Heartburn and Healthy Bacteria
Why boosting your body’s microorganisms may help you beat heartburn in Macon
Inside each and every one of us is a world we don’t fully understand. Though you may often hear similar words uttered by yogis or gurus, the world I’m referring to is not a spiritual one. Each of our bodies is home to millions of teeming bacteria, a thriving and mysterious ecosystem that affects countless facets of our health.
The thought of your body as home to an immeasurable number of microbes may be immediately repulsive, but scientists are slowly beginning to understand how these bacterial ecosystems can be manipulated to improve human health. If you’ve suffered from heartburn in Macon or find yourself at the mercy of any number of other gastrointestinal problems, some evidence suggests that probiotics, or foods that contain beneficial bacteria, can help you find relief.
Wait…so having bacteria in my body is a good thing?
It’s true—though germaphobes will recoil at the concept, bacteria aren’t just little microorganisms that make us sick. Of the 100 trillion cells that make up the human body, just one in 10 is our own. The vast majority of others come from—you guessed it—bacteria and an array of other tiny microscopic living things.
But before you run off to take a scalding two-hour shower, remember: these bacteria help keep you alive. The microbes in your body help your immune system prevent countless diseases; they help your digestive system process food and extract key nutrients; they create compounds that help reduce inflammation. Little is understood about our internal microbial ecosystems, or “microbiomes,” but research has increasingly proven their importance in human health.
The Role of Probiotics
The beneficial bacteria we carry around in our guts usually don’t make us sick like the bacteria we’re most familiar with, but scientists believe that disruptions in the delicately-balanced ecosystems they inhabit can contribute to many different health problems. Probiotics, which are designed to help regulate and balance the bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal system, have demonstrated a propensity for alleviating the digestive problems that a microbiome imbalance may contribute to.
Because these concepts are still very new, there is no guarantee that using probiotics will help you alleviate heartburn or other symptoms of GERD. Still, many experts are optimistic that probiotic supplements can benefit those who suffer from digestive concerns like reflux. Though more research is certainly needed to understand the role that probiotics can play in GERD treatment, more and more gastroenterologists and medical professionals are embracing probiotics as an alternative form of treatment.
Probiotics come in many forms. You may be most familiar with probiotic foods like yogurt, but probiotics can also be found in powders, capsules and even snack bars. Though you should always consult with your GERD specialist before making any dietary changes that may affect your gastrointestinal health, adding probiotics to your GERD treatment plan may make a big difference. Just remember: no supplement or dietary addition will be as effective as the treatment offered by your GERD surgeon.
Have probiotics helped you alleviate GERD and heartburn in Macon? Share your tips and experiences with us in the comments below.