You can eat all the healthy food you want and consume all the supplements given, but if your lifestyle is out of whack, then your health will still be disordered. 

As we have spoken about before, health is holistic. There are so many internal and external factors that can influence the composition of the gut bacteria and ultimately affect your overall health.

In previous posts, we have looked into diet and supplement influences; now it’s time to look at lifestyle influences.  


Circadian disorganisation, which can occur because of travel, shift work, diet, poor routines, or other reasons, also impacts gut health and alters gut microbes..  

Take Charge: 

  • Get exercise daily – try exercising before dinner, as exercising just before bed can wake you up. 
  • Bedroom Hygiene – keep the room cool, dark, and just for sleeping and sex. Turn off technology hours before bed, and even try for no technology in the bedroom. 
  • Get regular exposure to sunlight – where possible, late in the afternoon. As the sun sets, it promotes the production of melatonin, which will help with sleeping patterns. 
  • Start a bedtime routine hours before bed – this may look like a tech off, hot bath, dimming lights, reading, or other relaxing activities. 
  • Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar –  at night. 
  • Avoiding heavy/rich meals – late in the evening or if you do take digestive enzymes. 
  • Digestive Enzymes – Waking during the night and the inability to get back to sleep can be diet-related. Try taking a couple of digestive enzymes, as they assist with better sleep.


Studies have shown that exercise increases the diversity of the microbes in the gut. The opposite is also true: a sedentary lifestyle and excess weight are linked to decreasing numbers of beneficial microbes within the gut. 

Take Charge: 

  • Remember exercise doesn’t need to be hard and strenuous – sometimes yoga and stretching are just what you need. Listen to your body, sometimes it’s good to smash it out, sometimes it’s good to stretch and nourish. 


Environmental Toxins
It has been well documented that environmental toxins from cleaning products, fumes, makeup/skincare, perfumes/deodorants, antimicrobials, heavy metals, pesticides, and so on can cause structural differences and alter the function of the gut microbes. 

Take Charge: 

  • Reduce as much chemical exposure within your home and your products as much as possible – choosing low-tox products to use around the home is the way to go to help reduce the use of chemicals being used around your house.


Smoking heavily influences and changes our gut microbes. These days, e-cigarettes and vaping devices have become very popular; unfortunately, the assumption is that they are not as harmful as they are “non-nicotine.” This is not the case. Studies have shown that the harmful effects of non-nicotine e-cigarettes cause damage and inflammation to the gut barrier. 


Over sanitising
While washing our hands is important, having an overly sterile environment does not promote diversity in your gut bacteria. And, as we know, gut diversity is everything!


Shift work
Due to disorganised sleep with irregular waking and sleeping times, random eating schedules, and inadequate exposure to natural light and dark, all of these factors impact our gut and are part of the shift worker’s life. All these things affect the circadian rhythm, causing the whole body and overall health to be out of whack.  Shift workers often complain of many digestive issues, sugar cravings, bad breath, food sensitivities, and mood fluctuations.

Take Charge: 

  • Digestive Enzymes – especially during night shift (during the dark), may support adequate digestion when the body feels it should be asleep.
  • Probiotic – take daily in the form of fermented and probiotic-rich foods or, if needed, in a supplement.
  • Stay Hydrated –when we are dehydrated, our digestion becomes sluggish, and oftentimes, when we are tired, we substitute water for caffeine.  Making sure you keep a water bottle with you will encourage you to drink more, limit coffee, drink more herbal teas, and drink a big glass of water before caffeine.


Not that we are traveling much at the moment, especially overseas, but even past travel to places with poor sanitary conditions can impact the gut even now, as past infections that go undiagnosed can result in long-term gut issues. 

Take Charge: 

  • Travelling – when traveling somewhere and you are unsure about the sanitary conditions, taking a probiotic with SB strain may be helpful.
  • Sanitary conditions – If you have traveled to places with poor sanitary conditions and your gut has never been the same, or if you have been working on your gut but nothing is changing, maybe it’s time to look into stool testing to test for any nasties (aka parasites, etc.).


Hopefully, this quick overview gives you insight into the fact that it’s not just our diets that are impacting our gut, which in turn is impacting our health; it’s all facets of our lives. 

So keep going; it seems that little changes make a big impact.


Love Alissa ❤