Why probiotics For Women
There are a dizzying array of probiotic products out there, so how do you know which to choose? Are they all pretty much the same? When do you need them? What are they needed for?
Probiotics for a healthy Vaginal Ecology
For those who tend to yeast infections, odors, unusual discharge, or dryness, itchiness, or any imbalance, a probiotic geared toward female health can make a huge difference, both in treating and preventing. The difference is that these bacterial strains are those typically found in a healthy vaginal ecosystem, versus other bacterial strains that are found in other ecosystems of the body. I typically have a patient take 1-2 capsules daily, and women often notice an immediate improvement! So easy, and there are no negative side effects.
Probiotics for Immunity
Our immune system is engaged every day as we encounter all kinds of viruses and bacteria and other microbes in our environment and our food. There are several places in our bodies that are susceptible, more or less for different people. We also are walking around with varying internal microbial environments, and not always ideal. Antibiotic use is a major culprit that negatively impacts our internal microflora. Most people have had multiple rounds of antibiotics in their lives, often even in childhood. This can set us up for a host of different problems (pun intended ;). This is why probiotics can be a smart tool for repairing our immune system. For example, someone who gets recurrent UTIs, it’s often due to an underlying imbalance of healthy and harmful or overgrown bacteria making the urethral tract an environment more suited to the wrong kind of microbes. Another example is recurrent sinus infections – their sinuses are growing harmful bacteria because the natural defense system was compromised.
Probiotics can help constipation and diarrhea
If healthy elimination has been elusive for you, try a probiotic. Again, taking a daily probiotic, and adjusting the dose as needed, and adjusting the strain combination, can work wonders for irregular bowel movements. Frequent loose stools are often a different imbalance than slow, hard, or sluggish stools, and therefore can require different strains of bacteria and/or beneficial natural yeasts. I work with my patients to determine what type they need if any, and to find the right quantity.
Probiotics Benefit Mood and Mental Health
Have you heard that the gut is your second brain? Did you know it produces a significant amount of neurotransmitters? Those are the chemical messengers such as dopamine that affect mood and mental health. So many cases of mental health challenges including anxiety and depression are linked to a gut imbalance. I always start with the gut when working with patients as a Chinese Medicine practitioner, I see the gut as the central tube that goes from mouth to anus, and that must be working properly for everything else to work right. It can’t be ignored even in cases of depression and anxiety, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or mood irregularities and changes.
Probiotics support Whole Body Health
What about foods that support a healthy internal ecosystem?
I often hear people say “Well I eat yogurt”. And here’s what I say to that:
“From the store or homemade? Store bought yogurt has been pasturized, and sits in a package for a while, and you don’t really know what you are getting when you open it at home. Plus most yogurts are full of sugar, or come from commercially raised animals that are not in a humane environment. There are definitely options for healthy probiotic foods though! I recommend homemade 24 hour yogurt. This entails starting with high quality milk, whether from grass fed/pastured cows, raw milk from a trusted source, or organic and humanely raised, or choosing an additive free coconut milk. Then getting a quality culture starter suited to the milk you choose, and then allowing it to ferment accordingly, for 24 hours. Also making your own or buying quality lacto-fermented vegetables such as a sauerkraut.
I recommend the foods above especially to support an already healthy microbiome or someone who is well on the path of recovering gut health. But probiotic supplements can be the tool that helps you overcome serious health issues.
Finding the Right Probiotics
For quality probiotics from my trusted sources, I do have an online store here. When we work together I am able to prescribe a variety of beneficial bacteria that are right for you. Here’s to your health!