Archive for January, 2012
Are you bloated, alternate diarrhea and constipation, get abdominal cramps, fatigue, weight loss/gain. Have a diagnosis of chrohns, colonitis, irritable bowel syndrome or the like?
Then you need to learn about dysbiosis, as it will apply to you..
Dysbiosis occurs when an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria and fungi occurs in the digestive tract. The unfriendly bacteria and funguses, like candida, are usually kept in balance with the friendly flora in the digestive tract. When out of balance these unfriendly bacteria/fungi start consuming foods, particularly carbohydrates, in a process of fermentation. Persons with low hydrochloric acid or regularly taking ant-acids are also at greater risk.
The primary cause of dysbiosis is this imbalance in bacterial flora in the digestive tract, however a number of factors pre-dispose someone to this imbalance. These include, the standard western diet of high simple carbohydrate consumption, damaged far consumption and low fiber. Alcohol and simple sugar consumption also contribute to the imbalance together with a diet lacking in beneficial bacteria. Long term pain killer or anti inflammatory use, oral contraceptives and many prescription medications and antibiotics are also to blame. One round of antibiotics can be enough to set up the environment of these unfriendly bacteria/funguses to take over your intestines. Persons with low stomach acid (on ant acids, or Food intolerance’s can also lead to dysbiosis, with gluten and pasteurized dairy being the biggest trouble makers.
As these unfriendly bacteria/fungi multiply they produce toxins which are damaging to the sensitive villi in the small intestine. The junctures between the cells in the intestine can become larger, allowing larger food particles and other toxins into the blood stream. This is often referred to as ‘leaky gut.’ As leaky gut continues over time the immune system is up regulated to deal with the toxins and half digested foods, particularly proteins. This up regulation of the immune system can result in autoimmune diseases (arthritis) and increased sensitivity to external stimuli (asthma, excema).
The bacteria/funguses and their toxins cause a lot of inflammation within the intestines. The body’s own immune system will also contribute to the inflammation and as the immune system fights the bacteria and try’s to repair the damage caused by them. As the intestinal wall continues to get damaged absorption of essential nutrients decreases and this decreases the ability to heal the damage and results in fatigue for the person. Over time this inflammation becomes chronic and might be dealt with steroidal anti inflammatories like cortisone and predisone. Unfortunately, these are actually food for the unfriendly bacteria which in the long run worsens the condition. Especially since the anti-inflammatories reduce your body’s ability ot repair and this chronic intestinal inflammatory condition escalates to ultimately cancer.
While the unfriendly bacteria are thriving the friendly bacteria are diminishing, leaving the host short on B vitamins and short chain fatty acids required for the cells in the colon to be healthy.
Reversing dysbiosis requires a three pronged approach. Firstly, a change in dietary habits, not only in the foods consumed but also in the way they are eaten. People should follow the BePure principles as taught in my Life Changing programme. Dietarily moving away from simple carbohydrates, avoiding sugars and alcohol and choosing wholefoods with plenty of fiber (nuts, seeds, vegetables) and the consumption of plenty of water (away from meal times). From a lifestyle perspective, taking the time to eat the meal in a relaxed manner, chewing to liquid and small frequent meals to ease digestion.
The second approach would be the introduction of foods that contain beneficial bacteria and support beneficial bacteria. These include; live yoghurt, kefir, saurkraut (click here and log in for free to learn how to make Saurkraut), fermented vegetables and fermented soy products like tempeh. Artichokes can be eaten as a prebiotic to provide fructooligosaccharides, the preferred fuel of beneficial bacteria.
The third approach required would be nutritional supplementation; supplemental probiotics – I use Biokult as they are 14 strain, acid resistant and don’t need refridgeration, together with a good quality multi mineral and vitamin supplement (BePure ONE is perfect), omega 3’s in the form of high EPA/DHA Hoki oil and glutamine would provide the supplemental support to help reverse dysbiosis.
In health and beneficial bacteria,