Conditions like joint pain, arthritis or inflammation don’t necessarily start out where you might think. Research has found that the pain and inflammation may actually originate in the gut. It is believed that the bacteria found in the gut helps to ensure a barrier is kept between what we put in there, like food and drink, and prevent it from leaking into the blood stream. When the bacteria is removed or destroyed, that layer of protection is gone and the possibility of inflammation or arthritis increases.
Researchers around the globe are seeking to understand how the microbiome, gut bacteria, affects overall health. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that these bacteria may impact your well-being whether it is through triggering a chronic ailment such as arthritis or providing protection from another.
What is causing the changes in our gut bacteria?
Eating habits and the use of antibiotics are two contributing factors that are transforming the bacterial balance in our bodies. Some research indicates that the rise in the number of people with asthma may be related to the reduced amount of bacteria in our guts.
The solution may not be that simple.
While there are dozens of products on the market that would apparently provide you with the missing bacteria, called probiotics, there is skepticism that ingesting microbes will solve the problem even if they do survive the digestion process. A more natural approach such as modifying the microbiome through diet has shown that in some cases there has been improvement in arthritis symptoms.
While there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, it is compelling to consider that the bacteria (or lack of it) in our gut is the reason why our joints hurt. This continues to reinforce our message that the systems of the body all work together and the approach to wellness should be tackled holistically. And remember…your eyes are the window to your health. Speak to your optometrist or health care provider to see what might be the right approach for your situation.