What is Microbiome Dysbiosis?

When you hear about the gut microbiome you often hear about ways to improve it and make it healthier. When the gut microbiome isn’t performing optimally you’ll hear about microbiome dysbiosis, gut dysbiosis, or just dysbiosis. But what is gut dysbiosis, exactly?What is Microbiome Dysbiosis

This article will tell you all you need to know about:

  • What is microbiome dysbiosis?
  • How do you know if you have gut dysbiosis?
  • Why is dysbiosis bad?
  • How does dysbiosis happen?
  • How to fix gut dysbiosis

So let’s dig in!

What is microbiome dysbiosis?

Dysbiosis is an imbalance of the microorganisms that inhabit a microbiome. In our bodies, we have multiple microbiomes — skin, oral, vaginal, and gut to name a few. 

A healthy microbiome has a robust diversity of types of microbes that inhabit it. The gut microbiome alone has trillions of different microorganisms that can inhabit it and allow it to function — or in the case of dysbiosis, dysfunction. The different microorganisms can include bacteria, protozoa, fungi, archaea, and many others. 

Specific microbial disturbances among patients with gut dysbiosis will be different from person to person. But on a general basis, if you have gut dysbiosis, you have an unhealthy ratio of helpful microbes to unhelpful (sometimes referred to as bad) microbes. 

How do you know if you have gut dysbiosis?

Sometimes your doctor will tell you that you have gut dysbiosis. But other times you may not feel comfortable enough bringing up your symptoms to become diagnosed. Some of the symptoms of gut dysbiosis may not seem gut related because they don’t just affect your bathroom habits. 

Any of the following can be symptoms of gut dysbiosis:

  • Bad breath
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or both
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Brain fog
  • Poor or decreased memory and cognitive abilities
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Low energy levels
  • Anxiety and/or depression

All of these symptoms sound like everyday issues. Although many people struggle with them on a daily basis, they aren’t bad enough to warrant a doctor’s visit. So people let it go and learn to live with it. They seem more annoying than anything but you assume it will right itself later.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. These signs may seem normal but they’re really not. We shouldn’t be dealing with these symptoms. And they’re our body’s way of telling us, “hey! Something isn’t right in here. Help us before it gets worse!!” But we ignore it and let it go and progress, but this could be dangerous when it becomes a long-term problem.

Is gut dysbiosis bad?

Gut dysbiosis is not always a chronic issue. Sometimes you have a temporary case of gut dysbiosis from eating some bad food, drinking too much alcohol, having an infection, or taking a round of antibiotics. 

In a healthy environment, your body knows how to fix the issue and will correct itself without any intervention needed. 

Unfortunately, many cases of dysbiosis are more long-term and they can result in a difficult cycle to break. Chronic dysbiosis can add to the development of other health problems. Though this is still a chicken or egg type of debate where health professionals are unsure if the dysbiosis caused the conditions or if dysbiosis is a side effect of the condition itself. 

Dysbiosis allows bad bacteria to take over our gut microbiome. This stifles the growth of healthy bacteria that give our bodies the nutrients they need to perform optimally. 

Dysbiosis, if left untreated, can lead to the destruction of our intestinal barrier,  promote systemic inflammation, and increase our risk for diseases.

How does dysbiosis happen?

Dysbiosis can be caused by many different factors. And in many cases, it’s a combination of things that leads to chronic dysbiosis. Some of the main things that can cause dysbiosis (and vice versa) are:

  • Bacterial or viral infection — think back to that toilet paper shortage when COVID-19 first hit. It’s a lung infection but patients were experiencing gastrointestinal effects too
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Hormonal changes (menopause, menstruation, pregnancy, puberty)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, IBD, etc.)
  • Diabetes and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Medications — especially antibiotics
  • Poor sleep schedule
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Nicotine use
  • Mental health conditions
  • Cancer

There are other things that can contribute to dysbiosis, but these are the main ones that have been studied and a proven link has been shown. 

So with all of these different possible leads to dysbiosis, what can you do to prevent it? Or if you already suffer from it, how can you repair your gut dysbiosis?

How to fix gut dysbiosis

If you already have gut dysbiosis, there is no reason to stress out over it. We know that just adds fuel to the flames. Healing your gut is a process that takes patience, time, and a focus on caring about your body and health. 

It’s actually pretty easy to improve gut dysbiosis. Think about the things you can do to improve your health normally. What comes to mind? 

  • Eating a balanced diet that’s rich in plant-derived foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds
  • Maintain a healthy sleep routine/cycle
  • Exercise 3-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes
  • Make stress management and mental health a priority 

Guess what! You just figured out how to improve your gut health too!

Here are a few more tips you can add that laser focus on your gut.

  • Add Atrantil to your daily supplements. Atrantil provides your gut with essential polyphenols and prebiotics that help to feed your good gut bacteria. This allows them to replicate and take back control of your gut. It also helps reduce inflammation and improves digestion while reducing bloating.
  • When eating a healthy diet, make sure you’re getting fiber, prebiotics, probiotics (if they’re safe for you to have), and polyphenols to keep your gut bacteria happy and healthy.
  • Do deep breathing exercises, yoga, or go for walks to help keep digestion moving at a healthy rate.

How to prevent gut dysbiosis

All of the things we just mentioned on healing gut dysbiosis are the same exact things you can do to prevent gut dysbiosis in the first place. Lead a healthy life. Be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Fighting impulsive urges is a great place to start. 

Focus on making the right decisions and your health will flourish and so will your microdiversity.

As always, check with your doctor before making any drastic changes or beginning any supplements to make sure it’s right for your body.

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