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The Sassy Sandpiper: Making Amends

Microbiome | Sassy Sandpiper | Health

The Sassy Sandpiper contemplates caring for the 90 percent of our being that isn’t “human.”

By M.R. WILSON, Columnist, TB Reporter

I owe my Little Community a public apology, so here goes:

Even though they never will read this, we’ll both feel better. The Little Community is not friends or family. It is not even human. If you remember I once wrote about unseen benefactors, right about now you might be realizing that my injured and insulted Little Community is my microbiome.

No longer “the latest health craze,” this form of self-care is getting some serious attention from medical experts.

If ever there was a silent majority, it’s the microbiome. Nine out of 10 cells in our bodies don’t belong to us. That’s right. We are about 10 percent human. All the rest are microbes—bacteria, yeasts, fungi and viruses—that have hitched a ride during the dawn of our origins, decided they liked the neighborhood, and settled down. Of course, there are good microbes and bad, just like any community. And although they are silent residents, they sure do raise a ruckus when intruders like disease-causing pathogens show up, or the food supply (what we eat) doesn’t suit them, you walk into a cloud of oak pollen, or take a course of antibiotics.

For me, the ruckus raised by my unhappy Little Community resulted in chronic fatigue, depression, and weight gain. I’m talking years of documented weariness, at times so crushing, I’d chalk it up to another “lost day” and do little but rest.

Microbiome | Sassy Sandpiper | Health

Fortunately, an increasing number of medical doctors are conducting their own research studies on the crucial role played by our microbiota in our well-being. I’ve felt lousy lately, so have been reading a lot of material in this relatively new field. I’ve come to the conclusion that an abused microbiome is causing—or mightily aiding and abetting—my malaise. For decades, I’ve been adding insult to injury to my closest friends and allies.

Much of the damage done was inadvertent. I always believed I ate smart most of the time. But I’ve been misinformed and likely you have been, too. Science does not back up the healthy claims of foods like whole grains, beans, and fruit, to name a few. In truth, they harbor a type of plant protein called lectin, which disrupts cellular function and triggers disease. Lectins lurk everywhere in the food supply, from “natural” edibles to processed-everything-else. All we can do is learn to limit our consumption and avoid the worst food offenders as often as possible.

I could recommend authors and titles, but it would be much more beneficial for you to discover an expert to call your own. I’ve invested in some pricey supplements, stopped taking an antiviral drug, and altered my diet to better suit the needs of my microflora.  After two weeks, I’m almost feeling 10 percent human again, provided I don’t eat stuff that’s obviously horrible for me.

My apologies, Little Community. I’m doing my darnedest to take better care of you. And I know the feeling is mutual.

Microbiome | Sassy Sandpiper | Health

Main art courtesy of M.R. Wilson.

M.R. Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | Microbiome | Health | Wellness | Tampabay News

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