A healthy gut flora is crucial for our health. However, if the gut flora or intestinal flora is damaged by factors such as stress, unhealthy nutrition or medication, typical symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation or flatulence appear. Learn how to rebuild your gut flora in this article.
In addition to the obvious consequences of a disturbed intestinal flora, there are also other signs or diseases that are directly or indirectly related to the intestine. These often include fatigue, immune deficiency, allergies, rheumatism, neurodermatitis and even depression.
Even if many are reluctant to talk about the intestine and the associated diseases, this topic should not be a taboo. A healthy intestinal flora is vital for people to survive. Learn how to build and maintain healthy gut flora.
What should I know about the guts?
With the length of 5 to 7.6 meters long, our gut is the largest organ in the body. A balanced intestinal flora contains 100 million nerve cells and around 100 trillion microbial organisms such as viruses, fungi and bacteria. A healthy intestinal flora consists of 85% useful and 15% harmful bacteria. The approximately up to 1000 types of different bacteria together weigh about 2 kilograms.
Only a healthy intestinal flora enables us to ingest food and effectively digest it. This requires both the “good” and the “bad” microbial organisms in the intestine. The so-called bad bacteria help the intestine to strengthen its defense. This is extremely important, because a large part of our immune system is in the gut.
What is Dysbiosis?
When the intestinal bacteria are in a balanced state, the good bacteria keep the harmful ones in check and prevent the spread of unwanted germs. The distruption of this balance, or the decrease of the number of good bacteria or the diversity of microorganisms is known as dysbiosis.
What distrupts a health gut flora?
Possible causes of a disturbed intestinal flora include:
- Poor eating habits and unhealthy eating
With a stressful everyday life, working people in particular take less and less time to prepare their daily meals and eat them consciously. This usually leads to high-calorie meals and large portions. Such eating habits lead to digestive problems.
Even if it happens unconsciously in many people, stress often leads to an increase in natural bowel movement and triggers diarrhea. On the other hand, chronic stress can slow digestion and even cause constipation.
Various medications can also attack the healthy intestinal flora. As a side effect of medication, both diarrhea and constipation can occur.
Antibiotics in particular, which are prescribed for bacterial infections, cannot differentiate between bad and good bacteria. For this reason, the intestinal flora must be built up more intensively after antibiotic treatment.
- Food intolerance
A distinction must be made between food intolerance and food allergy. Both of them disrupt the healthy intestinal flora, but allergies can also cause other problems.
Other causes of bowel problems include infections, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as celiac disease and many others. Unclear causes should be clarified by the doctor before treatment.
What are the signs of a unbalanced gut flora?
There are many signs of an intact intestinal flora that cannot be ignored. Otherwise, numerous chronic diseases can occur. Symptoms for an unbalanced intestinal flora include:
- blemished skin
- flu infections
- bronchitis or asthma
- sinus infection
- food intolerance
- fungal diseases
- constipation or diarrhea
How can I restore the gut flora after an antibiotics-treatment?
An intact intestinal flora led by antibiotics can be treated with probiotics. Probiotics contain gastro-resistant microorganisms in high dosages. According to studies, they have been very successful in restoring the balance of the intestinal flora after antibiotic therapy. Usually, doctors prescribe probiotics for the antibiotic.
The Probiotic Capsules Complex with Inulin from Casida – available in pharmacies in Germany – serve to strengthen the intestinal flora and the immune system. The high-dosage capsules contain 16 selected bacterial strains of the natural gut microbiota and bio inulin. The structure of the intestinal flora is supported by the sensible combination of the bacterial strains probiotics and prebiotics. Casida capsules are free from preservatives, flavourings, colourings, stabilizers, gelatin, lactose and gluten and are 100% vegan.
The intestinal flora can also be successfully built up with probiotic foods, as these have a positive effect on the intestinal flora and the immune system. The most important probiotic bacteria are lactic acid bacteria because they are acid-tolerant and can be distributed in the intestine.
Probiotic foods are helpful for indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation. They also strengthen mental health and the immune system. They can even help prevent colon cancer.
- Yogurt is one of the most important probiotic foods. This source of probiotics is fermented by the lactic acid bacteria and has a long shelf life. Regular consumption of yogurt builds up the intestinal flora, helps against indigestion and can even prevent high blood pressure and improve bone density.
- Kefir is also a probiotic food, in the production of which lactic acid bacteria and the so-called kefir tuber are added. Kefir has even more probiotic bacteria than yogurt and is also tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant. Thanks to its high folic acid content, it is also extremely good for pregnant women.
- Live probiotic bacterial cultures are also contained in sauerkraut. Raw sauerkraut helps build the intestinal flora, has a positive effect on the immune system and promotes blood formation and cell renewal. In addition to the probiotic lactic acid bacteria, there is also a high concentration of vitamin B12, vitamin C and fiber in the sauerkraut.
- The Japanese spice paste miso is made from soybeans and rice or barley. In addition to probiotic lactic acid bacteria, the traditionally produced miso also contains proteins and fiber.
- Pickled cucumbers have a high content of probiotic lactic acid bacteria, which ensure healthy intestinal flora. However, most cucumbers from the supermarket do not contain live lactic acid bacteria because they were made by adding vinegar. So there must be real pickled cucumbers.
- Many lactic acid bacteria form during the fermentation of apples. Apple cider vinegar is therefore one of the probiotic foods that can rebuild the intestinal flora. Apple cider vinegar is also useful for gout, arthritis and colds.
- The following applies to cheese: the more aged the cheese the more probiotic bacteria. However, not all cheeses contain live lactic acid bacteria, but especially the cheddar, gruyere, gouda, mozzarella and parmesan varieties. Cheese also contains vitamin A, vitamin B2, protein and calcium.
The Korean Kimchi dish also helps to maintain a healthy intestinal flora. It is a mixture of fermented Chinese cabbage, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and chilli flakes.
Health tips from Vivantes Klinikum Berlin: Prebiotics and Probiotics
Whatelse can I do for a healthy gut?
To restore the intestinal flora and keep it healthy, adequate sleep and relaxation as possible are also very important. The reduction of stress and “off-time” for a healthy sleep has been shown to have a positive effect on the intestinal flora.
Another important point in building up the intestinal flora is regular exercise. In addition, smoking, coffee, alcohol and fatty as well as high-sugar diet should be avoided as much as possible.