Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, and it has been in the news a lot lately. The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, along with countless others, from depression are examples - very sad and upsetting!
Trillions of microbes live in our guts. So it’s really important that we start paying more attention to these organisms and how they may impact our health. These organisms play a crucial role in maintaining our health, especially our immune systems.
I’m an occasional nail biter. It’s a habit I’ve had for years. Half the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. And I’ve always thought this habit was pretty harmless, until I came across this recent news story.
Appendicitis is essentially inflammation and infection of the appendix. One of the main symptoms of this condition is excruciating abdominal pain.
Antibiotic use in the United States is among the highest in the world. In fact, this class of drugs is prescribed to four-out-of-five Americans every year. They are an effective treatment and prevention for a variety of bacterial infections ranging from pneumonia to UTIs. And most of us have taken antibiotics at some point in our lives.
You’ve read it on the sides of yogurt containers, or maybe you’ve heard it from your doctor: probiotics or good bacteria are good for your gut. Now, research suggests that they may also help you maintain a healthy weight.
A healthy gut is critical for your overall health, energy levels, fighting off diseases, properly absorbing healthy nutrients and eliminating toxins. The average small intestine length ranges from 9 to 15 feet, the large bowel is about 5 feet. Both parts of the intestinal tract have large surface contact with the outside world, much greater than the skin or the lung surfaces. So as you can imagine, taking care of your gut is extremely important.
You may have heard about health benefits of probiotics, which have been rising in popularity in recent years. These “good” bacteria may help with constipation, diarrhea, anxiety, depression and more. But you may not be familiar with prebiotics. They are not the same thing.
Americans’ use of supplements has remained consistent over the years, with just over half saying they take supplements. But the supplements of choice are changing. A new study published in JAMA found that fewer Americans are taking a multivitamin, whereas vitamin D, fish oil and probiotic supplements are rising in popularity.
Products that promote “good bacteria” continue to be popular among health-seekers in supermarkets, with probiotic drinks like kombucha gaining notoriety. Even beyond digestion, the various microorganisms that live in your gut (called your “gut microbiota”) may affect things like your mood and how often you get sick. So it’s no surprise that scientists wanted to find out how gut bacteria in babies affected their likelihood for developing asthma and allergies.
Anxiety disorders and depression are among the most common mental health conditions in the U.S., with anxiety affecting 18 percent of the adult population and depression affecting an estimated 1 in 10 U.S. adults. These conditions take a toll both now and in the future. In fact, some scientists have noticed anxiety and depression cause shorter telomeres in DNA -- a telltale sign of a shorter lifespan. So, what to do?
Many of us are living in a sedentary world. We spend prolonged periods sitting in front of a computer screen at work or at home. Add in the ever-increasing stress, poor dietary choices, lack of fiber, inadequate fluid intake and lack of exercise, and you have the perfect storm for constipation. Unsurprisingly, an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found an increased number of emergency room visits for constipation between 2006-2011. To understand why this problem seems to be on the rise, let’s take a look at what constipation is and what you can do.
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