I was about 8 years old when I realized the importance of a well functioning digestive system. Biking home from morning swim team practice, I had to get off my bike and walk from severe gut pain. The cramping came in waves and left my mom, an emergency room nurse, stunned sitting by my side – first at home and later in the emergency room.
Turns out, I was experiencing a life-threatening illness that occurs when a portion of the intestine folds like a telescope, causing an intestinal obstruction. Ouch! Thankfully the E.R. doctor and radiologist were able to relieve the blockage through a painful non-surgical procedure. Hours later, I walked out of the emergency room, relieved with my grateful parents by my side.
That was the first of many digestive “disasters” and thankfully the only one that was ever life-threatening. The remainder were life disturbing and followed me through high school, med school, and into motherhood. After my youngest was born, my gut went on full strike. Every time I ate, I felt like a busted garbage disposal. Instead of grinding down my food and absorbing its nutrition, it sloshed around, leaving me uncomfortable, totally frustrated, and yearning for a healthy gut.
Your gut does more than just digest your food and absorb nutrients into your cells. Within the digestive tract, lives your gut flora. These microorganisms outnumber the number of cells in your entire body by about ten to one, and they’re busy! Healthy gut flora trains your immune system, defend against harmful bugs, digest strange invaders, make vitamins, and absorb minerals. They’re microscopic and mighty, and when they’re imbalanced, it’s a digestive disaster! Food is left undigested. Vitamins are not made. Minerals are not absorbed. Invaders can take over and things that should flush down the toilet, sneak into your body instead. Yuck!
Taking a daily probiotic is the easiest way to support a healthy digestive system and also a healthy immune, brain, and hormonal system. Probiotics can help reduce allergy symptoms (eczema, asthma, seasonal hay fever, and food allergies) and digestive symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and lactose intolerance) [Martinez et al., 2015]. Probiotics can event support healthy metabolism and brain function!
My favorite probiotics are Isagenix IsaBiome and Metagenics UltraFlora Spectrum. They’re both broad-spectrum (including lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, streptococcus, and saccharomyces species). They’re both made by manufacturers that go above and beyond G.M.P. standards. (*See NOTE below)
I wish I had taken a daily probiotic when I was a child. Maybe these mighty bugs would have thwarted my adolescent/adult hormonal, digestive disasterville. Who knows, but I make it a priority to give a probiotic to our daughters every day.
P.S. Have friends, family, or colleagues struggling with their health? Forward this email. Maybe a daily probiotic is their next best step!
P.P.S. Figuring out nutritional supplements for your child can feel overwhelming. Diagnostic testing creates a roadmap for your child’s health and prioritizes dietary supplements according to the highest need.
“Dr. Sue’s comprehensive approach pieced together the pieces of the puzzle for me that I couldn’t get between our pediatrician and lots of reading! The testing she did made sense, and the results helped me better understand my son’s health needs.” – Carly Elia
*NOTE: Always do your research before consuming supplements.
Not all supplements are created equal. High-quality ingredients, third-party testing, human clinical trials, and qualified product research/development staff are essential in creating safe and effective supplements for your family. That’s why we order supplements directly from top manufacturers that distinguish themselves above the rest.
Buying a supplement from an Amazon reseller or off the health food store shelf doesn’t guarantee the manufacturer has gone above and beyond G.M.P. standards and hired independent third-party testers to ensure their products have the identity, strength, composition, quality, and purity represented on the label with undetectable levels of pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, preservatives, and additives.
About the Author: Dr. Sue McCreadie
Sue McCreadie, MD (aka Dr. Sue) is a board-certified pediatric physician and mom of three, with two decades of experience helping thousands of families achieve vibrant health naturally. In her pediatric practice, she helps children achieve health naturally by adapting their diet and lifestyle to optimize their genetics. Since transforming her health and wealth through a science-backed nutritional system, Dr. Sue helps other women and healthcare practitioners live their best life fit and financially free. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Dave, and their three children, Kaitlin, Elle, and Addison. www.FitFemFree.com