What Top Scientists Are Discovering About Our Gut And How It Can Dramatically Affect The Quality Of Our Lives
Many people turn to popular restrictive diets in order to rid themselves of digestive issues. However, when it comes to improving digestive health, most diets usually fall short. Thats because they don’t address the underlying problem – gut health.
Most modern foods lack the vital nutrients needed to maintain a balanced gut. In fact, new studies are showing that the gut directly impacts our digestion, lungs, heart, and even our brain health. So when bad bacteria outnumbers the good, it can negatively impact various parts of our health.
Its no surprise many people are turning to probiotics to improve their overall health. But youll want to be careful because not all probiotics are created equal. And with so much clutter on the market it’s tough to know which ones are actually effective.
Thats why the Smarter Reviews team explains exactly what to look for and what to avoid before buying a probiotic. We also reveal the top 5 digestive probiotics on the market today.
Overuse Of Stomach Prescriptions
A common way to treat acid reflux is by using stomach acid blockers called proton pump inhibitors . The function of these drugs is to block stomach acid.
A recent analysis showed that over 80% of patients given the medicines in the category called proton pump inhibitors had no valid indication for use. The use of these drugs is now linked to an increased risk of serious infections, memory loss, and more.
PPIs are sometimes needed and beneficial. Keep in mind, they are indicated for short-term use.
Yet people stay on them for years, even decades.
Many people recover and feel so much better if they choose to add in natural treatments for heartburn such as probiotics whenever possible. They absorb their food better and have more energy as well.
What Causes Acid Reflux
Acid reflux or heartburn, is really common, but not for the reasons many people think.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , about 1 in 5 people have this frustrating condition of GERD, while even more people have occasional acid reflux or heartburn .
These conditions can be caused by hiatal hernia, medications like Ibuprofen, and genes, but there is definitely more to the story for most people.
Its tempting to blame heartburn and acid reflux on genes, but the truth is, the reason GERD is so common now is that it often boils down to foods that you are eating or stress .
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Mayo Clinic Minute: Figuring Out Fermented Foods
You may have heard that fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or the fermented tea drink kombucha, are good for your health. Dr. Joseph Murray, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, says some people may benefit from fermented foods, but he warns that there are pros and cons that go along with taking these products.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is in the downloads. Read the script.
Fermented foods are all the rage. But are they really healthy?
Whenever we take whats a natural product, we do have to beware theres good and bad potential.
Mayo Clinics Dr. Joseph Murray says fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi or the tea product called kombucha contain good bugs or microorganisms that may promote good health and aid digestion
which, for some people, can help them feel better maybe help them have a more regular bowel habit. But its not to be underestimated. Some people dont tolerate it so well.
Dr. Murray says fermented foods have been taken for good health for centuries. The good bugs in these foods may help treat diarrhea, especially after taking antibiotics prevent and treat urinary tract, yeast and intestinal infections help manage irritable bowel syndrome and may shorten the severity of a cold or flu.
We have a community of bugs that live on us and in us.
And the bugs in fermented foods may work for some people. But Dr. Murray says researchers continue to learn more about benefits and risks of fermented foods.
Ways Probiotics Can Skyrocket Your Health
A recent study has shown a direct relationship between bad bacterial growth in the gut and the ability to fall and remain asleep. This can lead to sleep disorders that zap our energy during the day and create erratic sleep patterns. In short, the more good bacteria in our gut, the better our sleep!
When the bad bacteria in our gut start outnumbering the good, not only does it make it more difficult to digest food, but it can sometimes lead to embarrassing gut issues such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. A high-quality probiotic can help correct this imbalance, leading to a marked improvement of these symptoms.
If you ever wondered how people slide past the age of 100 so effortlessly, chances are its because of their healthy, youthful gut. In fact, recent studies show that participants over the age of 100 who are less physically frail and enjoy greater mental acuity had one thing in common: an abundance of healthy bacterial strains in their gut. So, the fountain of youth may just be located in our gut after all!
With over 70% of our immunity residing in our gut, it becomes important to support it in any way we can. Probiotic supplements replenish the gut with helpful bacteria to boost our immune system so it can respond to unanticipated attacks.
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When Should I Take Probiotics
The ideal time to take probiotics is right before bed because “the gut is pretty inactive at night. If you think about it, you dont usually wake up in the middle of the night to poop, says Patricia Raymond, MD, a board-certified doctor in both gastroenterology and internal medicine. If you ingest a probiotic at night when your bowel isnt moving, theres a better chance that it will hang around, divide, and potentially get integrated into your gut.
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It does contain milk, so if you have an allergy, it’s best to choose a different product.
There is no refrigeration necessary, but you do not want to store this in extreme heat.
If you have problems swallowing pills, these can be opened and taken with water or juice.
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Lifestyle Changes May Also Help With Acid Reflux And Gerd
Factors that include diet and lifestyle choices impact the severity and frequency of acid reflux and can lead to GERD if contributing practices remain unmanaged. Avoiding foods and changing habits that increase hydrochloric acid will also help heal the gut.
As a review, the foods to avoid include foods high in dietary fat, spicy foods, peppermint, citrus, chocolate, tomato sauces, and acidic beverages like coffee.
Habits to change include smoking cessation, losing weight if overweight or obese, and not eating within 3 hours of bedtime.
Particular foods can help neutralize stomach acid, including foods that are rich in fiber, such as:
- Whole grains
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
The esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. At the end of the esophagus is the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle thats responsible for keeping swallowed food and liquids in the stomach once theyve entered. In someone with GERD, this muscle relaxes and opens, which allows stomach acid to flow back upwards into the esophagus.
Anyone can experience heartburn or acid reflux from time to time. However, GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux symptoms occur with regular frequency. This consistent backwash of stomach acid irritates the esophageal lining. Over time, the esophagus can narrow and cause swallowing difficulties. Without appropriate treatment, frequent GERD sufferers can even develop ulcers or precancerous lesions in their esophagus.
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What Are Ppi Drugs Side Effects
Using prescription medications for heartburn isnt benign. They have common and some serious long-term side effects.
PPI drug side effects include:
Discuss short term and long term use of these medications with your doctor as they can bring with other long term health issues.
I will describe some nutritional issues that can due to PPIs that occur below.
How To Use Prebiotics Safely
Try to get prebiotics from whole foods since they also have healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some experts say you should get at least 5 grams of prebiotics in your diet every day. Too much can lead to gas or bloating. Start with small amounts so your gut can get used to them.
Although side effects are rare, prebiotics arenât for everyone. If you have IBS, prebiotics can make your symptoms worse, and you could have:
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Medications That May Trigger Heartburn
There are some medications that can cause heartburn, because they may relax the LES. You may want to talk to your pharmacist or doctor about your heartburn if you’re taking any of the following:
- Medications for asthma or allergies
- Prescription blood pressure or angina pills
- Medication for a urinary tract infection
- Muscle relaxants
Heartburn Drugs Reduce Vitamin B12
What happens if you take a proton pump inhibitor or PPI? This medicine blocks acid production in the stomach. Seems pretty benign, right?
Heres the story you dont hear. By blocking acid, they also block the absorption of vitamin B12. Stomach acid is key to freeing or liberating B12 for absorption too.
There are many other nutrients that may suffer, too, like calcium, iron, and zinc.
Your healthy probiotics also get disrupted by the acid-blocking medications.
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Side Effects From Probiotics
In general, probiotics are considered safe for most individuals. Minor side effects may occur from taking probiotics and usually affect a small percentage of the population.
Temporary side effects include bloating and flatulence. If yeast-based probiotics are consumed, people may experience increased constipation and thirst.
It is recommended to start with a lower dose of probiotics and slowly increase to the recommended dosage within a month to help the body adjust. Slowly introducing probiotics may help reduce adverse side effects.
How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You
Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.
They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.
If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.
Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.
Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.
Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.
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Acid Reflux Gerd And Gut Health
The microbiome is the fundamental source of health in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. The gut microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria, some fungi, and viruses. In a healthy gut microbiome, the beneficial bacteria outweigh harmful bacteria. An imbalance of the beneficial bacteria can lead to esophageal abnormalities.
Microbial Dysbiosis, the reduction of microbe diversity and loss of beneficial bacteria, can offset the immune system. This can make the body more susceptible to illnesses such as GERD.
Cytokines are proteins that are involved with our immune system and the bodys inflammatory response. Cytokines act as messengers and report pathogen invasion to other cells. When the gut is off-balance, the cytokines are affected. As a result, the esophageal mucosa is altered, and inflammation occurs, resulting in illnesses such as acid reflux.
The health status of the microbiome plays a role in the development of GERD. The esophagus is not just a food pipe where food travels to the stomach. The esophagus is also a host for bacteria and can promote illness if the beneficial bacteria is off balance. The bacteria living in the esophagus can alter the healthy balance in the gut and lead to disease progression.
Factors can offset the balance between the esophageal microbiome and the body, such as diet, antibiotic and medication use, age, oral hygiene, and tobacco smoking.
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Best Probiotic Brands For Acid Reflux
NOW Supplements, Saccharomyces Boulardii, contains S. boulardii at 5 billion CFUs. This product is highly rated for improving many aspects of digestive health and very inexpensive for people on a budget.
Swansons Lactobacillus Gasseri, with 3 billion CFUs per serving-I listed this brand because it is the only single-strain probiotic of the well-researched Lactobacillus Gasseri.
This probiotic would be a good add-on for people who tend to eat probiotic foods or take another probiotic and are looking for a bit of extra benefit for acid reflux. Some people make their own yogurt out of it as well.
How To Use Slippery Elm To Treat Acid Reflux
Slippery elm is available in various forms, such as capsules, powder, and lozenges.
If youre taking powdered bark, a typical dosage is about one tablespoon up to three times per day. You can mix it with tea or water.
Adding too much slippery elm to the water may cause it to become too thick to ingest. You can add sugar and honey to the drink to make it more palatable.
If you prefer capsules, its common to take 400-to 500-milligram capsules up to three times per day. Its generally safe to take daily capsules for up to eight weeks.
Be sure to read the directions on any slippery elm product that you wish to use. If youre ever unsure of how much slippery elm to take, speak with your doctor. They can help you determine the correct dosage.
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The 5 Best Probiotics When You Have Gerd
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is the painful and potentially dangerous escalation of acid reflux. While there’s no cure, there are treatments available to manage symptoms, and probiotics can be an important part of that treatment plan.
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Probiotics are living bacteria and yeast that exist naturally in your gut and are also present in some foods, like yogurt and sauerkraut. Some people also choose to take probiotic supplements.
They’re considered “good” bacteria because they’re linked to better gut health and play a role in things like immunity and metabolism regulation.
What Triggers Heartburn
Heartburn can be triggered by a lot of things, but eating is the main culprit. It can be caused by the specific foods you eatwe’re looking at you, greasy fries and hot wingsas well as by eating too much, or simply eating a big, heavy meal close to bedtime.
Carbonated and alcoholic beverages can also give you heartburn. People who are overweight often suffer from heartburn. Even a few extra pounds can put pressure on your stomach, causing acid to back up into your esophagus.
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Probiotics For H Pylori
Probiotics may be helpful in combatting stomach infections like H. pylori too.
Using probiotics plus antibiotic was better than treatment with antibiotic alone in a study of people who had helicobacter pylori infections .
Antibiotics-only treatment eradicated the H.Pylori at 69% while pre-treatment with the probiotic Bifidus infantis for 2 weeks and during antibiotic treatment led to a 91% eradication of H. Pylori.
Fermented yogurts that are rich in probiotics reduce H. Pylori infections as well .
Gerd Symptoms And Risks
There are several symptoms that could indicate the presence of GERD:
- Aspiration, when food rises through the esophagus and returns down the trachea
- Chronic hoarseness or cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent heartburn
- Live with a connective tissue disorder
Women who are pregnant can also experience GERD during their pregnancy.
Lifestyle choices are another risk factor in developing GERD:
- Eating large meals late at night
- Excessive drinking of alcohol or coffee
Many people with GERD find that certain foods trigger their GERD symptoms, such as fried, fatty or spicy foods. If acid reflux is mild and flares up only in response to specific foods, simple dietary changes may be enough to control your GERD symptoms.
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