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How healthy am I?
This may seem like a stupid question and I already know what may cause this impression. It is the fact that, in general, whenever you are sick, it is not that difficult to tell. But this may not always be the case. There are all sorts of illnesses that are basically undetectable until it is already too late or treating them becomes a real pain in the…bottom. This is why, when asked this question, most people will answer “Very healthy” if they don’t experience any evident symptom. This is why I am here, to raise awareness over the fact that many diseases and affections can have a powerful impact on your life and you may not even know it. So let’s start with the beginning. I am going to grant you the assumption that you have heard of bacteria by now. But what you may not have heard is that there are two types of bacteria in your body and those are: good and bad. Shocking right? Well, here are the facts. The bad bacteria are the one replicating within your system and are the one responsible for a wide range of health issues, most of which are even lethal if left untreated. But not all of them are that bad, because there are others that only cause you minor affections such as diarrhea, food intolerance and stuff like that, nonetheless, almost equally annoying. On the other side, the good bacteria are those responsible for increasing the effectiveness of your digestive system, among other things and even for helping your immune system to develop more powerful tools to repel unwanted visitors. You body will always favor bad bacteria, because those are the ones that are the most resilient in the acid environment of your gastric system, while the good ones are having a tough time adapting and surviving the hostile intestinal climate. But there is no need to despair, because there is a solution to all of your problems. It is called “Probiotics” and represents a cocktail of good bacteria meant to improve your digestive processes, among other things, offering you relief from all sorts of affections.
Here is the true deal!
If you consider that every person is self-statutory and independent, then I have to inform you that you are awfully wrong. In fact, you are part of a larger social organism, in which everything you do will impact others and the other way around. This means that you are not autonomous, but you are actually parts of a social construct. Why is this important aspect? Well, for several reasons, but most of all for the fact that you are subjected to all kinds of microbial infections, as well as subjecting others to the same kind of dangers. As a matter of fact, there are actually 10 times more microbial cells within your body than actual human cells. And not all of those microbial cells are harmless; in fact most of them are set to take advantage of your body’s resources. This is where science comes in. Over the years a lot of scientists have put together the pieces of a larger puzzle, establishing once and for all the importance of bacterial organisms in our own system. For a while it was believed that they were all harmful and need to be taken down, which was meant to be achieved by using soaps, antibiotics and so on. But then a breakthrough took place and everyone understand that there aren’t only bad bacteria in our bodies, but also good bacteria, most of them responsible for digestive processes, but also fighting the unwanted intruders. And from that time on everything changed, including the ways by which we treat ourselves. But that was not all. They had to go through tests and trials in order to determine the exactness of the first observations. Several testing trials took place and there have been few points that made the final conclusions. First, it has been noticed that people suffering from a wide range of diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer, type 2 diabetes and many cardiovascular diseases, manifest a different kind of gut flora that healthy individuals. This doesn’t mean that this observation is a proof of digestive issues being part of the disease itself, but it led to further investigation in order to set aside all the particularities of this problematic. Now the problem is this. Many of the microorganisms play a major role in the efficiency of your immune system and a flawed balance between good and bad bacteria can leave you naked in the face of different threats that are only kept aside by your immune system. This means that you will develop multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome and different types of allergies easier and faster than other people. Furthermore, your body will recover harder than others’ and you will have a lot of problems to get rid of them. If you are not convinced yet, another study showed that good bacteria are also responsible in increasing the effectiveness of some cancer therapies.
What should I do from now on?
I am going to make the assumption that you are among those people that prefer to be healthy rather than sick. Yes, there are some that would like sickness over health, but that’s another subject for another article. Being healthy is actually strongly related to our ability to be happy, which is why the majority of people value health more than anything. This is what led to the scientific advance in medicine. But there are also side effects to this fact and this is probably something that you are well aware of. A lot of medications can have plenty of side effects when taken to treat a certain illness. For instance, using antibiotics on a regular basis, and in many cases you can only use them for limited amounts of time and still get the same effects, will subject you to the increased likelihood of diarrhea. Actually, around 30% of the people using antibiotics manifest diarrhea as a side effect strongly related to the use of these substances. If you are in the 70% sector, then you are a lucky one, but this may not last for long. The fact for this is that antibiotics destroy your intestinal flora and cause an imbalance between bad and good bacteria, which is something that science was unaware a while ago. And this is when the breakthrough came. What people discovered was that taking probiotics with the antibiotics will reduce the unwanted effect of the medication and will protect you from developing diarrhea. Furthermore, it has been shown that taking probiotics can have a major impact on your health when treating yourself from ulcerative colitis, one of the many complications that anyone can suffer as a post-surgery syndrome.
Also, there have been further studies regarding the use of probiotics in respiratory infections, but the problem is far from settled and there are still more testing that need to be taken. Around 13 studies have been conducted and the most relevant ones determined that, when referring to cold symptoms, probiotics shortened the duration of the affection from 10 to 7 days and even reduced their severity and recurrence frequency, while other studies showed that patients taking probiotics have their immune system efficiency increased by 8%, unlike patients taking placebo. However, in those studies there have been no relevant results showing the effect of probiotics on symptom severity. Also, the other aspect that was taken into consideration was whether probiotics can offer assistance in other health issues such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, urinary tract infections, anxiety, depression and weight loss issues. The results were not relevant and other studies are to follow to determine, once and for all, what are those aspects of our life that probiotics are efficient in.
Since then, probiotics have been used as an efficient alternative to regular medicine that not only can cause you some serious side effects, when your body rejects the treatment, but also fail in approaching some of the issues. Aside from the fact that probiotics are meant to increase the levels of beneficial bacteria, they are also responsible with providing a friendlier environment for those that already exist. This is what prebiotics actually do. Since they are non-digestible carbohydrates, prebiotics are basically food for good bacteria and this is a sign that you should do everything in your power to include them in your regular eating diets.
Bottom line, what have we learned so far? Probiotics are efficient and reliable and can assist you in fighting a wide range of affections. And the best solution when it comes to consuming probiotics is to choose from those natural ones, coming with yogurts for instance and consume them every day if possible. You should also pay attention to the type of bacteria that they contain and focus on those that have a mix of different types. They will provide you with increased efficiency and they will solve many of your health issues.