Our Two Ecologies

Microbiome Ecologies

Something I like to tell my patients is that we are all profoundly affected by two ecologies.  There is our outer ecology: the earth, air, food, and water that we depend for life.  And there is our inner ecology:  the community of trillions of bacteria that live within each of us, known as our microbiome.

As is well known, our outer ecology is currently in jeopardy.  Our environment is suffering from an overload of toxins—pesticides, heavy metals, industrial chemicals—that are poisoning our soil, toxifying our food, and polluting our air and water.

But our inner ecology is in danger as well.  The diversity of our microbiome—the wide variety of bacteria on which our bodies depend—is being compromised.  Our inner ecology is under attack, from environmental toxins, antibiotics, unhealthy fats, and a diet that is way too high in sugars and starches.

The consequences for ecological destruction are grave.  When our outer ecology is in danger, the food, water, and air that we need to survive become actual threats to our health.  When our inner ecology is in danger, we develop symptoms and disorders, everything from acne to cancer—and also, of course, obesity.

Mirror Images

We often think of the inner and outer ecology as separate entities.  In fact, they are mirror images of one another.  If one becomes dysfunctional, so will the other.

Many of us are experiencing punishing effects of stress from the failures of the outer ecology.  We suffer from toxic food and polluted water, and also from a lack of meaning and purpose, a feeling ofdisconnection, a sense that our lives have gotten beyond our control.  This creates terrible outer stress in our society, but it also creates inner stress on the microbiome.

By the same token, when our microbiome—our inner ecology—is out of balance, we are prone to anxiety, depression, and brain fog.  It’s easy to become angry, aggressive, frustrated, or resentful.  It’s also easy to become hopeless, discouraged, dispirited, demoralized.  These feelings in turn endanger our outer ecology as we abuse or neglect our natural environment and our social world.

A Tremendous Opportunity

If either one of our ecologies is in distress, the other suffers.  But we know so much now about how to support each ecology.  We have a tremendous opportunity to turn our negative synergy into a positive synergy, with each ecology supporting, nourishing, and inspiring the other.  As a physician, I see it every day:  the power of health to emerge out of illness, transforming everything in its path.

Microbiome Medicine Summit II

Microbiome Medicine Summit II

June 8, 2017
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A Deeper Look At Depression and Anxiety Through The Gut Microbiome

March 21, 2017
Where The Functional Medicine World Is Failing Autoimmune Disease
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February 6, 2017
Low Dose Naltrexone: A Promising Option
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January 26, 2017
The Microbiome Diet 101 (Part 3) – Spotlight On Supplements
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December 16, 2016
The Microbiome Diet 101 (Part 2)
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November 20, 2016
The Microbiome Diet 101 (Part 1)
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November 15, 2016
Spotlight on Crohn’s Disease
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October 17, 2016
Top Supplement Questions Answered
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August 11, 2016
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August 5, 2016
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July 20, 2016
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July 12, 2016
Ten Healthy Eating Musts for Autoimmune Disease

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May 10, 2016
Boost Weight Loss By Revamping Your Gut Microbiome

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May 5, 2016
Depressed? It’s Not All In Your Head! Microbiome Medicine Can Help.

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March 7, 2016
The Secret Benefits Of A Healthy Gut Microbiome

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February 15, 2016
The Skin Microbiome. The Unseen Warrior.

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February 10, 2016
An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Terry Wahls

An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Terry Wahls

January 18, 2016
The Root Cause Of Modern Illness

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January 18, 2016
Spotlight on Thyroid Medications

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January 12, 2016
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January 5, 2016
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December 24, 2015
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December 7, 2015
Paleo VS the Microbiome Diet

Paleo VS the Microbiome Diet

December 3, 2015
Chronic Lyme-It’s not just a myth.

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August 28, 2015
Are You Saying These Five Things? It’s Probably Your Thyroid.

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May 6, 2015
An Exclusive Interview with Ann Louise Gittleman: Diagnosing and Treating Parasites to Achieve Gut Health

An Exclusive Interview with Ann Louise Gittleman: Diagnosing and Treating Parasites to Achieve Gut Health

April 22, 2015
Is There Proof in the Paleo Pudding? Three Reasons Why The Microbiome Diet is Better for Your Mind, Body, and Life

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February 20, 2015
The Microbiome: An Essential Treatment for Healing Autoimmune Disease

The Microbiome: An Essential Treatment for Healing Autoimmune Disease

January 30, 2015
One Size Does Not Fit All: The Importance of Diversity in Health, Healing and Life

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January 23, 2015
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December 30, 2014
Delicious Potato Latkes
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December 17, 2014
Thanksgiving On the Microbiome Diet
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November 26, 2014
Gluten-Free Microbiome Friendly Stuffing with Apple, Fennel and Fresh Herbs
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November 26, 2014
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November 26, 2014
Kefir: Yogurt’s Secret Weight-Loss Twin
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September 16, 2014
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September 12, 2014
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September 9, 2014
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September 5, 2014
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September 2, 2014
The New Breed of Weight-Loss Superfoods
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August 29, 2014
Why Fermented Foods Are Good for Weight Loss, Mood, Glowing Skin, and Overall Health

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August 22, 2014
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August 19, 2014
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August 15, 2014
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August 12, 2014
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August 8, 2014
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August 5, 2014
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August 1, 2014
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July 29, 2014
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July 25, 2014
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July 21, 2014