What is gut dysbiosis? Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance of microbes in our gut. Dysbiosis means imbalance. What happens when we have an imbalance? Lot’s on unpleasant things. Gut dysbiosis leads to inflammation which is associated with much dis-ease including mood disorders like depression, stress & anxiety; gut disorders like IBS, leaky gut & bloating; GERD, reflux and heartburn, autoimmune disorders, pain, allergies. What we don’t always realise is that gut dysbiosis will prevent our bodies from absorbing the nutrients in the food we eat and from breaking down the food properly resulting in malabsorption, diarrhea or constipation.
Most people don’t realise that symptoms of gut dysbiosis like; depression and anxiety go hand in hand with inflammation and are affected by the ecosystem in the gut. I’ve never heard someone with anxiety and depression say, “I’ve got an inflamed body which is making me anxious and depressed.” But the reality is that the symptoms are anxiety and depression, but the root cause is gut dysbiosis. If balance is not restored a depression-inflammation cycle will follow. In most cases you will get treatment for depression and anxiety in the form of pharmaceuticals. And for many there is relief but it’s short lived or requires forever being on these meds. However if you treated the root cause and get your gut rebalanced by replacing the missing microbes, you may experience a reduction of your symptoms.
Other symptoms like IBS are usually linked to gut dysbiosis and can be reduced by getting the balance right. Imagine not having to take allergy medication all the time. Sound like heaven? Allergies are also a sign of gut dysbiosis. The immune system is mostly housed in the gut and becomes hypervigilant when there is gut dysbiosis. Why? Well your gut lining is a very thin layer and when the microbes which are meant to protect that lining becomes imbalanced you lose the protection they provide. Directly along this lining is your immune system which goes on high alert because something is wrong next door. The neighbouring gut lining is inflamed and your body responds by sending out fire engines to deal with the inflammation it perceives.
The result is and inflammatory response. Your immune systems starts trying to put our fires. It goes to any system, like the nose and starts over producing mucus. This same process happens with other systems and could look like an auto-immmune disorder.
What you eat either promotes well-being by reducing inflammation or makes it worse by causing further inflammation. Gut inflammation quickly becomes body and brain inflammation and over a period of time can lead to physical and mental disorders like allergies, skin issues, brain fog, alzheimer’s and dementia.
Antibiotics can also cause gut dysbiosis. When they go to work to kill the problem bacteria which caused the infection in the first pace, they also land up killing the good bacteria which we rely on.
Avoiding inflammatory and trigger foods is the first step to reducing inflammation. You can follow an elimination diet to quickly establish what is causing you problems. In most cases the culprits are gluten, dairy, sugar and anti-inflammatory medication.
Adding probiotics and prebiotics will also help to rebalance the gut and restore the dysbiosis. Gut healing foods are a must for anyone suffering with gut dysbiosis. Bone broth to build and repair. Kombucha and kefir taken daily will introduce live good bacteria back into your gut. Add a spoon of authentic kimchi or kraut to one meal a day. Collagen is also helpful.
Get a health coach or do a course so you have help and accountability along the way. Get educated yourself. Do not rely on Dr’s to sort this out. They were not trained on food as medicine. In fact medical students spend so little time learning about the effect of food on our bodies that we should be careful when consulting Dr’s as they don’t always have the answers we are seeking unless they have taken the time to study further.
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