December 22, 2009

Symptoms, Treatment and Diet For Dysbiosis

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Your body contains a diverse colony of various microorganisms, living in the mucus membranes of the digestive system. On average, there are between 300 and 500 different types of bacteria residing in the adult intestines. Some of the bacteria are good for your body, whereas others may be harmful (if they overgrow). A healthy body will contain more of good bacteria in comparison to the bad bacteria. Unfortunately, certain factors could cause a breakdown in the balance between the harmful and protective intestinal bacteria. Dysbiosis, also known as dysbacteriosis, can be described as a condition that occurs when there is an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in your body.

Dysbiosis causes

There are several different factors that could cause the bad or harmful bacteria in your system to overgrow. There are a number of health conditions that have been strongly linked to dysbiosis, such as –

  • Chronic gastrointestinal diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Inflammatory diseases

Given below are some of the most common causes of dysbiosis –

  • Altered gastric secretion
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Cancer
  • Decrease in immune status
  • Inappropriate or repetitive use of antibiotics or steroids
  • Radiation
  • Spastic colitis
  • Using oral contraceptives (the pill)

You could also increase your risks of dysbiosis in case you follow diet that contains –

  • Sulfur
  • Excessive amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat
  • Low amounts of fiber

The microorganisms living within your body show a decreased ability to control each other’s growth. This results in an overgrowth of certain colonies, which cause damage to the smaller, more beneficial ones.

Dysbiosis symptoms

There are a few signs and symptoms that can alert you to the presence of the microbial imbalances within your body. Given below are some of the symptoms of dysbiosis –

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Disturbed bowel reaction, like constipation or diarrhea
  • Excess flatulence
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting

Do visit your doctor in case you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. Your doctor may advise you to undergo a test known as a “Urinary Indication Test” or “Obermayer Test”. For this test a urine sample will be mixed with 2 reagents and the color will be assessed according to a chart. The entire procedure should take around 10 minutes or so. Speak with your doctor about the foods you need to eat and avoid up to one day before the test.

Dysbiosis treatment

The treatment of dysbiosis is aimed at the replacement of the protective bacteria in the body. However, this is a lot more difficult than most people imagine because many of the good bacteria taken orally get killed by stomach acids before they can reach your intestines.

The most effective way of increasing the healthy bacterial in your body is making a few long-term dietary changes. Given below are the foods that should be included in a diet for dysbiosis –

  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Chestnuts
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hazelnuts
  • Homemade yogurt (plain and unsweetened)
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Limes and lemons
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Pine nuts
  • Raw vegetables
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Whole grain and multi grain products

There are several foods items you should avoid completely, as they increase the growth of harmful bacteria. Given below are the foods that you should eliminate from a dysbiosis diet –

  • Sweets, artificial sweeteners and sugary items, including honey, beets, cane sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and molasses
  • Tropical fruits, dates, plums, figs, quince and muscadine, along with fruit juices
  • Vegetables that contain high amounts of sugar, like potatoes, yams and prickly pear
  • White grains, white rice and rye flour
  • Vinegar and hydrogenated oil
  • Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine
  • Pickles and condiments
  • Animal products like meat and cultured cheese

However, it is important to check with a doctor before you make any major changes to your diet. Do not eat any of the foods mentioned above in case you suffer from allergies or intolerance towards them. Moreover, never make any changes to your medication without first getting a go-ahead from your doctor.