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Gut dysbiosis is a condition of microbial imbalance in the intestines. Typically, a healthy person will have an optimal amount of good bacteria and microorganisms to combat any unhealthy bacteria, parasites, and yeasts in the lower digestive tract. A person who has gut dysbiosis has a condition in which one or more harmful microorganisms have upset this balance, which is usually maintained by the good bacteria.
Dysbiosis of the gut has many possible causes. Often, when a person is taking antibiotics, these drugs destroy beneficial bacteria along with harmful ones. If the good ones are slow to replenish themselves, Candida — a harmful yeast — or other damaging organisms may grow rapidly. This can cause an imbalance, and symptoms of gut dysbiosis.
One of the other causes of this condition can be stress. When people are feeling anxious, they often experience stomach upset. If a person’s body is weakened because of prolonged stress and has no chance to heal, gut dysbiosis can result.
Parasitic infections can also cause dysbiosis of the gut. Giardia and cryptosporidium are two such parasites that can cause dysbiosis symptoms. Others include both tapeworm and roundworm.
Symptoms of this condition can include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acne, chronic fatigue, food intolerance, and allergies. Generally, all of these arise because the digestive system cannot function efficiently without the proper balance of intestinal microorganisms. Other symptoms indicating an imbalance in the gut may be weak or cracked fingernails, rectal itching, and dilated capillaries, among others.
If dysbiosis of the gut persists over time in a person’s body, it can lead to leaky gut syndrome and inhibit proper nutrient absorption from food. Leaky gut can occur as a result of damage to the intestinal walls caused by harmful microbes and the toxins they produce. Some of these damaging substances reduce the effectiveness of the intestines’ ability to absorb nutrients from food. They also prevent the production of substances that are helpful to digestion, that good microbes normally produce. This can lead to malnutrition, and a host of other unpleasant consequences.
Other conditions that have been linked to prolonged intestinal imbalance include muscle and joint pain and muscle fatigue. Certain kinds of arthritis and psoriasis have also been linked to dysbiosis of the gut. Many people who have been diagnosed with idiopathic IBS may also be suffering from the effects of gut dysbiosis.
Tests to detect the presence of harmful intestinal microorganisms can be helpful in diagnosing gut dysbiosis. Treatment often consists of eliminating any harmful parasites, rebuilding the good intestinal flora and fauna, and changing the affected person’s diet. Sometimes, food allergies need to be addressed to help a person achieve a healthier digestive system.