When you kill good bacteria in your gut, are they gone forever? Is it just a matter of popping a probiotic, and they’ll come back again?
Firstly, even when you take antibiotics, the beneficial bacteria aren’t entirely wiped out. The levels go down to a tiny number, but they still hang in there. I’ve never had a client experience a complete eradication of all their beneficial bacteria. The trick is to get them back to a high level.
Keeping marine fish has taught me something. I love to keep coral fish, corals, and tropical stuff in my talk. What I’ve learned is just how important it is to keep the parameters at the right level all the time. If I have a colony of coral that’s looking sickly, it’s probably my fault. I’ve either got something wrong with the water or put too much food in there.
When I get all the parameters in the tank correct – the pH, the temperature, the salt content, and the trace elements – the coral looks fantastic.
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The gut is the same way. When the parameters of your diet and lifestyle are in working order, your gut will thrive. You need to eat the right foods, chew properly, include resistant starch in your diet, and manage the stress in your life.
If your parameters are out of balance, your gut flora will suffer. If you add insult to injury by adding antibiotics to the mix the beneficial bacteria in your GI tract pay the price. I have seen a few patients who never bounce back from antibiotic use, but most patients recover. The recovery can range from reasonable to full.
The extent of your recovery depends on what you’re eating and how you’re living. You don’t have to eat clean all the time, or eat keto, or have a specific dietary regime to get the microbiome back in balance. What suits one person may not suit you at all. Your gut health plan needs to be customized to your unique biology and psychology.
Take a holistic approach to gut recovery. Supplements are important in some stages of recovery, but diet, stress, sleep, and lifestyle matter too.