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  • When the Bacteria in Your Body Is Off Balance

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    The bacteria in your body can get off balance. This can be caused by the intake of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics don’t just destroy bad bacteria, they can also destroy good bacteria. Taking probiotics can help to keep the bacteria in your body balanced. Here are some parts of your body that may be affected by the imbalance of the bacteria, as well as the symptoms caused by the imbalance of bacteria.

    Intestinal Bacteria

    The majority of the bacteria is found in the large intestine where important functions are done. Bacteria like the bifidobacterium and lactobacillus help to stimulate the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. These bacteria can destroy toxic digestive by-products and can synthesize vitamin K. When your colon contains healthy colonies of bacteria, the colonies prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the food you eat.

    The Colon 

    In some situations the good bacteria in your colon may die. As mentioned, this occurs when you take antibiotics. The amount of good and bad bacteria in your colon is then off balance and the pathogenic organisms can grow out of control. You will then experience diarrhea. When you have diarrhea, your colon fails to absorb the water as it should, resulting in a loss of fluids. Digestion is usually impaired causing you to lose electrolytes, proteins, and vitamins.

    The Small Intestine

    Usually, the healthy bacteria in your body is present in your colon with only a few in your small intestine. But if you have Crohn's disease or diabetes, you might suffer from an overgrowth of microorganisms in your small intestine. This can cause some very serious digestion problems.

    Bad bacteria in your small intestine needs nutrients to grow. This interferes with absorption and then destroy cells in your small intestine. This situation causes diarrhea because of the interference with digestion. You will have abdominal discomfort and if this persists, weight loss and malnutrition can occur.

    Remedies

    If the good and the bad bacteria in your body are off balance, there are things you can do to relieve any pain and symptoms. If you are experiencing digestive problems, it is recommended that you eat probiotic foods. Probiotics contain live cultures of bacteria similar to the healthy types that inhabit your colon.

    Some examples of foods that contain probiotics include miso, sauerkraut, plain yogurt, and pickles. Yogurt is a great food with plenty of probiotics and is a very healthy choice. It might also help to consume prebiotic supplements. These contain indigestible carbohydrates which good bacteria use as food. Prebiotics can help to correct the imbalance of bacteria in your body and this will in turn correct your digestive tract.

    Your body warns you when something is wrong. So if you have any difficulties digesting food, your body is trying to tell you something. Be sure to listen to it. Add some probiotics to your diet because it will help to correct any imbalances of bacteria in your body.

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  • What Are Probiotics?

     

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND 

    Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health but especially good for your digestive system. When we think of bacteria we think about how they cause diseases and about how harmful bacteria can be. But the bacteria found in probiotics are helpful to your body - most specifically, your gut. They will help food go through your gut properly.

    Probiotics have even been shown to treat bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea, and antibiotic-related diarrhea. Probiotics helps skin conditions like eczema, urinary and vaginal health, help prevent allergies, and maintain oral health. Studies have also shown that while taking probiotics, there is an increase in the efficiency and function of the brain.

    With the right amount of probiotics in your system, it makes it harder for any harmful bacteria to make their way into your body and make you sick.

    Food Containing Probiotics

    Probiotics are naturally found in your body. You find them in the food and the supplements that you eat. Probiotics are mostly found in foods like:

    * Yogurt - This is one of the most familiar sources of probiotics. When buying yogurt, look for the ones saying ìlive and active cultures.î

    * Sauerkraut - Eat the unpasteurized sauerkraut because pasteurization will kill the active and good bacteria.

    * Cheese - This acts as a carrier for probiotics. Eating cheese can help to boost your immune system.

    * Sourdough bread - This is the best bread for you to eat because this bread helps the most with digestion.

    * Sour pickles - Eating pickles without the use of vinegar in the pickling process is the best. Instead, look for pickles with a sea salt and water solution. This type of pickle will help feed the growth of good bacteria and will help with digestion.

    Why Probiotics Keep Us Healthy

    As mentioned, probiotics are so important for people to include in their diets because they has been shown to improve people’s health. They keep us healthy in a number of ways:

    1. After taking antibiotics, some of the good bacteria may be lost. Probiotics can help to replace the good bacteria that you lost.

    2. When taking probiotics, you are reducing the number of bad bacteria that can cause diseases in your body.

    3. They help to balance the good and bad bacteria in your body, which will help your body to work like it should.

    Types of Probiotics

    There are different types of probiotics. These include:

    * Lactobacillus - This is the most important probiotic. You will find this one in food products like yogurt and some other fermented foods. This type of probiotic can help with diarrhea and may help people who cannot digest lactose.

    * Bifidobacterium - This type of probiotic can be found in most dairy products. This type will most likely help with any symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

    Probiotics have been shown to be very beneficial. They help to prevent future sicknesses and help to treat the symptoms of certain illnesses. To help keep your body as healthy as it can possibly be, incorporating probiotics into your diet should be something to consider.

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  • Tips for Keeping the Proper Bacteria Balance

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    It is important to have the perfect balance of both good and bad bacteria in your gut. Here is how you can make sure that you keep the good kind of bacteria where it should be.

    Healing Your Gut

    If you are eating a lot of sugar, you are feeding the wrong kind of bacteria to your gut. You are more prone to getting diseases than getting and being healthy. Instead, you'll want to promote the good kind of bacteria which will keep you healthy and prevent any diseases.

    You can fix any damage to your gut and keep a proper balance by optimizing your diet. You can do this by adding fermented foods like dairy and vegetables. Another option is to add a high-quality probiotic to your diet.

    Probiotics are very important partners with the defence system of your intestine. Optimizing your gut's health should be started at a very young age. Many babies nowadays are not getting the natural healthy infusion of the beneficial gut bacteria. The earlier this can be corrected, the better it will be.

    Breastfeed your child if at all possible because bottle feeding places a heavy toll on the baby’s intestinal health. For mothers who are breastfeeding, if you are not including fermented foods into your diet, you should consider taking probiotic supplements - especially if you are consuming a lot of processed foods.

    Taking Probiotic Supplements

    As human beings, we tend to consume a lot of sugars and grains. Everyone should take probiotics because it is a helpful start to a new and healthy recovery. The best source of probiotics come from naturally fermented foods. These foods should always be your first choice.

    If you do decide to add supplements, look for and use the high potency, multi-strain variety and delayed release.  One of the best ones in the market is “Wise XS Probiotic” by Wise Vitality (www.wisevitality.com). Probiotics are also especially helpful if you are going somewhere where you are highly susceptible to diarrhea. “Wise XS Probiotic” is a great choice for travellers because it is shelf stable and does not need to be refrigerated.

    Having an imbalance of good and bad bacteria can lead to some pretty serious illnesses. If you have eaten lots of junk food in your life, especially every day, your gut could be in danger of having an imbalance. But, your gut could also be in danger because of the usage of antibiotics. Antibiotics can attack the good bacteria in your body, causing an imbalance.

    There are things you can do to treat any damage done, though. This will prevent anything going seriously wrong in your body. Probiotics is a very important thing that you can start adding to your diet. They do not just prevent you from getting diarrhea from traveling. They can also correct any damage junk food and antibiotics may have done to the good bacteria in your body.

    You may not think that your gut is important, but it is. It plays a big role in keeping you healthy. Take good care of yourself. By taking probiotics, you can do that.

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  • 75% Of People Are Deficient In Vitamin D! Are You?

     

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    It is not unusual to start feeling the lows during our long winter months.  Even though it has not been as cold as other years, the lack of sunlight can definitely be a cause for depression, low immune system, and in general, an overall sense of aches, pains and malaise.

    With lack of sunlight the one vitamin that gets the most affected is our vitamin D levels.

    If there is one vitamin that you need to take during the winter months, it is Vitamin D.  Vitamin D works as an anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and even as an anti-cancer agent.  It is also known to boost the immune system to fight infections, and help boost brain health. 

    Consider the following facts:

    -        Topical sunscreens block vitamin D production by 97-100%.

    -        The risk of having a heart attack is twice as high if your levels of Vitamin D are low

    -        There is an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of type 1 diabetes

    -        Medications such as Metformin (for diabetes) work only 13% of the time if your vitamin D levels are low vs 60% of the time if you have adequate levels of Vitamin D

    -        We can decrease the progression of osteoarthritis with adequate levels of vitamin D

    -        Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are more severe if your vitamin D is low

    -        If your vitamin D levels are low, then you will have higher risk of dying of cancer!!

    So do you think we need to measure vitamin D levels? Absolutely!!!

     Recent studies show that in order to receive the best levels of protection our blood vitamin D levels should be about 120-200 nmol/l.  I personally don’t like to recommend cod liver oil as a vitamin D supplement because it also contain Vitamin A and too much vitamin A taken for long periods of time can cause health problems.  I prefer to recommend a liquid emulsified vitamin D which you can easily find in your local health food store.

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  • Which Sleep Aids Are Best?

     

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    If you ask anyone who has had any form of insomnia how they feel, they will readily admit how this health problem can wreak havoc on the body. Without the proper amount of sleep, you do not feel well and you cannot function right, either.

    But if you have done all you can to bring on a good night sleep - like having a comfortable bed, sleeping in a darkened room and avoiding anything that stimulates the senses like caffeine - and you still cannot sleep, then you need some extra help.

    If you cannot sleep because there are noises keeping you up at night and you don’t like ear plugs, then use a machine that produces white noise or use a CD that has soothing nature sounds like crashing ocean waves or the sound of a gentle rain.

    You can also find some extra help to get to sleep by using sleep aids. There are many different types you can get and some are natural and some are not. If you want to use natural sleep aids, you can try herbal supplements. You can also try exercises to relax or engage in forms of meditation.

    There are also natural food choices that can help you get to sleep. You can try having some warm “traditional golden milk” (recipe made with turmeric that can be easily found in google) before bed or drinking some chamomile tea (with no sugar). Some foods, such as those containing magnesium, can also help you get to sleep.  Magnesium is the best mineral that relaxes muscles and general tension.

    A natural sleep aid that you can take is melatonin, which helps prepare the body for sleep. Melatonin doesn’t help you fall asleep quicker but it will make sure that the hours that you are sleeping are deeper and therefore help you feel more rested in the morning.  Melatonin is an all-natural aid without groggy, morning after side effects and you can buy it in pill form.

     

     

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