The term was introduced in the early 1900s and describes the bacteria in our gut being in a state of imbalance. Dysbiosis literally means “incorrect life”.
Evidence has shown that dysbiosis plays a part in many conditions such as : irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), eczema, and food allergies. And, more.
The main causes of gut dysbiosis are stress, antibiotic use, pesticides, other environmental toxins, and poor diet.
How does stress cause dysbiosis?
As the body experiences stress, cortisol floods the body which in turn suppresses the immune system. This allows pathogenic (bad) bacteria to enter and start to take over. Stress can also affect the composition of the flora, including a significant decrease in good bacteria (Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria) and an increase in E. coli.
How do antibiotics cause dysbiosis?
Antibiotics kill all forms of microbes, the good and the bad, which can easily lead to an abnormal growth of bad bacteria unless probiotic rich foods and supplements are introduced.
How do pesticides and environmental toxins cause dysbiosis?
The very same pesticides that kill insects and undesirable organisms also kill the beneficial ones. Ingestion of pesticide containing foods or other environmental toxins ( chlorinated water, additives to foods, etc..) have a huge affect the microbial balance of the gut.
How do foods cause dysbiosis?
Foods that are processed or contain hormones, antibiotics ( ex. chicken or meat) or contain substances an individual is allergic to can cause a bacterial imbalance.
Treatment of dysbiosis includes many things, but one in particular that we should take note of is this:
Treatment of dysbiosis should absolutely include a course of probiotics including Sacchromyces bouldarii and a good quality lactic acid bacteria. My functional medicine doctor, who was also featured in the documentary "The Magic Pill" (viewable on Netflix), says if your probiotic regimen does not include S.boulardii, you're doing yourself a huge disservice. In addition to my favorite daily probiotic from Young Living, Life9, I also take a S. boulardii supplement to keep my gut microbiome populated with healthy bacteria. Checkout this article, from Dr Christiane Northrup, on the gut microbiome and some easy ways to support it for improved health and immune function.