Gut Health of Babies in the U.S.
Is your baby at risk for poor infant gut health, “gut dysbiosis?” Gut dysbiosis is a poor balance of healthy microbes in your gastrointestinal tract. According to researchers, infants across the United States are deficient in the healthy gut micro, Bifidobacterium. Exclusively breastfed infants had higher levels of Bifidobacterium than bottle-fed infants, 3 to 6 months. However, both breastfed and bottle-fed babies were still deficient in Bifidobacterium.
Researchers shared that poor infant gut health occurs when there is a deficiency in one of the beneficial gut bacteria resulting in an upset stomach and gas (colic in babies). Poor infant gut health makes it more difficult to digest milk, disrupt sleep, and cause diaper rashes. All these contribute to colic. Researchers shared that poor gut health increased the risk that infants would develop allergies, eczema, asthma, and autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes and ulcerative colitis (Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-80583-9).
According to Healthline, the symptoms of out-of-balance gut bacteria include:
- Bad breath
- Upset stomach, nausea, constipation, diarrhea
- Difficulty urinating, vaginal or rectal itching
- Chest pain
- Rash and redness
- Concentration difficulties (ADHD)
Gut Health in All Ages
Gut health affects your ability to learn, handle stress, feel well, and feel energetic. If you are a child or teen with poor gut health you are at risk for behavioral and learning difficulties.(https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/dysbiosis).
How to Find Answers About Gut Health
When your infant has symptoms of poor gut health, your doctor can help you order a digestive stool analysis. Test results help you know which probiotic is best to restore your infant’s gut health. Another solution is to complete an Organic Acids Test, IGG food sensitivity test, or an IGE food allergy test. Great Plains Laboratory prefers you work with your family physician; however, they will work directly with you to provide over-the-phone assistance explaining your lab results and recommendations. (https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/organic-acids-test)
I have seen significant, beneficial changes in behaviors, speech fluency, and learning when a food allergy or intolerance is identified and removed from the diet. A healthier gut improves your Eustachian Tube health, speech fluency, and attention. I share the domino effect of poor middle ear health on several pages: Sound Intolerance, Visual Processing Difficulties, Adenoids, Ear Infections.
Your Gut Health and Your Brain
Your gut health and your infant’s gut health affects brain, bone, teeth, and the health of your blood. The book, The Second Brain, helps you understand how what you eat affects your brain, and thus, your body. Read Wheat Belly to learn how much an unknown food intolerance like gluten causes inflammation in the brain. Wheat Belly was written by a cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, who improved patient’s tachycardia, disrupted heart rhythm, by removing gluten from their diet when he found no cause for their tachycardia. These patient’s heart rhythm improved often enough to get Dr. Davis’ attention. Wow! That is significant. Think of how quickly you are affected by caffeine and sugar. Then think about the effects of chronic exposure to poor food choices. or even unknown food allergies.
Probiotics, A Way to Prevent Poor Gut Health
The human body contains live microorganisms: bacteria. To have optimal gut health for you and your infant, you need to maintain a proper balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. When there is an overabundance of bad bacteria in your gut or your infant’s gut, it can cause poor health like digestive issues, allergies, and much more. Imbalances arise due to illness, medication, antibiotics, diet, etc.
If there is an imbalance in the gut, then a probiotic supplement is a great step to improve your gut health.
Probiotic supplements require cold temperatures to stay alive. Thus, if you are purchasing a probiotic that stays on the shelf, the probiotic’s potency drops day by day. My family improved our gut health with liquid probiotics from Living Streams Mission Probiotics. Their website is full of helpful information and backed by research. I order different types of probiotics each time I place an order.
Effects of a Mother’s Diet
What a nursing mother eats has an effect on the infant. Thus, an infant’s congestion can be improved by the mother’s choice to eliminate foods associated with increased congestion and poor middle ear health. There are six specific foods that researchers found to contribute to the inflammation of the eustachian tubes: dairy products, wheat and gluten, eggs, chocolate, nuts, and sugar.