Imbalance in Gastrointestinal Tract

Dysbiosis

Dysbiosis is a term used to describe an imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract including your stomach and your intestines other wise known as the gut. Dysbiosis can show up in different ways including leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and ulcers. 


What causes dysbiosis:


Dysbiosis occurs when cracks or holes develop in the lining of the intestinal tract. These holes allow toxins and unwanted particles to enter into your blood stream and weaken your immune system. If you have leaky gut, it is important to follow an approach that addresses the key layers of a healthy gut.  Cracks and holes can develop in the lining of your intestinal tract typically because of the following reasons:


  • a dietary change that increases your intake of protein, sugar, or food additives
  • accidental chemical consumption, such as lingering pesticides on unwashed fruit
  • drinking two or more alcoholic beverages per day
  • new medications, such as antibiotics, that affect your gut flora
  • poor dental hygiene, which allows bacteria to grow out of balance in your mouth
  • high levels of stress or anxiety, which can weaken your immune system
  • unprotected sex, which can expose you to harmful bacteria
  • Chlorine in drinking water and cleaning products
  • preservative in processed foods
  • Glyphosate (weed killer)
  • High fat, high calorie meals


What are the symptoms of dysbiosis:


The symptoms of dysbiosis depend on where the bacteria imbalance develops. The symptoms may also vary based on the types of bacteria that are out of balance. Common symptoms include:


  • bad breath (halitosis)
  • upset stomach
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty urinating
  • vaginal or rectal itching
  • bloating
  • chest pain
  • rashes or redness
  • fatigue
  • difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • weight gain
  • asthma
  • food sensitives
  • allergies


Diagnosing dysbiosis:


Diagnosing dysbiosis is a process that can include:


  • Organic acid tests - collection of a urine sample to test for certain acids that bacteria produce. If the acid levels are abnormal, it may mean that certain bacteria are out of balance. 
  • Comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA) - collection of a poop sample. This test is used to see what bacteria, yeasts, or fungi are present. The results can tell your doctor if there is an imbalance or overgrowth. 
  • Hydrogen breath test - drinking a sugar solution and breathing into a special balloon to test for gases produced by bacteria. Too much or too little of certain gases can indicate a bacterial imbalance. This test is commonly used to test for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.


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