The Necessity of Probiotics
By Dr. Valerie Girard, Chiropractor.
Have you thought about including a probiotic into your diet?
Perhaps you have heard about probiotics and are not exactly sure what they are.
As a chiropractor in Santa Barbara for over 30 years, I have witnessed the power of using probiotics in my chiropractic patients.
Probiotics are defined as healthy and friendly microorganisms that live or can be introduced into the body’s digestive tract. Many current diseases are linked to issues in the small and large intestines, commonly known as the gut. Researchers have determined that certain bacteria such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidus check the growth of harmful and sometimes deadly gut microorganisms such as e. coli, streptococci and clostridium difficile. These healthy bacteria may also inhibit other infectious agents such as candida albicans, fungal and parasitic infestations.
Probiotics alkalize the body and balance the internal pH. They assist in removing toxicity from the gut, thereby assisting in the rejuvenation of the cells in the body. Their use improves digestion, relieves constipation thereby relieving headaches & migraines. They are critical in the prevention of autoimmune diseases and assist in healing stomach ulcers. They are essential in preventing vaginal and throat yeast infections as well as assisting in decreasing gas and bloating.
After years of poor eating, antibiotics, stress and environmental toxins, often our digestive organs do not produce the digestive enzymes needed to breakdown our intake of food and beverages. Probiotics assist us in maintaining a healthy digestive track.
Crohnes disease, inflammatory bowel and colitis may have their roots in imbalances between harmful and friendly bacteria. Other less obvious diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, various forms of arthritis, chronic fatigue, cystic fibrosis, food allergies and skin disorders may also be linked to either gut imbalances or leaky gut, a condition where the harmful bacteria and yeast enter the blood stream, causing an auto immune reaction, chronic inflammation or infiltration into organs such as the lung, kidneys, bladder and stomach.
The use of antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDS, sugar and gluten can all stress the gut, leading to these disease processes. In addition, stress, infections, lack of digestive enzymes and environmental factors will create imbalances that lead to inflammation and disease. Chronic use of antibiotics in known to create a myriad of disorders in the body and must be combated with the consistent use of probiotics.
There are a number of professional products carried by your holistic health practitioner that contain billions of gut friendly organisms. We carry such formulas, infused with as many as 15-50 billion organisms! These contain lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidus organisms, all of which are crucial in regulating unfriendly organisms. These can be taken with or without food.
You can also include fermented food like sauerkraut, kombucha tea, yogurts, kefirs, pickles and pickled vegetables. There are recipes on the Internet which teach your how to make these foods. http://nourishedkitchen.com/recipe-index/ferments-cultured-food/ Many are available in your health food stores. If you are sensitive to dairy intake, you may wish to use professional probiotics or fermented vegetables.
There are a number of refreshing, naturally fermented kombucha tea beverages available at your health food store. You will enjoy not only the taste of flavors such as lavender, gingerberry, gingerade and passionberry. Kefirs, yogurts, sauerkrauts and fermented beverages are also available and some are made locally.
Final note: if you have taken antibiotics or steroids recently or in the past, please consult your health care practitioner about taking one or several rounds of probiotics. It may be very critical for your present and future health.
Dr. Valerie Girard is a chiropractor based in Santa Barbara, CA with over 30 years of experience in holistic chiropractic treatments for the family, cold laser therapy, holistic energetic medicine, functional medicine, orthotics and much more. You can contact her at 1725 State Street B, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 687-1617