Your “microbiome” refers to the trillions of bacteria that live on & within your body that are a vital part of your body’s eco-system. The bacteria that live within your digestive tract are critical to helping your body break down the food that you eat so that nutrients can be absorbed & utilized by your organ systems, as well as protect you from pathogens & keep your immune system running strong. When your gut micro-biome is out of balance this will result in digestive dysfunction which can lead to an array of resulting health problems.
Common indicators of Microbiome imbalance include:
Skin irritation: eczema, acne, rash
Digestive Discomfort: bloating, gas, chronic diarrhea &/or constipation
Difficulty losing or gaining weight
Food sensitivities & intolerances
Mood Disorders: anxiety, depression, mood swings
Sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue
What does the Microbiome need to thrive?
The development of your microbiome begins when you are born, as you pass through your mother’s birth canal. It continues to develop as you grow and are exposed to the outside world, are nourished with your mother’s breast milk and begin to eat solid foods. Keeping your child’s microbiome healthy will support their immune system & help them to digest, absorb and utilize nutrients from food which will in turn help them to avoid experiencing countless potential health problems.
Get to know their poop:
The state of your child’s poop is a strong indicator of their gut health. You want to look at the stool’s consistency, whether it floats or sinks, its color, and how often they go (once or twice a day is a sign of strong digestion). Also watch for poor gut health symptoms such as excessive gas, stomach aches, or nausea.
A note about antibiotics:
Only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary. They will kill most of the bacteria in your child’s digestive tract, good and bad. This can have devastating effects on their digestive system and immune system and can take two years to repopulate. Keep in mind, your child’s microbiome is a natural antibiotic! The healthier it is the more capable their immune system will be to defend against pathogens & invaders! After using antibiotics be sure to incorporate lots of prebiotic & probiotic foods to help repopulate the beneficial bacteria in you child's intestinal tract. Also avoid feeding them starchy carbohydrates & sugars as these will feed the bad bacteria who are looking for every opportunity to take over. Too many starchy carbs will lead to a microbiome imbalance and further health consequences down the road.
For many facotrs including the fact that our soils are depleted, we're regularly exposed to a varitey of toxic chemicals and pesticides and our environments are overly sanitized, I think it is a good idea to supplement with probiotics to support your child's gut health. Especially if they were born c-section or were unable to be breast fed.
Here is a link to my favorite infant & child probiotics:
Questions? Feel free to reach out to me >> firstname.lastname@example.org