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Listen to Your Gut

By Stacy Jones, MD - Baton Rouge General Physicians

woman holding her stomach

Over the last several years, science has begun to look more closely at how the bacteria that live in your gut influence your overall health. It’s not just energy and bathroom habits. Recent findings show that gut bacteria have an impact on your immune system, brain, heart health, metabolism and weight, and even your risk of cancer. We still have a lot to learn about how different strains of bacteria affect our bodies, but there are some symptoms you can look for as indicators that your gut may need some attention:

  • Constipation & diarrhea
  • Stress & anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Acid reflux
  • Bloating or abdominal pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Acne

If you’re concerned about your digestive health, consult with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health. Here are eight ways to get started:

  1. Eat more fiber
  2. Avoid added sugar and processed foods
  3. Stay hydrated
  4. Get enough sleep – 7 to 9 hours a night
  5. Relax, meditate
  6. Probiotics are friendly bacteria. Adding probiotic-rich foods – yogurt with active cultures, apple cider vinegar, salted gherkin pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha and raw cheeses – to your diet is good for your gut.
  7. Avoid unnecessary medications that wipe out the good bacteria (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other broad spectrum antibiotics)
  8. And of course, exercise!

Stacy Jones

Stacy Jones, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Family/Internal Medicine

Phone: (225) 763-4500