The last few months have been a difficult yet interesting journey for me. In the midst of the challenges, I'm learning new things that have been helpful for me, and I hope will be helpful for you as well. =)
For instance, I've been learning more about deficiencies.
1) Potassium deficiency
For years I've had to supplement with potassium every day. Recently I learned that excessive use of baking soda (which I definitely qualified for), can contribute to depleting potassium. After learning this, I began using an olive oil bar soap (Olivella fragrance free) to wash my hands instead of using baking soda. Within a few days I noticed I didn't need the potassium supplement every day like before. I still use baking soda for some things, but by reducing my use of it I also reduced how much potassium I needed. I also discovered that simply putting my left foot on the inside of a banana peel for about 10 minutes every day, or even every other day, allowed my body to absorb all the potassium it needed. And I was able to stop taking it as a supplement.
2) Vit D deficiency
I've dealt with vit D deficiency off and on for years. Now that I've been out of the house a lot more and actually getting some sun, it's been better. But I learned that I could use an apple peel, like the banana peel. I put my left hand on the inside of an apple peel for about 10 minutes a few times a week, and that has been enough to keep my vit D levels stable.
3) Vit E deficiency
Because I've been living with friends, not at home, I haven't had my shower filter. And the excess chlorine from unfiltered water led to a vit E deficiency. Dr. Mercola has a helpful article on vit. E and why it's important to keep a proper balance, not too much, not to little, in your body.
And again, he recommends getting vit E naturally through eating healthy foods.
Obviously, the best way to correct deficiencies is naturally, by the food we eat, or by absorbing them through our hands/feet. Supplements are less effective and can be problematic if they aren't good quality or aren't monitored well.
In addition to all this, I've learned that having the RIGHT probiotic for YOU is absolutely essential! Probiotics do so much in the body. They not only power your immune system but much more:
from Dr. Mercola: "Probiotics are also essential for optimal digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, and they help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and aid in the elimination of toxins."
So you can see that taking probiotics will also help prevent/correct deficiencies.
The main thing I've learned about probiotics lately is that you have to find the specific one that YOU need right now.
I've taken probiotics for years. Sometimes it felt like they weren't doing anything. Other times I could feel positive changes in my health almost immediately when I started taking a new one.
My theory is that the "terrain" of your gut changes based on diet, stress, lifestyle, environment, seasons, etc. So the kind of probiotic you need today might be different that what you needed last year or even last month. In December I started taking one called "bacillus coagulans" and I've been amazed how helpful it's been! If I forget to take it one day I definitely feel worse the next day. However, now that I've been taking it for a few months, I feel like I need to look for a different one again. Once that specific strain of probiotic is built up in my gut, then I can look for a different one to add.
As far as finding the specific kind of good bacteria you need today, I don't have a formula. If you don't have a trusted health provider to guide you, then I'd say go to the store, stand in front of all the probiotic bottles and see which one calls out to you. =) Seriously though, do read labels, make sure it's a quality product, and then try different ones and see how your body responds. Or you can get a recommendation from a friend of what has helped them. Just don't get discouraged if the first one you try doesn't seem to do anything. Move on to another one until you find what your body needs right now. There are so many strains of good bacteria, look for different ones than just "acidophilus" or "bifidus". Maybe even try a children's probiotic and see how that works. =)
I'm so thankful that God created our bodies with the ability to heal and repair themselves! It's our job to give our bodies the materials they need to do the work of healing. So keep eating those healthy foods, watch out for deficiencies, and find a probiotic that works for you.
Any questions or suggestions?