In your self-care journey, you may have come across probiotics as an option to help your gut. You may be familiar with the concept of "healthy bacteria" that perform roles in the body. You've probably seen a sea of probiotic options at your local pharmacy or grocery store, promising benefits to digestion and gut health.
But what are the signs that you might actually benefit from a probiotic? It may surprise you to learn that they're not all related to gut health.
You’re Taking Antibiotics
Less of a symptom and more of a situation, any time you are completing a course of antibiotics is a great time to add a probiotic to your regimen. Antibiotics are wonderfully effective at killing off harmful bacteria, but they also have the unfortunate consequence of killing the good bacteria. If you take or have previously taken antibiotics, your microbiome is likely significantly altered. This alteration of the microbiome can have negative consequences. Luckily, taking probiotics can help repopulate your gut with good bacteria.
You’re Experiencing Digestive Irregularities
The gastrointestinal system contains a diverse ecosystem of microbes; however, when that environment changes to an imbalanced state (dysbiosis), many people experience digestive issues. These digestive issues can be in the form of diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or, generally, inflammation in the gut. Clinical trials have shown that probiotics can be helpful in some of these digestive issues, and more research will likely elucidate how probiotics can combat these diseases.
You’ve Recently Experienced Food Poisoning
Unfortunately, if you have eaten something that has gone bad or meat that is undercooked, you have likely infected your gut with harmful bacteria. The good news is that probiotics can help minimize the harm. It is not uncommon to use probiotics to mitigate the symptoms that are associated with this infection.
You Have Unusual Sugar Cravings
The bacteria in your gut have to eat, and they love their fair share of complex carbohydrates. Harmful bacteria also get to eat, and like the best of us, many of them prefer unhealthy sugars. Via the gut-brain axis, bacteria in the gut can communicate with the nervous system and impact eating behavior.
Your Skin Is Breaking Out
To what extent probiotics can mitigate the symptoms of skin conditions is yet to be determined; however, there is promising data to back the benefits of probiotics for dermatological health. Acne, dry skin, eczema, hives, psoriasis, and rashes are all potential use cases for probiotics. The intestinal microbiome plays a significant role in systemic inflammation, which can play an underlying role in skin health.
You’re Constantly Sad and Cranky
As briefly mentioned earlier, your microbiome communicates with your central nervous system through the gut-brain axis, a way neural signals interact with gastrointestinal function. Probiotics directly interact with the signaling in the gut, thus having the ability to alter neural signaling. This has led many researchers to look into how probiotics can improve mood and depressive-like behaviors.
You’re Getting Sick More Often
If you feel under the weather more often than you would like, you could have an issue with your microbiome. After all, 70% of immune cells live within your gut. Although there is not an FDA-approved probiotic for preventing any illness, scientists have connected probiotics to overall health and immunity. The microbiome is known to play a role in immune response across body systems.
You Have Recurring Yeast Infections
Repeated clinical evidence has shown that gastrointestinal and urogenital microbes play a central role in maintaining wellbeing. If you are suffering from recurring vaginosis or yeast infections, probiotics can be a part of your treatment regimen.
Your Stomach is Upset
Cramps, bloating, and discomfort are all signs of dysbiosis in the gut, and probiotics can help mitigate these issues. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth has been associated with gastrointestinal disorders. A great way to reduce the overgrowth of harmful bacteria is to introduce probiotics that can help maintain the homeostasis of your microbiome.
You Are Experiencing Respiratory Issues
Just as the gut-brain axis can impact your health, the gut-lung axis behaves similarly. The gut-lung axis is a dynamic crosstalk between your gut and pulmonary system at the level of microbes and immune cells. An increasing amount of research explores how the modulation of the gut microbiome and compounds produced by gut bacteria can impact inflammation in the lungs.
There are probiotics available to support your lungs and reduce inflammation, but you have to make sure the product you are taking is specifically designed for pulmonary health. resB Lung Support is a great choice that also includes specific herbal extracts for respiratory health. You can learn more at www.resbiotic.com.
More research about the microbiome and its role in our health gets published every year, and there will likely be more and more reasons to take probiotics in the future. If you think that one of these signs to take a probiotic applies to you, talk to a health professional about incorporating probiotics into your daily routine.