You know good gut bacteria are your BFFs when it comes to regularity, healthy digestion, weight loss, immunity, and even preventing heart disease. Those are the signs of “good” bacteria thriving in your gut.
But what happens when the “bad” guys take over?
When you have too much of the wrong gut bacteria, it can throw your whole body out of whack. There's actually a name for it, “dysbacteriosis.” It’s an imbalance of normal bacterial flora in the stomach and it is linked to many health conditions.
The most obvious sign of too many bad guys? Digestive issues start to become frequent.
But bad bacteria in the stomach can also contribute to chronic health problems that don't appear at first to have anything to do with your digestive system, such as respiratory issues or anemia. For example, something like candidiasis is caused by an overgrowth of the pathogenic bacteria candida. But it can also result from weaknesses in the gut membrane.
When there aren’t enough good bacteria to keep the intestinal lining strong, it can lead to breaks in the intestinal wall. This allows disease-causing bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to “break out” and pass directly into the bloodstream where they can disrupt the body’s normal function in 14 important ways.
If you are suffering from any of these conditions, of course, you should talk with your doctor. In addition, I would also urge you to review your diet and lifestyle to make sure you are proactively developing a healthy, thriving gut – by taking a high-quality supplement, regularly eating naturally probiotic foods, and avoiding toxic lifestyle traps.
Another – and surprisingly “hands on” – way to check your levels of bad gut bacteria is to measure the pH of your stool. You can check your pH directly by using pH paper or with a liquid test agent called Bromothymol. The easiest way is using pH paper, which is sold in many aquarium shops, pharmacies, medical supply houses, or by chemical supply companies.
To determine the pH of your stool, simply touch the paper to a moist sample (before it hits the water in the toilet) and compare the color change to the chart that comes with the paper.
Your stool pH should be only slightly acidic, about 6.7 to 6.9. A neutral or alkaline pH (7 or higher) generally indicates poor balance between beneficial bacteria and bad bacteria. A very acidic pH can be negative as well and often occurs when too much sucrose (table sugar) or lactose (milk sugar) are consumed in the diet. Acidic pH levels also occur along with conditions that cause diarrhea.