Written by Joshua K Williams BSc, BBiomed, MSc, Founder of The Gut Guy.
For me personally, probiotics worked and eliminated my
Lack of energy
Lack of confidence
Irregular bowel movements
Do Probiotics Really Work for Gut Health? Short Answer.
Yes, they sure do but they need the correct approach.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics, in simple terms, are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Often referred to as 'friendly' or 'good' bacteria, these microorganisms (tiny bugs) primarily inhabit our gut and play a vital role in maintaining a healthy balance within our digestive system (1). Their presence can bolster the population of beneficial bacteria and potentially keep harmful microorganisms in check to maintain optimal gut health (2).
How I Chose the Probiotics That Were Right for Me
The initial and pivotal step to ensure probiotics work is in identifying the microbial imbalance within your gut. Understanding which harmful microbes have overgrown and which beneficial microbes are deficient was the key to restoring my equilibrium. The delicate balance between the diverse community of bacteria in the gut is crucial for overall well-being. By pinpointing the specific microorganisms that are lacking or are in excess, you pave the way for a more targeted and effective approach towards choosing a probiotic that works for you and can help restore harmony to your gut ecosystem.
This personalised identification process acts as the foundation for addressing the specific needs of your digestive system and significantly influenced the success of my probiotic regimen. Moreover, by targeting the exact strains your body requires, you pave the way for a more cost-effective and focused approach, potentially saving a significant amount of money in the long run.
Removing the overgrown bad bacteria in your intestines is crucial for maintaining a balanced and healthy gut (3). When harmful bacteria overgrow, they can disrupt the delicate equilibrium of the good bacteria, leading to a range of health issues (3). These imbalances can trigger inflammation, compromise digestion, and weaken the immune system (4). The overgrowth of bad bacteria might result in conditions such as difficulty losing weight, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, and even more severe issues like chronic inflammation, which is linked to various diseases (4).
An abundance of harmful microbes can crowd out the beneficial bacteria necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. By addressing and reducing the population of these detrimental bacteria, you create an environment in which beneficial microbes can thrive, fostering a healthier gut and reducing the risk of associated health problems.
Looking at the results of my gut health test (shown below) was a moment that etched itself into my life's timeline. There it was, in stark black and white—a representation of my years-long struggle with an invisible foe. The five bacteria highlighted in bold red that held the key to my suffering. For decades, they had stealthily overgrown within me, wreaking havoc in silence. They weren't just mere imbalances; they were the architects behind a symphony of torment—a chorus of severe anxiety, suffocating depression, persistent digestive issues, inexplicable weight gain, and a myriad of other unseen battles. Each overgrown microbe seemed like an emotional scar, an unwelcome tenant in the house of my body, making me a prisoner within my own skin. It was a revelation both terrifying and liberating—a glimpse into the very core of my struggles, and an emotional turning point in my journey towards healing. This result clearly explains why jumping straight into taking a probiotic does not work because in my case, removal of the bad bacteria was required first.
To make matters more distressing, the revelation went beyond the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Alongside these overpowering foes, my gut health test revealed another unsettling truth—I was deficient in several vital strains of beneficial bacteria. It was as if these silent allies were missing from the battleground within, potentially exacerbating the severity of my symptoms. Their absence acted like a cruel echo, amplifying the struggles I faced daily, further complicating the turmoil already wreaking havoc on my well-being.
Adding to the complexity, my personal journey uncovered two unsettling truths: some of the crucial strains of beneficial bacteria I lacked were not available for purchase do to the fact that some microogansims cant be grown in a lab and the healthy bacteria that I was missing were linked to difficulty in losing weight. Yet, before I could even contemplate replacing these absent warriors, I had to confront the first crucial step: eliminating the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that held my health hostage for years. It was a daunting task, but one that I embarked upon with hope and determination. If you're seeking answers, wondering how I navigated through this labyrinth of imbalances, and eager to discover the steps I took to address these challenges, I invite you to take the next step. Click the button below to schedule a free online consultation. Together, we can dive into the depths of gut health, discussing the unique details of my gut health test, strategies to remove overgrowth, and how to approach the enigma of missing bacteria that aren't available commercially. Let's work on creating a personalised gut health transformation plan tailored just for you.
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Gupta V, Garg R. Probiotics. Indian J Med Microbiol. 2009 Jul-Sep;27(3):202-9. doi: 10.4103/0255-0857.53201. PMID: 19584499.
Amara, A A, and A Shibl. “Role of Probiotics in health improvement, infection control and disease treatment and management.” Saudi pharmaceutical journal : SPJ : the official publication of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society vol. 23,2 (2015): 107-14
Sachdev, Amit H, and Mark Pimentel. “Gastrointestinal bacterial overgrowth: pathogenesis and clinical significance.” Therapeutic advances in chronic disease vol. 4,5 (2013): 223-31
Dukowicz, Andrew C et al. “Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: a comprehensive review.” Gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 3,2 (2007): 112-22.
The content provided in this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or if probiotics work for you. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Reliance on any information provided by this blog is solely at your own risk. The author of this blog does not assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information disclosed.