Bloating, Discomfort, Wind and Sloppy Stools - 4 Signs of a Disturbed Gut Microbiome
A healthy gut flora population (microbiome) is composed of a dynamic array of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms, which inhabit the bowels and play a vital role in the breakdown of food and assimilation of nutrients from the diet.
When the gut microbiome becomes damaged however, digestion is adversely affected, which typically results in:
- abdominal discomfort
- sloppy stools and / or constipation (sometimes alternating)
These signs are generally mild to begin with, but if no action is taken to restore a healthy gut flora population, or there are other complicating factors (see below), a wide range of more serious problems can develop, including:
- bacterial and yeast overgrowths
- acid reflux
- regurgitation of bile
- inflammation of the bowels
- small intestinal disease, such as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and 'leaky' gut
- immune system disturbances (leading to a sensitivity to environmental and dietary allergens, with associated skin itching, inflammation and eruptions)
- anxiety and stress, along with mood and behavioural changes
Common causes of gut microbiome damage include:
- antibiotics (the more courses given, the greater the long term damage)
- food additives
- environmental chemicals (which collect on the skin, coat and paws, and are subsequently swallowed during self-grooming)
- chronic fight / flight arousal (which commonly occurs in rescue pets, and those who are anxious or lack confidence for various reasons)
Restoring A Healthy Microbiome
Cleansing the intestines, followed by the introduction of large numbers of beneficial bowel bacteria into the bowels along with food which fuels their growth, helps to restore a strong, healthy resilient gut microbiome over time.
This can be done as follows:
2. Add Digestion to the diet.
3. Give a good probiotic twice daily, such as Bio-Kult.
Why we don't recommend UK licensed veterinary probiotics.*
The above regime should be continued for at least 3 months, after which it may be possible to stop the probiotic.
Supplementation with Digestion and regular use of Intestinal Cleanse and Organ Cleanse can be continued indefinitely.
It is important that other causes of abdominal bloating and / or discomfort (such as pancreatitis, a twisted bowel or a growth), be ruled out by a vet before microbiome support is undertaken.
*We have found good, human probiotcs to be more effective at helping pets that UK licensed veterinary products because they contain many varieties of beneficial bowel bacteria. Bio-Kult for example provides 14 strains compared to the maximum of 2 allowed in veterinary probiotics.