BALANCE IN THE BELLY Probiotics play a critical role in your digestive system. These good gut bacteria help your body digest food more efficiently and protect your overall health. However, these microorganisms are susceptible to many negative influences that can cause them to die. More often than not, probiotics die off due to a disruption in the balance of your digestive tract. One of the more harmful things to your gut bacteria is antibiotics, which is self-explanatory when you think about it. Antibiotics attack all forms of bacteria in your body, good or bad. In some cases, people who take too many antibiotics or take them for longer than prescribed experience significant damage to their intestinal flora, leading to digestive issues. Another big threat to probiotics is medication in general. When you start or stop a medication, probiotics in your system can be adversely affected. Taking new supplements or changing your dosage can have the same effect. A major change to your diet can also harm your gut flora. If you introduce new foods or alter your diet significantly, it can shock your system with the sudden change, resulting in a die-off. In this case, even an insignificant die-off can cause you to feel under the weather.
Why Good Gut Bacteria Die and What You Can Do About It
For most people, simple and small changes to medications or diets will not have much effect on existing gut flora. After all, the average person has roughly 3 pounds of gut bacteria in their system at any given time — that’s about 100 trillion microorganisms working for your body! But when they do die off, all they need is time to repopulate and restore balance to your digestive system. You can help speed up this process by consuming probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha.
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