As of the time I started writing the first article on this blog, I was on probiotics. I started writing the blog because I wanted to share the research on probiotics and at the same time keep reporting on my personal experiences in the course of my Probiotic Lifestyle.
I do try as much as possible to avoid biases in my articles, but do not be afraid to call me out if you feel I am dwelling on too much of either personal experiences or the science. For this article we are mostly dwelling on the science.
However, in case you want to know my personal reasons for getting on probiotics, I have written a comprehensive article about that here. Today, let us delve into the research on the tell-tale signs that your body could benefit from taking probiotics.
The main reason why people take probiotics is to restore the balance of good bacteria in their gut. On the other hand, a healthy microbiota balance is likely to lead to positive health outcomes. Therefore, the research we are focusing on dwells on the possibility that your gut bacteria might out of balance, and probiotics might help you regain the balance.
Balancing your gut bacteria can be the key to achieving other positive health outcomes such as improving mood disorders, getting rid of skin conditions, boosting immunity, and even having a better digestive system. Probiotics supplements and probiotic-rich foods are one of the best ways to improve your gut health and this is one of the reasons you should consider adding them to your health and wellness regimen.
By the time you are seeking information about probiotics, chances are that you are considering trying them out in the hope that they will solve a specific problem for you. However, unlike most other types of nutritional supplements, probiotics tend to be quite expensive. According to Singlecare, the average cost of Probiotic is $33.61 per month, which means you need to be sure that Probiotics are what you need before fishing out your credit card. After all, flushing a needless $1.12 down the crapper every day is not an ideal situation.
On the bright side, the Cleveland Clinic website points out that there are hardly any health risks in “trying” probiotics even when you are perfectly healthy. Therefore, if you do not mind the steep price, you can go ahead and jump on to the bandwagon of the Probiotic lifestyle and get to experimenting.
Most of the people who eventually try the probiotic solutions have most-likely failed to find solutions to their health problems using conventional medicine routes. These people will struggle with a myriad of health issues such as skin disorders, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and even low levels of immunity.
Personally, my decision to try probiotics was after a great deal of frustrations with stomach issues that kept getting worse after every round of medication. Therefore, the question for most people is whether they are among the individuals who can benefit from taking probiotics.
Here Are Five Key Signs That Your Body Can Benefit From Taking Probiotics.
1. You Have Used Antibiotics
The easiest way to find yourself needing probiotics is by taking antibiotics, especially for an extended period of time. If you can trace back your health problems to a dose or doses of antibiotics. Maybe you were hospitalised for a long period, or you have or had an ongoing treatment process that requires antibiotics…. maybe you should consider taking probiotics.
The names antibiotics and probiotics sound similar, but they are polar opposites and perhaps mortal enemies. Probiotics are part of the healthy colony of bacteria living in your gut. On the other hand, antibiotics are engineered to kill bad bacteria in your gut, but in the process of doing so they might also end up destroying the good bacteria.
It is not easy to avoid taking antibiotics. However, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out that between a third and one-half of antibiotic use in humans is inappropriate and unnecessary. On a global scale, one of WHO’s immediate concerns about global health (besides the Corona mayhem) is the increasing risk of humans developing antibiotic resistance. Overall, there is justified antibiotic use, and then there are cases of antibiotic-abuse.
Now, if you have taken antibiotics in the past, there are high chances that they left an imbalance of good versus bad bacteria in your gut and you might need to take probiotics to seek balance. Some health experts have recommended that any dose of antibiotic that you take, be followed up with taking probiotics so as to balance gut flora as soon as possible.
In its natural state, your gut is a forest…with all manner of flora and fauna…some bad, others good. When you find yourself taking dose after dose of antibiotics (incidentally, that is what happened to me), they are literally decimating your gut’s natural forest like a wildfire or a really strong herbicide. Then after your dose/s are over, you are left hoping that it would all grow back. Chances are that the more parasitic plants and animals will flourish and choke the regrowth of the more beneficial ones. Overall, overuse of antibiotics means trouble for your gut flora but there is some hope in probiotics.
2. You Suffer from Persistent Digestive Issues
If you suffer from persistent digestive issues that include but are not limited to bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pains, chances are that you have an imbalance of gut bacteria and can remedy this by taking probiotics. More recent research on probiotics has concentrated on the role that probiotics play in improving the digestion of lactose and carbohydrates.
From my observations, most of the people who end up being helped by probiotics see a connection between their inability to digest certain foods, sugar cravings, and their digestive issues often get worse when they consume sugar or carbohydrates. Researchers have pointed out that imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system often leads to an inflamed gut or a leaky gut, and this results in digestive issues. There is a 2014 Article from WebMD that covers various research studies on the connection between probiotics and digestive health issues, and it is good at showing how things have progressed.
Notably, the medical fraternity i.e the American College of Gastroenterology has started advocating for probiotics as “treatment” for persistent digestive issues, and not as an alternative solution. Therefore, if you suffer from persistent digestive issues, probiotics might be worth a try for you.
3. You Suffer from Lingering Skin Conditions
If you suffer from persistent skin conditions such as psoriasis, hives, eczema, acne, and rashes, it is likely that your body’s metabolism, waste disposal, and immune responses are compromised. You will benefit from taking probiotics because balanced gut microbiome helps with both effective nutrient absorption and flushing waste from the body. Therefore, majority of the people who suffer from a combination of skin conditions and digestive problems are likely to benefit from taking probiotics.
Notably, most ordinary skin conditions will be cleared by topical remedies. However, you can rest assured that the skin conditions that result from an imbalance of gut bacteria will not go away unless this root cause is addressed. Probiotics might turn out to be the thing that gives you that hard-to achieve glow that we are clamoring for. Healing skin issues from the inside out is a concept that has been gaining traction, so do not hesitate to do some more research on it. On the other hand, people are trying to cut the middleman (gut microbe balancing) and dealing with probiotic-related skin problems head on. For instance, probiotic deodorants are all the range nowadays. Personally, I would prefer that inside-out glow that really saves on cosmetic costs.
4. You Suffer from Brain Fog and Other Mood Issues
Yes, it is true that an imbalance of gut bacteria can be the cause of depression, irritability, anxiety, and other mood problems. Why don’t I give you links to four studies touching on the connection between brain functionality and gut bacteria here.
When we start talking about brain fog and other mood issues, it kind of gets personal for me because this is an area where I have suffered for quite some time. Basically, what you need to know is that lacking the right gut bacteria balance interferes with the activity of the brain neurotransmitters that control factors such as your mood and other brain-related functions such as memory and concentration.
The problem with these issues is that rarely does the person suffering from mood or brain fog ever notice how bad their situation is. These issues often work like someone is slow cooking you, raise one degree of temperature at a time, until the boiling point. But if you are keen on your health, you will notice your mood changes, your increased forgetfulness, or the fact you find it harder to concentrate.
In case you have brain fog and mood disorder issues that coincide with some of the other indications on this list, maybe you can improve your condition by taking probiotics.
5. Your Immunity is Compromised
If you are always getting sick every now and then, it might be because your gut bacteria are out of balance. Therefore, it become harder for you to fight off viral and bacterial infections. You will become more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, and urinary tract infections. The connection between immunity is the subject of this groundbreaking research here, 1, 2.
Probiotics do wonders to your immune system. However, the scientific community is hesitant to make this declaration because of the scarcity of research. However, the few available studies have shown a strong correlation between probiotics and the body’s ability to fight infections, both viral and bacterial.
The research on probiotics and immunity is particularly important in regard to people’s ability to fight off COVID-19 infections as seen in these research studies 1 & 2. In essence, having a good balance of gut bacteria might just be what you need to maintain higher levels of immunity. Some common indications of a poor immune system include seasonal allergies and flus.
It is not that there is no enough research on probiotics, but more often than not we are getting information that is highly partial. The worst of it is when people say probiotics are good because they are selling them to you, or when say they are bad because they do not perform the expected miracles.
Personally, when I discovered probiotics, my life improved in an instance. I hope to share as much information as possible with the world about probiotics in the hope that I can impact someone’s life positively.
In the course of my experience, I started taking probiotics because of four out of the five outlined reasons above. My experience with probiotics has been really positive and I will keep sharing it with you in this blog. For that reason, I have put my whole family on probiotics! I hope that I will also get a chance to share their experiences with you, whether they are positive or negative. Most importantly, I want you to share your probiotic experiences with me. Keep following the Probiotic Lifestyle and may be you will learn something that might be important to your health and life.