Do you know what are damaged intestinal flora and its symptoms? First of all, it is important to know that human beings are sterile when they are born; it is when they come into contact with the environment that bacteria begin to develop in our organism. This is nothing negative some of these microorganisms are necessary to create a stronger immune system.
Like everything else, a good balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria is necessary for the digestive system to function properly. Maintaining a balanced gut flora helps to protect the body from viruses, “bad” bacteria and disease, to produce B and K vitamins and to promote the absorption of minerals.
Symptoms of damaged gut flora
The downside of antibiotics is that they attack both good and bad bacteria. This is often the cause of digestive problems that sometimes go unnoticed, but are very annoying for those who experience them. This is why it is very important to know what damaged intestinal flora is and what its symptoms are. In this way, you will be able to deal with them as soon as possible, so that they do not go unnoticed!
- Frequent diarrhoea
- Bloating and/or abdominal pain
- Belching or flatulence
- Faeces with an unpleasant stench
Although one of the main causes of damaged gut flora is the use of antibiotics, it has also been shown that other factors such as diet, age, stress, sedentary lifestyle, etc. can alter the gut microbiota. It has also been shown that depending on the place of residence, bacterial populations are different.
For example, a study on the gut flora of the Hadza people of Tanzania showed that African hunter-gatherers have a richer bacterial microbiome than Italian citizens. The reason? Humans exposed to less GM consumption maintain a higher biodiversity and enrichment of Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria since their diet is based on the consumption of meat, baobab honey, berries and tubers. In short, Hazda hunters do not cultivate crops or domesticate plants and animals.
What happens when the intestinal flora is damaged?
Now, we know the symptoms of damaged gut flora, but what is going on inside our bodies? The truth is that disruption of the colony of bacteria in our gut disrupts the absorption of nutrients, the delivery of vitamins and protection against harmful infections. But a damaged microbiota has also been shown to have other consequences, such as promoting overweight, obesity and allergies.
In addition, a weakened microbiome increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism. Furthermore, a study published by Cell Reports states that just as antibiotics kill the gut flora, they also hinder and prevent the growth of new neurons and, consequently, have other effects such as memory loss.
How does the damaged gut flora recover?
Maintaining the right level of bacteria in your gut flora is essential for overall good health. How can you achieve a healthy microbiota? There are several ways, to take note and start taking care of yourself from the inside!
- Take care of your diet. Include fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds in your diet. On the other hand, you should eliminate or restrict coffee, soft drinks and processed foods from your daily routine. In this way, you will nourish your gut microbiome.
- Use of probiotics. These are live yeasts and bacteria that – although they live in our bodies – can also be supplemented through products, drinks and food supplements. This will help you to replenish damaged intestinal flora and achieve a balance in your body.
- Include prebiotics. Not only are probiotics necessary to repopulate the microbiota, but also through food, it is possible to provide more fibre that promotes the development of the intestinal flora as it serves as food, such as beta-glucans from oats, or fructo-oligosaccharides from vegetables and fruit.
- Eat fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yoghurt or kefir, for their lactobacillus and bifidobacteria content.
- Lead an active lifestyle and do sport every day, especially cardio, as it helps to restore a greater diversity of intestinal flora. And of course, don’t forget to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.
How long does it take for damaged gut flora to recover?
Another question you are probably most concerned about is how long it takes for the damaged gut flora and its symptoms to recover. As a general rule, the microbiome recovers in about four weeks after the use of antibiotics, but it has also been shown that in some cases, the bacteria have not recovered for six months to a year. Your body may never recover to the previous state of your gut microbiota before antibiotics.
Some of the bacteria that help to restore damaged gut flora include the following:
- Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast that serves to prevent and soothe the uncomfortable symptoms of diarrhoea and inflammation.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus, one of the best known to be present in yoghurts and an ideal probiotic for the gut as it reduces the consequences of antibiotics.
- L. Caserío
- L. Rhamnosus GG, is one of the most studied probiotic bacteria in the world and serves to balance the microbiota. They work to regulate the functioning of intestinal transit, improve digestive diseases such as Crohn’s or lactose intolerance and improve some allergies, asthma and atopic skin.
- L. Plantarum 299v, indicated to promote digestive health.
- B. Subtilis, provides stability to the intestinal flora.
- B. Coagulans lactospora
- B. clausii, is perfect for treating antibiotic-induced symptoms and diarrhoea.
After learning about damaged gut flora and its symptoms, remember that you should not overlook the importance of taking care of yourself from the inside out by eating a healthy diet and taking the right supplements to protect and balance your microbiota. Also, don’t forget to exercise as it helps to restore the microbiome.