Gut bacteria and food sensitivities play several important roles in maintaining one’s health and metabolism. Have you ever had a friend who lives on junk food and still manages to not gain weight because of fast metabolism? It has a lot to do with a healthy gut microbiome. There are trillions of healthy microorganisms living in your gut which makes maintaining good health easier. Importance of gut microbiome to overall health has led many researchers to consider it as an organ on its own. There are various different ways a poor composition of gut bacteria can make it hard to lose weight.
- Low grade inflammation: An Imbalance of good and bad microorganisms in the gut is called Dysbiosis, which causes low grade inflammation along the gut lining. Harmful byproducts from dysbiosis can cause a body wide systemic inflammatory response. It can also cause food sensitivities because of increased gut permeability, commonly known as a ‘leaky gut’.
- Food Sensitivities due to poor gut microbiome can affect metabolism. Food sensitivities differ from severe food allergies like peanut allergies. Hidden food sensitivities occur when your digestive system is unable to effectively digest and process certain foods. The most common ones being proteins in dairy, soy, eggs, wheat. Reactions from hidden food sensitivities can occur 48-72 hours after consuming the food and presents as vague abdominal discomfort, indigestion, bloating, gassiness, body aches, joint aches, headaches, and reoccurring rashes, and yes… as weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
- Chronic low grade inflammation due to food sensitivities and gut dysbiosis can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain. Insulin regulates blood sugar and the body’s ability to metabolize the food we eat. When the body becomes insulin resistant, metabolism suffers and leads to increased weight gain, especially around the lower abdomen. Not having enough good gut bacteria also results in not having enough Butyrate. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid which protects against obesity and insulin resistance. It makes you feel full quicker.
- Frequent Hunger: An unhealthy gut microbiome and food sensitivities can make you feel hungry all the time and can cause ‘sugar’ or ‘carb cravings’. A low diversity of gut microbiome can influence hormones involved in hunger modulation like Leptin, Ghrelin, Adiponectin levels, contributing to weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
Consuming a typical American diet, stress, history of antibiotic or steroid use can foster growth of bad microorganisms in the gut, producing a firestorm of low grade inflammation causing obesity, arthritis, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and many other inflammatory conditions. An elimination diet, which is plant based and high in fiber, taking the correct probiotics, can help with weight loss and improving overall health.
Identifying and treating food sensitivities, dysbiosis, and improving gut health is an important part of my practice. I do food sensitivity analysis and gut health analysis in managing chronic inflammatory diseases like obesity, weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and arthritis. Please call our office for a functional medicine approach to weight loss and chronic inflammatory issues.
Lakshmi Prasad, MD, MS, FAARM
Metabolic Wellness & Longevity Institute
Tel: (908) 626-9200
266 King George Road, Suite H
Warren, New Jersey 07059