Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: June, 2019

Our human microbiome plays a pivotal role on how we feel overall. How we choose to eat directly affects the balance of the microbiome we have to aid in absorption and digestion. These microbiomes consists of trillions of microorganisms of various species. In a healthy person, this bacteria coexist in a balanced manner, with the majority of them present in both our small and large intestines. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, "The microbiome is even labeled a supporting organ because it plays so many key roles in promoting the smooth daily operations of the human body." The balance that each person has in their microbiome is correlated to their DNA from birth. The microbiome has a certain amount of helpful (symbiotic) and potentially harmful bacteria (pathogenic). Usually it is a disturbance within the body caused by an infectious illness, certain diets, or extended use of antibiotics or other bacteria-reducing medications that can alter the balance of the human microbiome in our bodies.

Therefore, the body may become more susceptible to disease. Microbiome does also have many benefits to the body as well. For starters, it stimulates the immune system, breaks down potentially toxic food compounds, and synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids (e.g. B Vitamins and Vitamin K). Sugars like lactose or the common table sugar are absorbed rapidly in the upper portion of the small intestine, but complex carbohydrates like starches and/or fiber are not digested easily. As a result, these foods may travel much lower into the large intestine. The fermentation of indigestable fibers stirs the onset of short chain fatty acids that can be used by the human body as a nutrient source, but also in aiding muscle function and in some cases prevent chronic diseases.

This may include illnesses such as certain cancers and bowel disorders. The microbiota of a healthy person will also provide adequate protection from pathogens that enter our bodies from a refreshment or contaminated food. Large groups of bacteria are located in the human gut which include: Prevotella, Ruminococcus, Bacteroides, and Firmicutes. Also, the colon which is a low oxgen environment is home to several anaerobic bacteria like Peptostreptococcus, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Clostridium. 

Overall, our microbiome is a living dynamic environment where the relative abundance of species may fluctuate daily, weekly, or monthly. It is influenced by our diet, medication, exercise, and an array of other environmental exposures. 

 

Until the next post...be well.


The gut and mind are closely intercorrelated in how they work in helping an individual remain healthy. This is why, under a stressful situation...one may experience nausea. Stress can affect movement and contractions of the GI tract, make inflammation worse, or perhaps make you more susceptible to infection. According to Harvard Health Publishing, "some people with functional GI disorders perceive pain more acutely than other people do because their brains are more responsive to pain signals from the GI tract." Are your stomach or intestinal problems — such as heartburn, abdominal cramps, or loose stools — related to stress? If you notice these symptoms, please consult them with your doctor. These issues are normally diagnosed under three categories of symptoms, which can be viewed below:

 

Physical symptoms

·      Stiff or tense muscles, especially in the neck and shoulders

·      Headaches

·      Sleep problems

·      Shakiness or tremors

·      Recent loss of interest in sex

·      Weight loss or gain

·      Restlessness

Behavioral symptoms

·      Procrastination

·      Grinding teeth

·      Difficulty completing work assignments

·      Changes in the amount of alcohol or food you consume

·      Taking up smoking, or smoking more than usual

·      Increased desire to be with or withdraw from others

·      Rumination (frequent talking or brooding about stressful situations)

Emotional symptoms

·      Crying

·      Overwhelming sense of tension or pressure

·      Trouble relaxing

·      Nervousness

·      Quick temper

·      Depression

·      Poor concentration

·      Trouble remembering things

·      Loss of sense of humor

·      Indecisiveness

 

 

Be well. Be informed. Live well.