut flora and healthy intestinal tract in overcoming any case of constipation. If not, you will continually suffer from recurrent constipation for years on end… with no success in sight.
But replacing this essential gut flora is not as easy as just taking some acidophilus capsules.
In fact, there are ways I’m going to talk about in future posts on how to make it a 100% successful process.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments box!
Best in health to you,