Dr. Laura: Drugs that affect the microbiome

Drugs are one of the major factors that affect the microbiome. The impacts vary depending on the drug and duration of treatment.

The environmentfoodstress and drugs  all contribute to changes in the microbiome. This is why it is important to recognize and address any contributors that cause troubles.

Clinical intake and tests flushes out root causes and provide clarity. 

Why should I care?

Unique patterns in the microbiome link to different diseases. An unhealthy microbiome links to depression, anxiety, autistic disordersvitamin and mineral status (nutrient absorption)hormone production,  eczemadiabetes, obesity, arthritis and inflammatory bowel psoriasis and other autoimmune, conditions, heart healthcholesterolnon-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diseases.  Research continues to expand this list.  

What is the microbiome?

The human microbiome exists in the gastrointestinal/urogenital tract and the skin. The trillions of cells that make up our microbiome actually out number the human cells that we have in our body by tenfold. Are we microbes having a human experience?

Healthy microbiome?

A healthy regular stool is not always indicative of a healthy microbiome. History of autoimmune conditions, food sensitivity, sugar cravings, gas, pain, bloating, bad breath, candidiasis, brain fog, mood changes, weight issues, skin issues, joint pain, trauma, stress, headaches, use of birth control or other hormones, frequent use of antibiotics and certain drugs can all be factors or indicators of microbiome disruption. 

What drugs affect the microbiome?

Your microbiome may be out of balance if you are currently, or have history of taking, any of the following drugs:

  • Antibiotics
  • Cancer Therapies
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • GI disorder drugs
  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-psychotic drugs
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Hormones: estrogen, birth control, thyroid hormone

Find out more…tests available

One helpful test to look at the key players of the microbiome is the comprehensive stool and parasitic analysis. Knowledge of the landscape certainly helps streamline the treatment. 

Food sensitivities often rise when the microbiome is off balance. It is important to recognize the foods that are bothersome. Then remove them for a while and do the work to remove unwanted microbes and replace with healthy ones while repairing the gastrointestinal tract lining. Protocols are patient specific based on the microbiome the lining of gastrointestinal tract and the overall health of the patient. 

Dr. Laura M. Brown ND is a Naturopathic Doctor with a functional medicine approach. She is a Certified Gluten Practitioner, a HeartMath Certified Practitioner and is a graduate of Adapt Level 1 at Kresser Institute of Functional Medicine. Essentially, Dr. Brown helps people better digest their food and the word around them. More at www.naturalaura.ca and  www.forwardhealth.ca

Flourish Your Flora

When the bacteria and yeasts in the gut, also sometimes referred to as microflora, micro biome or simply “flora”, are imbalanced, it can not only promote gassiness and bloating, it fails to provide the front line defence needed to prevent disease.  A healthy microflora will mean a healthy person! 70-80% of our immune system is in our gastrointestinal tract and the microbes in there play a big part in many aspects of our health.

What affects Flora in a Bad Way?

  • Antibiotic use
  • NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Aspirin, Celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac and indomethacin)
  • Birth control pills
  • Chronic stress
  • Sleep deprivation—even a single night of significant sleep deprivation can affect intestinal permeability and other aspects of digestion and gut function.
  • Overeating – even overeating in a single meal can affect the micro biome
  • Physical inactivity or excess physical activity
  • Hypothyroidism, (T3 is required for intestinal motility, less T3 leads to constipation)
  • Hyperthyroidism  (Too much T3 leads to diarrhea and loose stools).
  • HPA axis dysfunction -changes in cortisol secretion can lead to flora changes through a number of different mechanisms.
  • Excess alcohol intake (increases intestinal permeability)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Environmental toxins such as mold, biotoxins, and heavy metals.

Good Flora Provides

Protective, Structural and Metabolic Function.

Protection.

  • Pathogen displacement
  • Nutrient competition
  • Receptor competition
  • Antimicrobial compounds

Structure.

  • Barrier fortification
  • Induction of IgA
  • Apical tightening of tight junctions
  • Immune system development

Metabolic function.

  • Aid in absorption of energy and minerals from food
  • Production of some vitamins
  • Help reduce inflammation. 

Flourish Your Flora

Fermented foods provide naturally occurring probiotics to the human through diet and have a long history of safe use. It is important to feed the gut micro biome with the right microbes every day in order to maintain beneificial protection, structure and function.

Yogurt: Fermented milk product. Slightly tart, varying thickness and creaminess. Yogurt is abundant in calcium, zinc, B vitamins, and probiotics; it is a good source of protein; and it may be supplemented with vitamin D and additional probiotics associated with positive health outcomes. Traditional yogurt contains: Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii (bulgaricus), and Streptococcus thermophiles. For best nutrition, opt for yogurt with no added sugar or flavours and one that states “live and active cultures”.

Recent studies have shown that yogurt consumption is associated with a healthier diet and metabolic profile in adults. In children, frequent yogurt consumption is associated with a lower fasting insulin level, reduced insulin resistance and increased insulin sensitivity.

Kefir: Fermented milk. Taste is tangy and smooth. Much like a liquid yogurt with about three times the amount of probiotics per serving. Kefir typically contains the following beneficial bacteria: Lactococcus lactis (lactis, cremoris, diacetylactis), Leuconostoc mesenteroides (cremoris), Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)and Saccaromyces unisporus.

Kefir is also a reasonable source of phosphorus and protein, vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin that aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. Kefir can be calming with its calcium, magnesium, and tryptophan.

Also good news for people lacking lactase, the enzyme required to break down lactose (sugar in milk products). Not only does fermentation reduce lactose content in kefir from 5% to 3.6%, the beta-galactosidase in kefir additionally breakdown lactose. For this reason, Kefir is good to help re-build tolerance to lactose, especially those with Candidiasis. Generally, it is suggested to start with two shooter cups of kefir in the morning (about 4oz) on an empty stomach. Every other day increase the amount by an additional shooter cup (2 oz) until you are able to drink a full 8oz (236ml).

Kombucha: Fermented black tea. Look for ones that are raw and do not have sugar listed on the list of ingredients. Gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Craze started 2,000 years ago in the Orient. It’s tart, fizzes and is somewhat acidic: a bit of an acquired taste. Kombucha received some bad rap based on the home preparations fermented in lead-glazed ceramic containers (what were they thinking!). Any fermentation process is best done in clean glass, in conditions away from the risk of possible contaminants. Follow clean fermentation practice if brewing at home. Kombucha tea can contain up to 1.5% alcohol, vinegar (acetic acid), probiotics, B vitamins, and caffeine. If left unrefrigerated, the alcohol will continue to build. If pasteurized, the probiotic content will be killed. Probiotics are grown from a “scoby” which is made of Acetobacter xylinoides, Acetobacter ketogenum a Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Saccharomycodes apiculatus, Zygosaccharomyes species, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Schizosaccharomyces pombe: Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Gluconacetobacter kombuchae, and Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis. In animal studies, kombucha has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.

Note: Too much kombucha can be toxic to those with weakened immune systems. A moderate serving is about 4oz a day, more increase risk for metabolic acidosis.

Fermented Vegetables: Pickles, Beets, Kimchi, Sauerkraut…pretty much any vegetable can be fermented. Traditionally, the vegetable is soaked in brine (salt) that kills off harmful bacteria. In the fermentation stage, the naturally remaining Lactobacillus bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid, which preserves the vegetables and gives them their unique, tangy flavor. Think of combining prebiotics in your fermented vegetable recipes for added goodness.

More at: https://chriskresser.com/become-a-fermentation-ninja-without-leaving-your-pajamas/ 

  • Feed the flora! Just like fish in an aquarium, your need to feed your flora. You need prebiotics to feed the colonies of probotics (Lactic Acid producing Bacteria). Prebiotics are non-digestible plant-derived carbohydrates. Not only is it important to supplement with fermented foods that provide beneficial bacteria, it is important to also provide the food that stimulates probiotic growth and further fermentation in the colon. Diets complete with prebiotics and probiotics have shown to reduce reactive oxygen species and markers of inflammation. Prebiotics include fructans like inulin or fructo-oligosaccharides which in English means chicory root powder or as it is labeled, FOS (Fermenting Oxygen Species). Inulin is also naturally found in asparagus, bananas, burdock root, dandelion root, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks and onions.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown ND. 

Carb Cravings? 5 easy tips

Craving carbohydrates and don’t know how to get them under control?

Here are 5 easy steps to help put you back in control.

  1. Test your Candida levels.
  2. Eat a meal with protein and healthy fats
  3. Eat within your 30 min glycemic window after exercise
  4. Eliminate processed foods
  5. Deal with your stress.

Candida?

If your Candida abicans levels are out of balance, you will find you have an insatiable sweet tooth, always need something sweet after a meal and suffer from a mix of possible symptoms like brain fog, headaches, sinusitis, join pain, skin rashes, bloating, gas and diarrhea. These crazy critters can actually yank on your nervous system chain, send messages to your brain saying “I want sugar”!! So, don’t blame your self wholly, however it is you who has to take responsibility. Just like saying to a child “no, you can’t have a cookie right now” you have to put your foot down and say the same to yourself. Or those terrible little Candida critters who are running your world right now. How do you know if it’s you or them? How do you get rid of them?

A simple 15 minute test in our clinic will help you get a sense for your levels of Candida. Email drlaura@forwardhealth.ca. Getting your micro biome back in balance will also reduce inflammation and restore nutrient absorption. With scientifically proven therapies, my patients are able to reduce Candida albicans levels and re-set many micro biomes within 1-3 months of therapy.

Boost Nutrient Density

Sometimes when we crave sweets we actually need to eat something with protein and healthy fat to increase nutrient density and satiation. For example, try eating a handful of almonds and an apple or a slice of chicken or turkey with some avocado – then wait 5-10 minutes and see if you still crave the sweets.

30 Minute Glycemic Index

After an intense workout, you have depleted the glycogen stores in the muscles. To optimize energy for your next workout and balance your carb intake later, eat something with carbohydrates in it within thirty minutes of working out. For some this means a quick protein drink with some carbs in it, an orange or a banana or a healthy homemade nutball. Eating a full balanced meal with in two hours of your workout will also help balance your blood sugar and keep you from craving carbohydrates.

Ditch the Processed Foods

Processed foods often have little fibre and a lot of sugar. This means the sugar from the food gets quick access to your blood stream. what results are spikes in your blood sugar levels, triggering an influx of insulin to quickly get the levels under control. Consequently,   your blood sugar quickly drops and you feel like you need to have more to eat. On it goes, the sugar craving roller coaster. Instead, try to eat foods high in fibre, with some proteins and healthy fats so your blood sugar levels are more regulated.

Get Stress Under Control

Serotonin and dopamine are feel good neurotransmitter which get depleted in stress. Eating carbohydrates helps boost these neurotransmitters. This is why, when we feel stressed, we crave comfort foods, which are carbohydrate based. Secondly, elevated cortisol will increased the demand for carbohydrate consumption because it blunts the desire for proteins and vegetables. Learn how to emotionally regulate and manage your stress and you will find it easier to naturally make healthier food choices.

From the heart and mind of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

 

Sugar Detox?

Ever think you could be addicted to sugar?

Here’s what could be driving your cravings for sweets:

HANGRY = Hungry and Angry!!

Dips and spikes in blood sugar can wreak havoc on your moods. When you have a sugary drink or sweet it spikes your blood sugar and then the body rushes to put that sugar into the cells, resulting a drop in blood sugar and – you guessed it – craving for more sweets to bring the blood sugar back up again.

Reward system

Let’s face it, we are pleasure seekinsugarg beings and when we use sweet treats to reward ourselves for a job well done, it changes our brain so that we look for sugar as a reward. Dopamine is a reward chemical that gets affected in sugar addiction as well as cocaine addiction.

Bacteria and Yeasts

The microbes in your GI tract can preferentially feed themselves by communicating to your enteric nervous system by sending signals for “more carbs please” or specific foods to provide the nourishment they require. Candida is a yeast that occurs naturally in our intestinal flora but overgrows during periods of stress, long term use of birth control pills or use of antibiotics. An imbalance of Candida can increase cravings for carbohydrates (sugar) – driving them from yeast to fungal form which can cause things like headaches, sinus problems, skin rashes, bloating and indigestion.

Effects of Too Much Sugar

Blood sugar dysregulation can lead to mood swings, weight gain and lack of energy. Long term it can lead to diabetes type II, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, yeast overgrowth and non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Help to Kick the Habit

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND has tools to help you kick you sugar cravings, loose weight, avoid or even reverse type II diabetes.

Book for your free 15 minute consult to learn more on how Dr. Laura may be able to help you or get started right away. Call (519)-826-7973 to set up your appointment.