Courtney Snyder, MD
What is the microbiome and why are so many researchers studying it's impact on human health including mental health? How can we take care of it? And, what can it teach us about fear, the importance of diversity and our relationship with the natural world?
The microbiome is the collection of microbes that live in and on our bodies. There are estimated to be 100 trillion in our gastrointestinal tract - about ten times the number of cells in our body. Spread out, it is believed the microbiome could cover a football field. Though there are an estimated 500 -1000 different species, only one third seem to be common to most people. The other two thirds are specific to each one of us. So, along with our unique experiences and genomes, we have unique microbiomes.
I'm a conventionally trained child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. My current approach to health is both holistic (pertaining to the whole person) and functional (addressing the root causes of illness). I write this blog to share what I've learned.