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.
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.
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.
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.