Gut Issues: Dysbiosis
Oct 03, 2017
Dysbacteriosis commonly called “dysbiosis ” is a condition caused by an imbalance within our intestinal microflora. Dysbiosis can cause a multitude of ongoing ailments within our digestive tract, including flatulence, bloating, cramping, and even sore joints! In his 1908 publication, Elie Metchnikoff felt that dysbiosis is “a state of living with intestinal flora that has harmful effects.” Metchnikoff’s study reviewed the effect of the healthy, balanced intestinal bacterium on one’s life span, and its ability to prolong life. Metchnikoff's study sparked more research over the years, and in the mid-90s due to the dramatic increase in obesity in the US, our scientific community focused more on this philosophy. It turns out dysbiosis can cause a lot of the primary intestinal ailments. These include inflammatory bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Our digestive system contains several types of microflora, which include streptococci and Proteus. An overgrowth of these bacteria and others like them causes dysbiosis.
The particular overgrowth of Candida albicans causes thrush, a yeast infection, and can elicit similar symptoms. Many factors contribute to dysbiosis. First and foremost, eating a diet that includes large amounts of refined carbohydrates, not exercising regularly, and failing to relax contribute significantly to dysbiosis. Relaxation, exercise and eating a healthy unrefined diet can naturally manage biological stress reactions, which is a major contributor to dysbiosis. As with candida overgrowth, treating sinusitis or otitis media with broad-spectrum antibiotics can trigger dysbiosis. An abundance of the microflora in our intestines can be effectively managed by eating organic, plain yogurt daily, which is naturally filled with healthy, live cultures. While eating yogurt is the easiest method of controlling microflora growth, those suffering from dairy allergies are not able to obtain their live cultures by simply eating yogurt. Thankfully, organic, herbal pre- and probiotic supplements may be substituted for yogurt. While supplementation isn’t always ideal, sometimes it is the best option available. Supplements used for prevention of dysbiosis should include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, L-glutamine and butyrate.
It is also vital to incorporate regular exercise, a diet low in refined carbohydrates, and balance your fruit and vegetable intake. Eating even one substance in excess can be harmful to our intestinal health and disrupt natural homeostasis. This increases the microflora activity in our gastrointestinal tract, ultimately causing dysbiosis among other ailments. Fermented foods can also contribute to microflora growth; however, when eaten following a healthy diet they aid in managing bacterium growth. Once our microflora is back in balance, dysbiosis symptoms will subside, and our body will return to homeostasis.
Galland, L., & Barrie, S. (n.d.). Digestive System: Intestinal Dysbiosis And The Causes Of Disease. In Healthy.Net.
Metchnikoff, E. (1908). The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Peterson, D. (n.d.). Dysbiosis.