The microbiome is the unique collection of trillions of microscopic organisms living on or within us. In fact, there are actually 10 times more microbial cells in or on the body than there are human cells! Genetically speaking, 99% of our DNA belongs to these microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea)! We live in balance with this community of microbes and they play essential roles in our wellbeing. These organisms typically aid in health, but can cause harm if they are poorly balanced or negatively impacted by stress, trauma, and chemical, or environmental influence. The microbiome can be optimized with modifications to daily lifestyle habits or complete overhauls in microflora to create a healthy foundation for pregnancy, restore the gut following travel, surgery or trauma, and to alter the course of disease.
Research has shown that the microbiome impacts an enormous range of conditions including infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, rheumatic disease, multiple sclerosis, allergies, asthma, cancer, autism, behavior disorders, anxiety, depression, pregnancy, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease and diabetes (type 1 and 2).
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)
Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT), is the transplant of an entire colonic microbiome from a healthy donor to a recipient with the goal of eliminating microbial imbalances that promote disease. In other words, good stool bacteria from a healthy person is given to someone in need, via capsules or enema, to treat disease. It is at least 90% effective for the treatment of resistant Clostridium difficile infections. It is currently being studied to improve quality of life and treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, SIBO, IBS, allergies, arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, liver disease, depression, bipolar disorder, autism, metabolic disease, diabetes, obesity, antibiotic resistant infections, and pouchitis.
Helminthic therapy is the re-introduction of “old friends” or symbiotic worms for the management of chronic inflammation and immune dysregulation. All humans hosted various forms of helminths until improved hygiene and anti-helminthic therapies (deworming) practices increased about 150 years ago. Deworming eliminated many harmful worms, but it also eliminated worms that were a natural part of our microbiome and functioned to keep the immune system from overreacting. When the immune system overreacts, people experience increased allergies, autoimmune issues, and inflammation. Amazingly, researchers have found that communities who have not undergone deworming have no autoimmune disease or allergies! When members of these communities are dewormed, they start to develop these diseases.
Nutrition & Lifestyle
The key to a robust microbiome is in how we choose to live. What we put into our body, our mental space, and the environment around us affect our microbial ecosystem. Working together, we can determine how to optimize your day to day life, in a sustainable way, to ensure that the creatures we carry are able to promote our health and wellbeing.