Learn a simple, noninvasive way to confirm if your gut flora are healthy
Typically, gas and bloating, constipation, and other digestive symptoms are reliable signs that you would benefit from eating more fermented foods and taking a probiotic supplement to improve the health of your gut bacteria. But for the more "hands-on" among you, it's also possible to assess your digestive health by measuring the pH of your stool.
Your stool pH should be only slightly acidic, about 6.7 to 6.9. A neutral or alkaline pH (7 or higher) generally indicates poor balance between beneficial bacteria and bad bacteria; however, a very acidic pH can be negative as well, and often occurs when too much sucrose (table sugar) or lactose (milk sugar) are consumed in the diet. Acidic pH levels also occur along with conditions that cause diarrhea.
You can check your pH by using pH paper or with a liquid test agent called Bromthymol. The easiest to obtain is the pH paper, which is sold in many aquarium shops, pharmacies, medical supply houses, or by chemical supply companies. To determine the pH of your stool, simply touch the paper to a moist sample (before it hits the water in the toilet) and compare the color change to the chart that comes with the paper.
If your pH is not ideal, there are several foods and nutritional products that, when used correctly, can restore and/or improve gut bacteria and help return the pH to normal. These solutions work regardless of whether the bowel is too acidic or too alkaline.