What is Gut Dysbiosis?

Murat Balanlı, MD
16 January 2023

The intestines contain trillions of microorganisms that compose the gut microbiome. This intestinal flora consisting of bacteria, fungi and viruses directly affects our health.

Bacteria in the gastrointestinal system; They are divided into two as beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria. Beneficial bacteria help digest what we eat, produce vitamins, keep inflammation in balance, detoxify toxins, produce energy for intestinal cells, regulate cholesterol metabolism, maintain ideal PH balance, strengthen immune function and many more. Harmful bacteria, on the other hand, produce toxins and starch fermentation that cause bloating and gas formation. These bacteria tend to travel to different parts of the intestines and move to other places, such as the stomach and small intestine.

When the number of harmful bacteria increases (when you use too many antibiotics, do not consume fibre-containing foods and consume too much sugar, which is one of the food sources of harmful bacteria), this balance is disturbed. This imbalance in the intestine is called 'dysbiosis'. In the presence of dysbiosis, we become vulnerable to many diseases. When the intestinal microbiome loses bacterial diversity, the risk of developing a chronic disease increases. In addition, the decrease in intestinal bacteria with age can contribute to the development of dysbiosis.

Dysbiosis interferes with healthy immune system activity in several different ways. Harmful bacteria produce many harmful toxins, including lipopolysaccharides (LPS toxins). Both the bad bacteria and these toxic by-products disrupt the structure of the protective lining inside the intestines. The job of the intestinal lining is to keep pathogens and toxins safely locked away in the gut while allowing nutrients to enter the bloodstream. But when bad bacteria, LPS toxins and other harmful compounds attack, the intestinal barrier is damaged and these compounds enter the bloodstream. From there they can reach any part of your body and pose a serious threat to your health.

Your immune system recognises these threats and starts to mount a response. It uses inflammation as one of its main defence tools. If new threats are constantly leaking through the intestinal barrier, your immune system cannot stop its response. This leads to systemic and prolonged inflammation, which is the root cause of many autoimmune and chronic conditions.


What are the Types of Dysbiosis?

There are three types of dysbiosis. In most cases, you can have all three types. This is not a rare condition. The types of dysbiosis are as follows:

  • Type 1. This type of dysbiosis occurs when the number of beneficial bacteria in your intestines decreases.
  • Type 2. It develops when there is too much growth of harmful bacteria in your stomach.
  • Type 3. It occurs when you lose your microbiome diversity. This means that you lose both good and bad bacteria in your stomach.

Research shows that you may be more likely to have stomach problems when your gut microbiome is out of balance. At the same time, studies have also shown that dysbiosis is linked to IBD. For all these reasons, improving the gut should be at the top of the action plan in the treatment of both intestinal diseases and chronic diseases.

Page content is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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