DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:
Your body has a balance of good and bad bacteria that makes it function. When the amount of good bacteria becomes less than the bad bacteria this is called Dysbiosis.
What is Dysbiosis?
Dysbiosis can result from a lack of good bacteria or it can stem from an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. While Dysbiosis can happen in the gastrointestinal system, it can also occur on your skin, in your lungs, up your nose, in your sinuses, in your ears and eyes, in the vagina and on your nails.
Some of the signs and symptoms of Dysbiosis are common digestive symptoms such as bloating and burping, heartburn and reflux, excessive gas after meals, a sense of fullness once you’ve finished eating, diarrhoea, constipation and also bad breath. The other signs, which you probably wouldn’t connect with Dysbiosis, are conditions like joint pain, lactose intolerance, weak and splitting fingernails, and skin problems like rosacea, adult acne or any other skin conditions. Dysbiosis also causes iron deficiency, chronic intestinal infections, parasites, and yeast infections, along with the passing of undigested food, depression, weight gain, sugar cravings, fatigue and chronic vaginitis.
What Causes Dysbiosis?
Our inner ecosystem is delicately balanced and disruption can occur relatively quickly. Some of the most common causes of the unbalancing of our bacteria levels are as follows:
• Our Diet – The standard Australian diet is heavy on processed foods, and lacks fibre, fruit and vegetables, which can help to balance our bacteria levels. Extreme diets, like the fruit only diet, or diets that are super-high in protein or fat and low in fibre also disrupt bacteria levels within our body. Foods that are low in fibre slow down the process of digestion, which means we are then taking longer to excrete waste. When this happens, reabsorption of toxins is increased.
• Frequent Antibiotic Use – As we all know antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria, they don’t discriminate. So an overgrowth of harmful bacteria can happen easily, and quickly if you have repeated courses of antibiotics. Some species of gut bacteria can take up to three years to recover from a single dose of antibiotics, and some species never recover and become extinct.
• Medications – The use of proton pump inhibitor medicines for the maintenance of medical conditions such as stomach ulcers, reflux and gastric acid production block our hydrochloric acid production, which is our body’s first line of defence to stop pathogenic bacteria from coming into our body. When we compromise this defence mechanism, we invite all sorts of bad guys in to set up shop.
• A Suppressed Immune System – When you are under lots of emotional stress, have intestinal infections, parasitic infections, inflammation or an autoimmune condition, these also take a toll on the bacteria.
• Food Allergies or Intolerances – Also known as the ‘chicken and egg scenario’, where food allergies and intolerances can cause Dysbiosis, but Dysbiosis can also cause food allergies and intolerances.
• Stress – There are many stress types that the body can endure, the most common being emotional and physical stress, which also have a negative impact on bacteria within the body. Overexercising can be a significant cause as well.
• Hormonal Issues – Pregnancy, daily use of an oral contraceptive pill, and consumption of steroid hormones also impact on our gut flora negatively.
The disruption of a balanced intestinal tract can easily occur in our modern world. However, taking note of any changes and then aiming to restore balance, before it becomes chronic, will prevent Dysbiosis from occurring, along with other illness within your body.
About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair
Ange Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.