The factors that directly affect the diversity and balance of our microbiota are taken daily and are all products of modern civilization.
1.- First of all there are the BROAD SPECTRO ANTIBIOTICS taken orally. They are bombs of massive destruction that seriously imbalance our intestinal ecosystem that indiscriminately destroy beneficial and non beneficial bacteria. Antibiotics are also present when we consume meats and fish from intensive exploitation that have received them in excess. Antibiotics are even more harmful in children whose bacterial ecosystem is in full development and whose frequency could cause serious problems in their adult life.
2.- The drugs in general also cause havoc to the intestinal microbiota, being the contraceptive pill devastating, its adverse effects are innumerable and has been linked to intestinal disorders as serious as Crohn’s disease.
3.- One must also be very careful with the abuse of laxatives not only because they imbalance the intestinal ecosystem but also because by supplanting the function of the organ, it atrophies. On the other hand its function is limited because they only help to evacuate part of the feces, the rest of the feces of more time continues adhered to the intestinal walls.
4.- Chlorinated water is also harmful since it indiscriminately kills intestinal bacteria, so it is important to filter the water to eliminate nitrates and heavy metals.
5.- The processed foods and their chemical additives used by the food industry to artificially prolong their conservation cause damage to our microbial balance and cause internal inflammation.
6.- Excess hygiene is also a factor against. Contrary to what some modern doctors think, for the immune system to develop optimally, it is imperative that during childhood it is faced with several infections, hence the usefulness of childhood diseases. It is not convenient to sterilize everything because children must develop antibodies to later be able to overcome different serious infections. The fight against microbes must end because far from being enemies, they are our allies! Paradoxically, “our basic error lies in believing that the immune system protects us by killing microbes when in reality what happens is that the microbes are controlled by our immune system. The proper functioning of this depends on the balance of those. “
7.- The electromagnetic pollution also damages our intestine (as it does with our brain and heart). Currently it is very difficult to escape to it but small gestures such as turning off the wifi and cell phone before going to bed, as well as keeping the bedroom free of electrical appliances will make big differences.
8. Cesarean section and its spectacular increase, as well as the alarming decrease in breastfeeding, both seriously damage the budding intestinal ecosystem.
9.- Stress also harms our intestinal balance: the brain-intestine relationship is double-track, therefore an altered psyche can also affect the microbiota. When we live a stressful situation, our brain sends a message to the adrenal glands to release cortisol. This hormone is responsible for causing the body to release glucose in the blood to send massive amounts of energy to the muscles that would be prepared for fight or flight. Although the threat is not real, the body will be filled with adrenaline and the immune system will react and to neutralize the situation will secrete large quantities of inflammatory cytokines. If the stress is punctual, once the alarm state has been overcome, all the physiological functions return to normal immediately, but if it lasts for a long time it will seriously affect the whole organism and the immune system will be considerably depressed. The intestine will be seriously affected and will suffer from permeability and inflammation which in turn, as we already know, will affect our mood. However, the interesting thing is that our intestine could also become protective and in a state of balance with a good dose of beneficial bacteria
will help to reverse the stress situation. Several studies undoubtedly point out that stress can be modulated from our guts! We must not forget that 80% of the immunocompetent cells are found in our intestine!
Marisia Jiménez, N.D.
Based in Camila Rowlands’ book