Now I know you all keep hearing me talk about this very interesting concept called the Microbiome. But what the heck is it and what does it say about you, your health, and resilience?
It is YOUR unique ecosystem made up of all of your microbes! I mean, I know you think you are an individual walking this planet alone but let me tell you, there are are more microbes in, on, and hanging around in a cloud than there are cells of YOU!
Yes, it’s true – we have a detectable cloud of microbes hanging about arms length all around us! Amazing, right? Want to know something else kind of amazing, Fart-icles are REAL. So are Burp-icles! When you pass gas or belch after a meal, that stinky air can be traced back to YOU. Check out this article that talks about a study confirming the cloud.
Why is this important? Well, in order to be healthy, the new research is discovering that you need a healthy microbiome. And what makes a healthy microbiome? DIVERSITY. We need to stay as biodiverse in our lives, our foods, our friends, as much as possible in order to be healthy. What kills diversity? Antibiotics, excessive use of hand sanitizer/wipes, etc., mono-diets, mono-culture (love that one!), and generally speaking – not living one’s life to your fullest potential. We need exposure in order to stay healthy.
One of the biggest detriments to the microbiome is the use of antibiotics in childhood but ESPECIALLY before age 2.5. Before this glorious year, a child relies on the microbiome they received from their mother (and of course a strong microbiome from mom includes a vaginal delivery, even a little exposure to mom’s poop on the way out, and breastfeeding for a minimum of 6 months but more like 12-24 months). They are now experimenting with wiping the mother’s microbes on the baby who was delivered via C-section so these babies get an equal chance at developing a health immune system. Read this!
What happens when the child doesn’t get a good microbiome? Disaster. Food allergies. Ear infections (tubes, anyone?). Skin rashes. Colic. Strep. Chronic lung infections, pneumonia, etc. Trips to the doctor ALL THE TIME. All the classic stuff that we THEN consequently use antibiotics to treat. Yikes.
It’s a vicious cycle. And I can’t tell you how many people I see each week who have a similar story or who’s kids are trapped in this cycle.
When you have a healthy microbiome, you have a SUPER WOMAN (or MAN) state of resilience to sickness. Some of the strongest tested microbiomes are those of native people who are living closer to the land, drinking (OMG!) unfiltered water, and eating food from the Earth, occasional bugs, with a little soil and all! So go ahead, let those kids eat a little dirt…but careful in America. Our use of pesticides is rampant and our ability to contaminate the water supply (Hello, FLINT, Michigan) is a serious issue. But protect a little piece of land near your house and go for it, I say!
The new research says that the moment the micro biome gets knocked out of balance, is the first place where ill health starts. Meaning, even cancers later in life can have a tale that leads one all the way back to an unhealthy microbiome.
Point being, treat it well. Repair it when it gets funky and compromised. And diversity, diversity, diversity.
Wanna get your Microbiome tested? Talk to me. Optimize your health, even if you have no digestive symptoms what-so-ever.
Wanna read more because you think this is craziness? Check out this site.
To learn more about your microbiome and ways to support your system all year long, check out my book – Everyday Chinese Medicine: Healing Remedies for Immunity, Vitality, and Optimal Health.