How to escape digestive discomfort


Watch out, fragile! To escape digestive discomfort, the gut microbiota must be pampered. Here’s how.

For lunch, Marie swallows a sandwich in a hurry because she has files to return. She doesn’t forget her prescribed antibiotic for a cold or her gastroesophageal reflux medication that she’s been taking for months. On leaving the office, she jumps into her car to join some friends and have a few drinks. Later, she will heat up a frozen pizza that she will enjoy in front of the TV with a soda with sweeteners.

Marie lives like millions of people: she is stressed, no longer has time to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to cook them, so she relies on the food industry and takes medication without thinking too much about it. The problem is that our intestinal bacteria do not appreciate this way of life. Bad habits that can lead to an imbalance of our intestinal flora and promote many pathologies. To avoid this dysbiosis, some tips to remove bad habits.

Avoid junk food and alcohol

Texture agents, dyes and additives of all kinds, which saturate industrial foods, but also the abundance of sugars disturb the balance of our bacteria. Moreover, contrary to what Marie thinks, replacing sugar with a sweetener is not a good idea. “They can alter the mucus layer in the digestive tract and promote an unhealthy pro-inflammatory process”specifies Professor Perlemuter, gastroenterologist at the Antoine-Béclère hospital, in Clamart, and author of From gut to brain. How your bacteria can relieve stress, hypersensitivity and depression (Pocket). Regular alcohol consumption is also associated with an alteration of the microbiota and an activation of the inflammatory process.

” READ ALSO – The intestinal microbiota, a whole world to map

Avoid monotony

However, it is useless to sink into phobia and permanently ban processed foods from our meals. As Professor Rémy Burcelin, research director at Inserm unit U 1297 in Toulouse, reminds us: “We must not prevent the microbiota from going to the school of life. » Like us, he must live with his environment. He must therefore learn it in order to know it and adapt. “To remain stable, he must live in a slight imbalance. Which means: you have to eat everything in small quantities and avoid a diet where you eat without varying your foods, even if they are considered good for our bacteria.says the professor.

We must eat everything in small quantities and avoid a diet where we eat without varying our foods, even if they are considered good for our bacteria

Pr Rémy Burcelin, research director at Inserm unit U 1297 in Toulouse

take time to eat

If food is important, the way we eat it can be just as important. ” The chewing is the first important stage of digestion. This is why it is necessary to avoid swallowing meals in a hurry without chewing. Studies have indeed shown that the digestive flora can consider insufficiently chewed food as foreign bodies, which can lead to alterations in the intestinal wall.explains Professor Thierry Piche, gastroenterologist at the Nice hospital.

Don’t overuse antibiotics

Antibiotics attack bacteria, both good and bad. When we give antibiotics for viral infections, we will therefore above all kill good bacteria without acting on the viruses… In adults, the intestinal flora, undermined by these drugs, will regain its balance after some time. “On the other hand, in children, before the age of three, the microbiota is immature”, recalls Professor Perlemuter. Giving antibiotics inappropriately at this age can therefore set up a permanent dysbiosis.

” READ ALSO – Microbiota and immunity: a powerful duo

Beware of antacids

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastric ulcers, decreasing acidity. “However, this gastric acidity constitutes a barrier against certain microbes”, explains Professor Piche. This is why, when traveling to countries where the risk of gastroenteritis is high, he advises people to stop PPI treatments during the trip in favor of other gastric dressings.

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