Many of us have heard about the health benefits of probiotics, but are the stories true?
I struggled for a long time with frequent bowel movement problems, as well as bouts of cramping and crushing headaches. I was eventually diagnosed with IBS, and my doctor recommended I begin taking a regular probiotic supplement.
Within weeks, my intestinal symptoms, as well as my head pain, abated tremendously. I truly feel these supplements helped me get my life back. Once I began incorporating probiotics into my diet, they helped just about every system in my body work more smoothly.
I’ve noticed since I started taking probiotics that I actually have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. At first, the connection wasn’t clear, and it seemed especially weird since they had cleared up my tummy problems and I was therefore back to eating more again. But I began researching it and, indeed, there is some sort of connection between metabolism and probiotics.
While the exact connection is still not fully understood, recent studies have shown that probiotics help to reverse the weight gain that seems to creep up on us as we age due to our slowing metabolism.
Improve Overall Gut Health
Probiotics are perhaps best known for improving gut health. The value of this cannot be understated, as millions of people suffer from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome that impact their overall quality of life.
I went through a period of time where I was literally afraid to eat. Every time I ate pretty much anything, my stomach started cramping as though I had really bad gas or period cramps. But since it wasn’t just gas or period cramps, there was really no way to calm the pain at the time. Unlike with period cramps, my body wasn’t responding to any over-the-counter painkillers. I basically had to wait for it to pass, and it made me fear eating.
After I started taking a regular probiotic, I noticed a clear difference in the amount of pain I felt after eating. It decreased significantly and is sometimes not there at all.
If you have IBS or something similar, you should be discussing it with a doctor. However, for me, probiotics were a great place to start. Probiotics help to maintain the correct balance of healthy bacteria in your small and large intestines, so they can help aid digestion. There is also evidence that probiotics can help ward off certain foodborne illnesses such as salmonella because they help the gut build a protective film to combat illnesses.
Maintaining a Healthy Vagina
I learnt that adding probiotics to your diet can also help your vaginal health. This is because, just like your stomach, your vagina requires the correct balance of healthy bacteria. Probiotics create a slightly acidic environment in your vagina that helps ward off infection.
Interestingly enough, I was first told to take a probiotic years back, before I started experiencing IBS. I had a simple bacterial infection that some antibiotics helped clear up, but I was told to take a probiotic in the weeks following to get my pH back on track. It did seem to help, as the situation resolved itself. I had no idea back then how important probiotics would end up being to my health later in life.
Women who frequently suffer from yeast infections can help stave them off by adding a daily probiotic supplement. If you’re trying to get pregnant, adding probiotics could help boost your chances by creating an environment conducive for getting the sperm to the egg.
Recent studies have shown that your stomach and your brain are more intricately connected than previously thought. Some researchers believe that mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, can be exacerbated by an unhealthy digestive system. By bringing the stomach back into balance, you get a mood boost as well.
This is just my experience, and if you’re worried about your health you should talk to a doctor or health professional.
But take it from me – it’s worth researching how your diet could support your own health and wellbeing. I’m big on holistic health, and there are so many things out there to try!