We all know that eating a diet full of whole foods, getting plenty of exercise, and taking a daily probiotic can help us keep our digestive systems happy and healthy. But even when you make all of these important tasks a part of your daily routine, there are still some factors that can negatively impact your gut microbiome. One of the biggest and least talked about culprits here is medication. Before we dive into that, let’s make sure we are on the same page with a quick refresher of what exactly the gut microbiome is and why it’s important.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
There are trillions of bacteria that reside in your body, and the vast majority of them can be found in your digestive tract. Collectively, these bacteria make up your gut microbiome. It’s important to note here that not all of these bacteria are bad. In fact, the majority of them are extremely beneficial to your overall health.
These beneficial bacteria help with tasks like removing toxins, absorbing important nutrients, assisting with digestion, and promoting a healthy balance of hormones. With that being said, there are some bacteria in your gut that can be harmful to your health if they are left to their own devices. This is why taking steps to ensure a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut is such a vital part of keeping your body as healthy as possible.
Similar to a fingerprint, no two gut microbiomes are exactly the same—the composition of your gut microbiome is unique to you. However, this doesn’t mean that you are stuck with the gut microbiome you have right now, at least not completely. While you can’t completely overhaul the composition of bacteria in your digestive system, it can be altered slightly based on a variety of factors like the environment you live in, your mental health, the foods you eat, and the medications you take.
Medication and Your Gut Microbiome
Medications like antibiotics, antacids, steroids, and so on all have their place—they can be an extremely important part of treating health-threatening conditions. While these medications may be beneficial to our health at times, they can also be hard on our gut health.
Each medication functions differently in your body, and some of them are more harmful to the gut than others. Medications like antibiotics are of the biggest concern here, which are designed to kill bacteria that have taken hold within your body. While this can be beneficial for helping you feel better in certain circumstances, these types of medications indiscriminately kill bacteria, getting rid of both good and bad microbes in your gut. When used in moderation, antibiotics are unlikely to have a long-term effect on your gut health because your gut can often bounce back from the temporary disruption. However, recent research has shown that prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics can cause dysbiosis, or imbalance, in the gut microbiome.
Antibiotics aren’t the only medications that have the ability to impact your gut health. In fact, many of the most commonly used non-antibiotic medications have been found to impact the composition of the bacteria in your gut. One study that looked at over 1,000 common non-antibiotic medications found that many of them inhibit the growth of certain gut microbes much as antibiotics do. This same study concluded that 24% of medications that are commonly used today can disrupt the gut microbiome without you realizing it.
Combatting the Effects of Medication on Your Gut
We’re not saying that you should go against the advice of your doctors and cut out any and all medications. They are amazing tools that you have at your disposal to give your body a little extra help in staying as healthy as possible. But, when you need to put those tools to work, there are steps you can take to protect your gut health along the way.
- Take Probiotics. Seed your gut with beneficial bacteria by including probiotics in your daily routine. Probiotics can be found in yogurt as well as fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, and kombucha. Additionally, you can find probiotic supplements that offer a convenient and easy way to provide your gut with a boost of beneficial bacteria.
- Eat More Fiber. Fiber is one of the best prebiotics, which is the favorite snack of the beneficial bacteria in your gut, and it helps keep all those good microbes strong and healthy. Fresh greens, legumes like soybeans, onions, garlic, bananas, and mushrooms are some of the best food sources of fiber.
- Fill Up on Whole Foods. Your whole body, including your gut, needs a variety of nutrients in order to function properly. The best place to get those nutrients is from fresh, whole foods instead of ones that have been heavily processed.
- Care for Your Body and Mind. Aside from what you eat, you should also take other steps to care for your body throughout the day. Getting in plenty of physical activity, finding ways to relieve stress, and ensuring you are getting an adequate amount will all add up to help make sure your gut and the bacteria that reside there stay as healthy as possible.
Get the Essential for Gut Support
At one point or another, we all will have a need to take some type of medication. Knowing how these medications can impact your gut health allows you to be intentional about taking steps to help ensure that your gut can stay as healthy as possible throughout the process.
Whether you are currently taking medication or not, Essentials from New Earth is a simple and effective way to ensure your gut is getting all the support it needs to feel its best. These convenient daily packets contain everything you need to nourish and support your gut from the inside—probiotics to seed your gut with good bacteria, digestive enzymes to keep things running smoothly, and organic Wild Microalgae® to provide your gut and the rest of your body with the nutrients it needs to keep all your body systems functioning optimally.
The best part? You can put Essentials to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.