Our digestive tract constitutes a whole complex ecosystem. As in the skin, hair, or the urinary-vaginal system, hundreds of millions of microorganisms of different species coexist throughout the entire digestive system, mainly bacteria fundamental to our health.
To the breaking the balance between the different components of the intestinal biota -favorable versus potentially pathogenic microorganisms- what is known as intestinal dysbiosis.
It is so important balance of these microorganisms to maintain good nutrition, the immune system in tune, and even our sanity and mental capacity (autism, anxiety, depression, neuronal disorders), which academics have come to describe the intestines as a “second brain.” Therefore, avoiding intestinal dysbiosis constitutes a fundamental challenge in the maintenance and quality of life.
What specifically happens in intestinal dysbiosis?
When changes the ratio between useful and pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract (in number and diversity of species), the favorable ones may not be able to adequately resolve the absorption functions of the intestine, protecting the good health of the person; in turn, this generates conditions that maintain an excess of pathogenic flora, generating the establishment of intestinal dysbiosis.
The initial, direct consequence is a improper absorption of nutrients at the level of the intestinal villi, associated -on occasions- with changes in intestinal permeability that can lead to malnutrition or the development of some particular toxicity.
If the imbalance condition remains, without correcting the causes that originated it, the development of chronic diseases common in modern life, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Skin and food allergies
- Chronic diarrhea
- Liver disease
Or, the manifestation of autoimmune diseases, such as:
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Or also, serious diseases, such as:
- Ulcerative colitis (Crohn’s disease)
- Colorectal cancer
Now, how can we intuit that we are suffering from intestinal dysbiosis? And how to avoid it? Let’s initially review the causes that can trigger this condition, and then the signs and symptoms that make us suspect that we are suffering from intestinal dysbiosis.
Causes of intestinal dysbiosis
Among the situations that lead to this imbalance, we find:
- Inadequate diet. It is the main cause that leads to intestinal dysbiosis. A diet without ingesting enough vegetables, especially raw and fruits – and consequently, dietary fiber – as well as excess fats, refined carbohydrates and proteins, ends up altering the balance of the microbiota housed throughout the digestive tract, especially the of the small intestine.
- Indiscriminate use of antibiotics. They sweep with a large quantity and diversity of bacteria from the intestinal flora, which are favorable for the adequate degradation of food and absorption of nutrients.
- Some autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease (gluten intolerance), Crohn’s disease, or conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- Maintained stress.
- Lack of physical activity. It generates the decrease in peristaltic movements and intestinal mobility, delaying the evacuation of feces.
Symptoms of intestinal dysbiosis
Although the main symptoms of this disorder can occur in the digestive tract, there are signs of early manifestation in other areas of the body that indicate – to a greater or lesser extent – that we are in the presence of this intestinal imbalance.
Among the symptoms of intestinal dysbiosis we have:
- Itching or stinging, especially after eating
- Headaches and migraines
- Painful joint swelling
- Muscle pains
- Feeling of permanent fatigue despite rest
- Soft spot
- Sleeping problems
- Flatulence and meteorism
- Feeling of abdominal bloating
- Stomach bloating
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Cramps and cramps
- Fatty stools (steatorrhea)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Chronic vitamin B12 deficiency
Once we know what is necessary to identify intestinal dysbiosis and its negative consequences for health, let’s see what actions we can take to prevent it from developing in our digestive system.
How to avoid intestinal dysbiosis?
Before suggesting concrete actions to improve our life habits, we must explain a little about the presence of what we have called “Favorable microorganisms” versus “pathogens”.
Among the microorganisms that we must favor their presence in our digestive tract are mainly bacteria of the genera and species:
- Escherichia coli
- Lactobacillus sp
- Bifidobacterium sp
- Bacteroides sp
- Prevotella sp
Among the opportunistic and pathogenic microorganisms that we must avoid in our digestive tract are:
- Candida albicans yeast
- Fungi of the genus Aspergillus
- Clostridium difficile
- Salmonella sp
- Yersinia sp
- Klebsiella sp
- Steptococcus sp
- Pseudomonas sp
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Escherichia coli Lac- strains
- Nematode and flatworm-like parasites
Nutrition to avoid intestinal dysbiosis
“We are what we eat”, so that more and more specialists in various branches of medicine agree that nutrition is the basis of good health, and that adequate nutrition is reflected first and foremost, and directly, in the balance of health. ecology displayed in our intestines.
Among the habits that it is recommended to follow to maintain a balanced intestinal flora, ensuring correct absorption at the level of the intestinal villi and the correct removal of digestion waste, are:
Drink enough water
- Probiotics (bacterial microorganisms that contribute to proper intestinal absorption) such as: Lactobacillus paracasei Lpc-37, Lactobacillus NCFM, Bifidobacterium lactis BI-04n and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07
- Prebiotics, in the form of non-digestible fermentable vegetables (dietary fiber), which stimulate favorable bacterial growth; among them, fresh fruits and vegetables, and grains.
- Moderate amounts of animal protein
- Refined flour and sugars
- Excess fat
- Processed foods
- Sugary drinks
- Excess alcohol
- Moderate physical activity
- Enough rest
Recommendation: what is basal glucose.