Gut bacteria may be the cause of weight gain

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on



Gut bacteria may be the cause of weight gain

There are 100 trillion bacteria in our microbiome with 1000 different species and thousands upon thousands of different strains.  

The number of bacteria in our body even outweighs the number of cells we have.  The gut bacteria line your entire digestive tract and can easily live there in harmony with viruses, parasites, fungi and yeast. 

What do they do? 

The answer to this is both positive and negative.

The positive side of things is that they support your immune system, they affect your metabolism, and even your mood (gut-brain axis).

The bad news is that if the environment isn't quite right then they can also be the starting point of disease and WEIGHT GAIN.

Conditions such as:

  • auto immune diseases,
  • heart disease,
  • obesity,
  • under active thyroid
  • hormonal imbalance
  • foggy brain
  • anxiety, depression
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • insulin resistance
  • fatty liver
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • diverticulitis
  • inflammatory bowel diseases, so many more. 

When we think of weight gain we usually associate food choices and this can be right but haven't you ever wondered why a lean person can eat so much junk food and never gain weight? and why an obese person just needs to look at a loaf of bread and they gain 10 kilos? 

It has alot to do with your gut bacteria.  Research has shown that the bacteria in a lean person is actually different to the bacteria in an obese person. 

Crazy I know but now you can understand a bit more.

The biggest impact is on nutrient extraction from food.  The gut bacteria have a lot of power and research has shown that they are some of the big decision makers when it comes to what nutrients to take out of the food you eat as well as how many calories and what to do with it.  The bacteria in an obese person chose a lot more calories that get deposited as fat than a lean person, the lean person has a lot less of those bacteria and more of the other bacteria, and on top of that the bacteria may chose to turn fibre into certain fatty acids which end up as fat deposits in your liver which leads to increased weight gain and fatty liver.

The imbalance of gut bacteria are increasing FAT DEPOSITS and causing weight gain.

For example you eat a meal (eg fast food burger) fill with bad unhealthy fats and your gut bacteria and the strains that extract more fat from food then you will gain more weight than someone who doesn't have those bacteria. 



This does not mean to take probiotics, in-actual fact a research study showed that taking certain probiotics also caused weight gain. By adding these in when the gut isn't ready you can make matters a lot worse. 

This also does not mean drinking fermented drinks such as kombucha or kefir, these too can be doing more damage if the gut hasn't been repaired and rebalanced first.


The gut needs to be repaired and microbiome rebalanced. 

There are two major families of microbes that are involved.

Firmicutes & Bacteroidetes

If you are craving sugar or carbohydrates a lot then chances are you have a higher quantity of Firmicutes and these are the guys that cause all of the problems, they are the opportunistic bacteria and take full advantage of your poor gut health and make it worse. These guys even convert healthy food into compounds that increase fat storage. The frustration is you think you are eating everything right and you still gain weight. Another way of recognising that there is an imbalance is if you get bloating and cramping after food especially but not exclusively high carb foods like beans and take aways. Fatigue after eating carbs.

Other signs that your gut is in need of a repair and rebalance?

You gain weight very easily. This can also be food choices as well.

You can't handle carbohydrates - gluten intolerant

There are also sign is if there is a problem with any of your elimination pathways. 

When there is an imbalance, the body has to use whatever elimination pathway it can.  Normally toxins would be sent to the liver and then broken down into metabolites and excreted out the bowel or kidneys. 

When there is a blockage or overload in these areas then the body has to whatever it can to eliminate.

This is usually seen in different areas such as:

Lungs - Asthma, Chronic (long term) respiratory issues, constant cough

Skin - Eczema, rashes, acne, rosacea, dark circles under eyes

Urine - Cystitis, thrush, bed wetting

Mucous membranes - sinusitis, post nasal drip, rhinitis, gingivitis, vaginitis, diarrhoea, constipation. 

Painful periods

Another sign that there is an imbalance is the constant craving of sweet foods.  The bad bacteria thrive on sugar so they are involved in causing you to crave it for their own survival. 

The major benefit of repairing and rebalancing your gut bacteria is for prevention of disease and improvement of metabolism.  Thyroid hormones are converted from inactive meaning they are doing nothing for your metabolism to active in the gut and liver and when there is an imbalance this has a huge impact on whether they get converted or not.  Also the good guys keep your immune system in check and help with prevent of bowel disease and cancer.

I also request testing to see exactly which families of microbes are causing your symptoms. Conducting a complete microbiome mapping test shows if you may have leaky gut, are reuptaking oestrogen leading to oestrogen dominance or reuptaking toxins such as mould and heavy metals. We can also see if there are any opportunitistic bacteria, ones that can cause constipation as well as any parasites or worms.

Once we know this information we are able to create a specific treatment plan to target anything that is causing your symptoms.

The good news is that all of this can change.  With a bit of repair and rebalance, targeted treatment and eating the right foods then you can be on your way to feeling better.

As a Naturoapth I work on repairing your gut as well as guiding you through food choices to help increase your beneficial bacteria. 

Hi my name is Melissa Callaghan - I am a Bachelor qualified and accredited Naturopath and Nutritionist who specialises in reducing metabolic inflammation as well as improving gut health and balancing hormones.

In my many years working in clinic with my patients I believed that even though everyone had different illnesses there must be one thing that everyone has in common. Our society was just getting sicker and sicker. The most common conditions people go to hospital for are heart conditions, diabetes, obesity, and mental health. I questioned why this was getting worse and worse and occurring in younger age groups more and more.

So I made it my mission to try and get to the bottom of this and I spent years searching for answers. I knew there were contributing factors to people getting sick such as toxins and that these needed to be removed to prevent further sickness but not everyone was exposed to the same toxins. Yet the same illnesses kept filling our medical system. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mental health issues and obesity. I've worked in all these areas for years there must be something in common. I asked myself.

Then it hit me, everyone eats. It must be in the food. I began a journey of discovery and found that it was the ingredients in our food creating metabolic inflammation at a cellular level in our bodies. This was blocking pathways so no wonder we couldn't function properly. 

It all began to make sense. If I can create a program that helps people see food from a different perspective then I may be able to help reverse and prevent all of the conditions that people came to my clinic with and combine this with my natural medicine formulas to catch you up and help you feel better quicker.  

Conditions like:

- Metabolic syndrome
- Central adiposity
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Inflammation
- Type 2 diabetes
- Depression
- Anxiety
- Fibromyalgia
- Migraines
- REFLUX (so common)
- Brain fog
- Hormonal imbalances
- Adrenal fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Endometriosis
- Fibroids

Honestly the list goes on. There are so many conditions connected to metabolic inflammation.

I began spending endless hours researching through all of the scientific evidence to find research papers to back up my findings. From here I began to create a program.  One program that would help EVERYONE.

I put together all of the similar components that I was already doing with each of my patients that followed the same path and I put them all together for everyone to follow.

I then began to add in the recipes and focused on creating meals that were delicious, quick and easy to prepare and that the whole family would love.

There was one last thing that I needed.  Over the years I had researched many many other programs and have seen many people try these programs only to bounce right back to where they started or worse after they finished.

I vowed to myself that the most important component (other than regaining health) was for everyone to be able to sustain the new lifestyle. I created a program that is completely flexible. You can go intense when you need to and not so intense when you don’t.

You can change your habits and stop the cravings, binging, and emotional eating. This a big part of what I do. I help you to understand your relationship with food and turn it into a positive one so you will never feel guilty about eating ever again. When you can see the subconsious programming and the habits that got you to where you are and learn skills to change these it becomes easier to sustain a happier, healthier life.

After getting the ball rolling I begin to use this program in clinic with my patients and within weeks and months I was seeing huge success.  Blood test markers were correcting themselves. People were no longer borderline diabetic, blood pressures where going down, cholesterol was going down, Drs had to reduce and remove medications. Reflux was non-existent and fat and kilos began to melt away. Most of all health began to increase.

I knew I was on the right path.

In my clinic I have been putting my patients through this program that I have called it "Toxins Be Gone 8 week Wholistic Detox program". The program incorporates an 8 week detox from inflammatory foods as well as working on changing the habits that lead you to choosing inflammatory foods in the first place (usually emotional eating).  As well as the education of how certain foods and toxins impact your body, the program works on removing toxins that are preventing the mind and the body from working effectively, helping to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease and help to reverse conditions you already have like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Sometimes making changes can be difficult which is why a major component is working on the subconscious choices and reprogramming your habits and mindset.

My in clinic program is currently being transformed into the 8 week online course that will guide you step by step on your journey to transforming your health quickly. Where others have let you down before and you feel like no program will ever work, this program fills in the gaps that those programs have lacked to set you up for success.

To stay in touch about the program launch join my Facebook Group.

Improvements are seen so quickly which helps keep you motivated. There's also a beneficial side effect of eating for health = weightloss. Most patients lose 6-8 kilos in the first 8 weeks.

If you are ready to take back your health, then book in to see me today. I see patients from all over thanks to technology and I can help you too. 

What if the solution was as simple as changing your diet and your mindset. A growing number researchers believe that it is and that you can prevent or even reverse several of our worst diseases.


Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body and reducing metabolic inflammation. Major areas for improvement include gut health, thyroid, kidney, liver, weight loss and mental health. Conditions such as fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, irritable bowel conditions, depression & anxiety. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. 

Melissa Callaghan BHSc, BTeach
Naturopath, Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Coach


To book an appointment click here 

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