It’s no secret that being a woman is tough; our bodies are riddled with equipment and potential obstacles that can make daily life a bit of a hassle. Between the digestive system, urinary tract and nether regions, we live life with the constant possibility of something going wrong on us and causing life to be a tad (or greatly) more irritating. For me, personally, because of certain prescriptions I take, I spent the last year fending off certain “womanly issues.” In the spirit of avoiding a TMI situation, I’ll just leave it at that. After yet another visit to my gynecologist, I finally asked her how I could fix this. “Should I eat more yogurt?” I asked. Her suggestion was to start taking a daily dose of probiotics. I’d never really heard of this supplement–and am never one to jump on the “supplement bandwagon–so I came home and started doing my research. Immediately I realized this might do the trick; and after a month of daily consumption, not only can I tell a vast difference regarding my primary issue, I am seeing noticeable improvements in other areas of my health.
By definition, probiotics are a substance containing beneficial microorganisms: a substance containing live microorganisms that claims to be beneficial to humans and animals, e.g. by restoring the balance of microflora in the digestive tract. Lactic acid and bifidobacteria are the most common microbes used in probiotics, but certain yeast and bacilli are also often used—these are the same types of bacteria found in fermented foods with specially added active live cultures such as yogurt, soy yogurt and dietary supplements.
Our bodies are a delicate ecosystem, working to maintain a constant balance between harmful bacteria and good bacteria. Due to poor diet, genes, medications or certain chronic illness, this balance can become out of whack–pretty easily, it seems. When this happens, your various systems are vulnerable to problems. For instance, when taking antibiotics, women are much more likely to get yeast infections. This is because antibiotics not only wipe out harmful bacteria, but also good, leaving you wide open to infection. However, if you take a probiotic while on antibiotics, the good bacteria in the supplement will help your body maintain its health pH balance.
Here’s a list of other ailments probiotics may help to manage:
- Lactose intolerance
- Blood pressure
- Immune function and infections
- Helicobacter pylori
- Bacterial growth under stress
- Irritable bowel syndrome and colitis
- Mental health
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- Vitamin production
- Bacterial Vaginosis