Gut Instinct: How Bacteria Plays an Important Role in Your Body

ā€œThe relationship between bacteria and our bodies plays a role is everything that happens to us.ā€

In fact, there are a greater number of bacteria in your intestines than there are cells in your body.Ā Did you know that intestinal bacteria allows us to obtain greater nutrients from out food, develop sophisticated immune systems, and balance cognition and emotions? Several studies showed germ-free mice who were inoculated with specific bacteria generated and delivered neurotransmitters to the brain, affecting anxiety, corticosteroid production, and colitis symptoms. Human studies using yogurt with probiotics showed emotion and sensitivity were statistically different when probiotics were consumed.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that are either the same as or very similar to the bacteria that are already in your body. Your lower digestive tract alone teams with a complex and diverse community of these bacteria.

What Are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. Basically, they are “good” bacteria promoters.


Future uses of colon bacteria to improve health include:

  • Creating intestinal bacteria which promotes endocrine functions, like insulin production
  • Produce highly selective non-absorbable antibiotics
  • Invent drugs to alter bacteria to bacteria communication
  • Understand probiotics to manipulate health and disease
  • Transplant stool from thin people for treatment of obesity
  • Improve nutrientĀ absorption to end starvation

The bottom line: Your gut is the first line of defense when you consume a potentially harmful pathogen. Good gut floraĀ can protect you in several ways, while a poor gut can allow these pathogens to wreak havoc on your body. Contact us if you have any questions, or to schedule an appointment.

Probiotic Powerhouse: How Good Bacteria Can Benefit Your Body


Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits. Products sold as probiotics include foods (such as yogurt), dietary supplements, and products that aren’t used orally, such as skinĀ creams.

Although people often think of bacteria and other microorganisms as harmful ā€œgerms,ā€ many microorganisms help our bodies function properly. For example, bacteria that are normally present in our intestines help digest food, destroy disease-causing microorganisms, and produce vitamins. Large numbers of microorganisms live on and in our bodies. In fact, microorganisms in the human body outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Many of the microorganisms in probioticĀ products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in ourĀ bodies.

Why Should You Be Taking Probiotics?

Researchers have studied probiotics to find out whether they might help prevent or treat a variety of health problems,Ā including:

  • Prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Promote healthy cholesterol
  • Help aid depression and anxiety
  • Immune system support
  • Soothe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eradicate ulcers
  • Helps melt belly fat

Are all probiotics the same?

Thereā€™s preliminary evidence that some probiotics are helpful in preventing diarrhea caused by infections and antibiotics and in improving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but more needs to be learned.

Probiotics are not all alike. For example, if a specific kind of Lactobacillus helps prevent an illness, that doesnā€™t necessarily mean that another kind of Lactobacillus would have the same effect or that any of the Bifidobacterium probiotics would do the sameĀ thing.

When Is It Time to Visit a Gastroenterologist?

A gastroenterologist is specially trained to manage diseases of the digestive tract from the esophagus to the anus.In many cases, people who are diagnosed with a chronic digestive condition are under the long-term care of a gastroenterologist. If you are experiencing a recurrence or a flare-up of an existing condition, you should contact the gastroenterologist who has been managing your treatment. If you are experiencing new symptoms, patients are usually referred to aĀ gastroenterologist by their primary care physician. Your physician may recommend you see a gastroenterologist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of GI disorders:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Leakage/underwear stains
  • Bowel movement urges that are hard to control
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Heartburn (acid reflux)
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Excessive gas or belching
  • Esophageal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or weight
  • Lethargy


The gastroenterologists at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic have some of the latest tools to diagnose and treat diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver and pancreas.Ā  Your gastroenterologist will manage the most simple to the most complex gastrointestinal diseases. Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

(Some information provided by the National Canter for complementary and Integrative Health).