By age three our microbiome is almost fully formed and is similar to that of an adult. Shifts within various microbial populations continue to occur during adulthood, but as we get older, our microbiome becomes more stable, tending to revert to its previously established baseline after events like an infection or a course of antibiotics. Which begs the question: is it possible to positively shift and restore your microbiome once it’s been severely damaged by medications, infection, a poor diet, and/or environmental factors?
In the case of restoring your microbiome to a balanced and optimal state, the answer is – Maybe. If you suffer from severe microbial damage, it may take several months, and even years before seeing meaningful results. But the good news is that your microbes are constantly changing and evolving. The microbiome you have today isn’t the one you were born with, nor is it the one you’ll have next year or even next week. It’s highly dynamic, constantly shifting and adjusting in response to your internal and external environment.
Make a New Year’s resolution to positively shift your microbiome in 2016 by implementing my Gutbliss 3-Pronged Approach:
- Remove medications (such as antibiotics, acid suppressors, NSAIDs, birth control pills, hormone therapy, and steroids); hygiene practices (such as using hand sanitizer, showering too frequently with soaps and shampoos, and closing yourself off from nature); and foods (those high in sugar and starches, as well as all processed foods) that are damaging to your microbiome. Avoid household and personal care products that contain harmful chemicals.
- Replace the essential bacteria that you’ve lost with live bacteria in the form of a robust probiotic.
- Restore the health of your gut with lots of plant fiber, prebiotic fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, and nutrient dense foods like leafy greens.
By: Dr. Robynne Chutkan