Dysbiosis and You

Posted by on Feb 11, 2020 in Health | 0 comments

Have you ever heard of dysbiosis? I hadn’t either until I recently stumbled upon the word and decided to do some research. It turns out that dysbiosis is a condition that occurs when the bacteria in your gut becomes imbalanced. Sometimes, dysbiosis is only as noticeable as a stomach ache that goes away on its own. Other times, dysbiosis leads to the emergence of painful and serious diseases. Dysbiosis means that the bacteria in the gut is messed up, making sickness more likely.

Though we always think of bacteria as gross and bad, we actually need a healthy amount of bacteria in our bodies to stay healthy. Everyone has more microorganisms in their bodies than human cells, but because they’re so small, only about six pounds of a person’s body weight is bacteria. The bacteria present in your gut can be thrown out-of-whack by a new diet, excessive drinking, increased stress, or unprotected sex, which can introduce new bacteria to the body.

Many people go through dysbiosis without even realizing it, since the body is so skilled at fixing problems on its own. However, when the body can’t seem to rebalance, people may start to figure out they have dysbiosis by these symptoms, as listed by GastroCare:

  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble urinating
  • Rash
  • Bad breath
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety or depression

Dysbiosis presents itself differently with each person and each type of bacteria that is affected. People who have dysbiosis may end up also having other conditions such as yeast infections, celiac disease, heart disease, liver disease, or cancer.

Because of the seriousness of these diseases, it’s important that anyone who is consistently or severely experiencing the above symptoms sees a doctor. Doctors may perform urine, stool, or breath samples to determine whether the patient has dysbiosis. Then, they’ll likely prescribe a prebiotic or a probiotic, which helps balance the bacteria in the gut, or vitamin or supplement. A doctor may also recommend a change in diet or a change in medication if that was the cause of the patient’s condition. 

For anyone who is curious, or who suspects they may be dealing with dysbiosis, a few things that can help are:

  • Eating a healthy diet
    • Cutting back on sugar and replacing it with fiber
  • Exercising
    • Any exercise is beneficial to gut health because it increases anti-inflammatory bacteria
  • Consuming probiotics/prebiotics
    • Probiotics contain healthy gut bacteria, while prebiotics feed those bacteria

Dysbiosis is relatively common because there are so many things that can cause it. As I said, many people will have dysbiosis in their life without realizing that it’s the cause of their stomach pain or bloating or whatever the symptoms may be. Thankfully, dysbiosis is very treatable with a healthy diet and a doctor’s advice.