Well, sort of. A coral reef is a delicate yet durable underwater ecosystem . Our bodies have an ecosystem of sorts called a microbiome. The definition of a microbiome is the microorganisms in a particular environment. Same right? Well, not exactly but similar. Now, how does this matter and what does this have to do with my journey to wellness you ask? Well let's back up and review. Remember, I was told I had no immune system, suffered from chronic sinus infections, and ended up from MRSA from antibiotic overuse. Thats when my endless research began and I learned terms like microbiome. I'm going to share a little bit of what I learned about the micro-
biome, biofilms and how they interact with antibiotics, and a few tricks I learned.
First let's talk about the microbiome. You may or may not be aware that your gut is a microbiome, which means lots of different microorganisms live there. Bacteria, good and bad, fungi, viruses and they were all a part of your body when you were born. You microbiome began to form when you were developing and a large part of it was formed from your mother's microbiome, so if your mom wasn't healthy you may not have been a healthy child either. 70% of your immune system is found in your gut. That means if the microbiome that makes up your gut isn't healthy, then you are most likely feeling it in some way.
Not only does your gut have a microbiome, your skin does as well. That is your body's first line of defense against so many things. If you don't have a healthy skin microbiome your body isn't as efficient at fighting off infections. It all makes sense doesn't it? Nobody ever tells you any of this when they are giving you the fifth antibiotic prescription in a year. It would be good information to have!
As time goes by the things we do either nourish the good things in our microbiome or they feed the bad things. In my case, the hundreds of antibiotics I took not only wiped out the bad bacteria, they took the good ones too - those antibiotics don't discriminate, they don't know the good guys from the bad guys. My sugar addiction fed the growth of more bad bacteria and the good guys couldn't do their job. So basically, my poor diet and repeated antibiotic use eventually caught up to me and my body started turning on itself.
When I started trying to figure out the root cause of the recurrent infections I came across the term biofilm. In a non scientific explanation here is basically what happens when you start to develop antibiotic resistance. If you have suffered from chronic infections and have been on the antibiotic merry-go-round tell me if this sounds familiar. When you first take an antibiotic all seems great and if it is rarely used, infection clears up quickly. However, when you start using them several times a year, your body is very smart. The bacteria start to recognize the antibiotic and they recognize that it is trying to kill them. The human body is an amazing survival machine and realizes this is what is happening so they produce these biofilms to coat the cells that are infected. This tricks your body in to thinking the antibiotic is working and it leaves those cells alone. As soon as the thing attacking those cells is no longer a threat, the biofilms dissappear and the infection returns.
I am no doctor, and that is most definitely not the most scientific explanation you will find on the internet but doesn't it make complete sense? When I read about those little buggers called biofilms , light lightbulbs, and bells, and whistles went off everywhere for me. It was also when I felt like I had some hope, and that I could heal. All I had to do was find a way to kill those suckers, I could get rid of the infection and begin to heal my microbiome. And guess what? That is exactly what I did. In future blogs, and on social media I will share different ways you can bust up those biofilms, and ways that you can rebuild your microbiome with all of the good things your body needs to survive.
I'm not a medical doctor and I do not provide medical advice but I do share my personal experience with this and things that have worked for me. There are so many other things that you can do but here are some of my favorites:
Eat foods that are considered "whole". That means zero processing. Think fresh fruits and vegetables. This should be 70-80% of your diet.
Get rid of as many processed foods as possible. Baby steps - it doesn't happen overnight
Eat fermented foods. (Unless you have bacterial overgrowth which we will talk about soon) Some of my favorites are: kombucha, sauerkraut , and kimchi .
I've said it before and will say it again, you have got to ditch sugar.
Get on the right supplements for your body. I can't give specific supplements here because everyone is different. If you are interested in knowing how to figure out what supplements are right for you please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in the middle of trying to figure out how to stop chronic infections, you are not alone. I am almost three years in to the journey and still learning every day. I'm here to help and answer questions. If I don't know the answers we can find them together. There are answers, there is a path to healing. If you have been told it's just something you will have to live with, or the only answer is to take another pill, I'm here to tell you there is another path. We can learn and figure it out together. Please reach out if you need help getting started or if you are on the journey to wellness and just need some support.
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