Dysbiosis is the term used to describe an imbalance of bacteria in the gut; typically when there is an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria or pathogens (including parasites, yeasts, worms etc) and lower numbers of beneficial bacteria. This environment can cause significant gut symptoms to occur for many people, including consistent bloating and abdominal discomfort. Dysbiosis is something we see a lot of in Western society, as diets that are low in fibre, plant foods and fermented foods and high in processed carbohydrates, sugar, unhealthy fats and excess alcohol all contribute to promoting the growth of the bacteria we don’t want, and don’t feed or encourage growth of the beneficial colonies. Poor diets are one aggravating factor, as are excessive medication use, in particular the overuse of antibiotics, unfiltered drinking water, even high stress levels and environmental toxins that we ingest such as pesticides. Overseas travel or an episode of food poisoning are also common causes of parasitic or pathogen infection and can lead to significant gut (and other body) symptoms if left untreated.
TIP—Changing your diet to one which includes more wholefoods, vegetables, plant-based fibre and filtered water and less processed food will make a noticeable difference to your gut health. In order to get a detailed and precise picture of what your gut microbiome looks like you can do specific stool tests through specialists labs with a health practitioner, enabling you to see the species of beneficial and not-so-beneficial bacteria you have in your gut. Tailored treatment can then be prescribed. Reach out if you’d like to learn more.