12 Signs Your Flora is F*cked

Your body likes to give you signs when you might be having issues. Usually we like to blow them off and expect them to turn around. Maybe they will. What happens when they don’t? If you have these chronic conditions it maybe time to check in with a doctor to sort these out.


 

 

1. Bloating

After having a hearty meal, especially after a bit of an over indulgence, you might have to loosen the belt buckle. Your food baby awaits your attention. It feels like you have no control. When did I put this fat suit on?

The problem with bloating isn’t just the unsightly view of an over inflated belly, it’s the fact you have fermentation happening in the wrong portion of the body! All that gas and air should be produced in the large intestines. If the body is unable to break down the food properly in the stomach, it leaves undigested particles for the small intestines. Thus the bacteria in the small intestines starts to feast off these larger pieces, leading to the production of gas and your food baby.

2. Constipation

Just…a little….HARDERR…..

The dissatisfied look on your face is totally warranted. What happened?! Multiple factors could be going on, the foods that you have eaten are absorbing a lot of the water in your digestive tract making it harder for it to slide on through to the swimming pool. Not having enough water can be the other problem. If it is chronically a problem, it’s most likely due to gut dysbiosis, or an imbalance of gut bacteria in your large intestines.

Instead of the proper gut bacteria producing short chain fatty acids, the imbalanced bacteria are feasting on the mucus lining of the large intestines along with the foods that have passed into the large intestines. That mucus gives the stool the easy passages along your colon. No mucus, and you have yourself a stool trying to pass along sandpaper. Friction is not  your friend in this case.

3. Diarrhea

Travelled to a different country? You probably had a bout of traveler’s diarrhea. What about that raw sushi? Usually if you have diarrhea it’s not for very long. A day or 3. Those with IBD or IBS have it every week. If the body accidently digests a colony of bacteria foreign to it, its natural defense mechanism is to purge that bacteria out. This happens out of either end. Fun times to be had for all. If this is chronically issue, you may be able to point the finger at an imbalance of poor bacteria. The decreased transit time is most likely caused by the toxins being released by an overabundance of the bad bacteria. This forces the body to release these toxins immediately, which makes for unformed stools.

A huge problem with the short transit time is the body missing a huge component in the large intestines. Short chain fatty acids are produced during the fermentation process in the large intestines. These are essential for a healthy human body to function properly. This fermentation makes the stool become solid by the time it is excreted. Without any SCFA being produced, your body is missing components needed to function properly.

4. Heartburn / Acid Reflux

Eating fried/spicy/processed foods are widely known culprits of causing heartburn. And for good reason too! Our guts aren’t meant to handle the artificial nature of these foods, thus making them essentially foreign! Bile and acids in the stomach try to break down these foods, but the normal amount of acid cannot properly break down the foods, leaving partially digested foods entering the small intestines.

Pressure from the foods being fermented in the small intestines allows the valve in our stomach to open. From this opening comes the acids and bile remnants into our esophagus. Hot stuff! Those painful burps and warming sensations are just another sign that your gut is out of sorts.

5. Seasonal Allergies

Pollen counts are being tallied on your local news. Spring is just around the corner. It’s gonna be a rough day for those with allergies. I don’t think our ancestors had to rely on pollen counts. Even when we are young, we never had a problem with allergies, but we somehow grow into them? Why are seasonal allergies so wide spread now? The modern human is constantly producing histamine due to poor diet.

Histamine is what gives allergy suffers those itchy eyes, post nasal drip, sneezing, coughing, and feeling of being just plain miserable. What is producing all this histamine? A poor gut flora could be a potential problem. Eating a poor diet gives the bad bacteria food to hang around. And like a stray cat, they just won’t leave. As they are setting up shop, they are chomping on your food and they are producing toxins. Some of these toxins cause the body to respond by producing histamine.

Your body can only handle so much histamine, until the symptoms of an overburdened body cannot handle it any more. Add pollen to your system and you have just created a histamine tsunami.

6. Acne

Getting acne when you’re past your teens is not the best look. A pimple here and there is normal, but when you have a full outbreak, you can feel like those Lepers from the Ten Commandments. When I was a kid, they used to tell me that what you ate didn’t give you acne. Science today tells us otherwise.

Again, poor diet habits or the imbalanced flora will give the bad bacteria a chance to thrive. If they pounce on this opportunity, they have the ability to produce toxins. The liver is put underneath intense stress, from its daily functions, and now with this new load of toxins being funneled in. If the liver can’t bear the load, it passes back into the blood stream. It then finds its easiest way out of the body: through the skin. Bad news for us, our pretty little faces end up being the toxic waste land in the form of acne and blemishes. Seriously liver?!

7. Skin quality

Foods are eaten to give us the fuel needed to complete the proper functions throughout the day. They give our body nutrients and those nutrients go to our organs and we are able to perform our everyday activities. What happens when those nutrients never get to our organs? What if another organism is harvesting it all and not playing nice and sharing. The smoking gun maybe a gut that has a colony of bad bacteria being greedy and using the nutrients for their own well-being. Not cool bad gut bacteria. Our skin being the biggest organ of the human body suffers. Dryness, bumps, scaly, are signs that our skin might not be getting the proper amount of nutrients needed to give it the glow our skin deserves.

8. Nausea

Stomach pains and feeling nauseous are clear signs that you might be getting sick or eaten the wrong food. By wrong food, I mean a bacteria laced edible. That nauseous feeling is just your flora battling back against that overflow of bad guys. Sometimes, you’re able to weather the storm. Others, the purge is needed. Welcome the purge, it’s usually a sign of victory for the good flora. Score one for the flora!

 

9. Food intolerances

Milk, eggs, nuts, cheese, tomatoes, fish, and the list goes on. How does all of a sudden we get food intolerances after years of eating with no issue? A bad flora means there is probably inflammation in our guts. This inflammation can come in the form of stomach pains, nausea, itchy eyes, dry throat, etc. Enzymes maybe suppressed that help break down these foods. Or could it be that a particular species of gut bacteria is no longer colonized in your gut. Or worse, another bacteria is using these foods as its own, and it’s by products are now essentially giving you these symptoms?

These are questions that need to be answered by more science, but in some cases food intolerances can stem from a poor flora.

10. White tongue

Unless you have been having ice-cream or a white Russian, your tongue should not have a white coating covering it. It’s best to check the condition of your tongue upon waking. A little bit of white isn’t anything to be too concerned about, but when you have a thick layer you might just have yourself a yeast infection. This could be your only symptom, but if it goes untreated, other not so fun symptoms could pop up eventually. Yeast is a part of a normal flora, but if they begin to grow out of control, they can destroy the flora and making your life miserable and cause a host of other problems.

11. Get sick often

Yeah the seasonal cold should be no big deal, but when you start experiencing one after another, or just can’t kick that hacking cough, your immune system is comprised. Just so happens your gut is responsible for around 70% of your immune system. With a good flora intact, pathogens don’t have a chance to wreak havoc on your body. Without the good flora, the common cold can mess you up for a week. Blowing into tissues and hacking up mucus isn’t how I like to spend my time. Fixing the flora helps prevent these nuisances.

12. Antibiotics

You got sick and the Doc gave you a prescription for some antibiotics. Short term they might help you out; long term you just dropped the atom bomb. Remember that flora you had in your gut? Well, they just got nuked. Zapped. Obliterated. You get the picture. But you say, “I eliminated the bad guys too.”

Yes, but let me paint this scene that I heard on a podcast/blog: Say you’re the king of the castle and you have invaders coming in. They have infiltrated, and your army is kinda weak. Instead of building up more troops, you decided to set the castle a flame. Everyone dies. Mission Accomplished? Unfortunately, more bad guys show up…and now there is no resistance. They rebuild the castle. They now own the land. This is what happens if pathogens come into your gut after taking antibiotics.

The pathogens will have no resistance, and could put you in a world of hurt. Not saying to not ever take antibiotics, they are essential for preventing infections when applied properly. Just don’t take them every time you get a sniffle or a small cold. Protect the flora.