IBS – Part 3
Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the microbiome living in the gut. To give a perspective how that can be such an important factor, the microbiome consisting of bacteria, yeasts, viruses and other organisms is made up of 100 trillion organisms.
To get a perspective on the size of the human microbiome, there are 10 cells in the body which are micro-organisms for every 1 cell of our own.
In a general sense, these organisms can be divided into “good guys” and “bad guys”. A healthy microbiome helps calm and regulate the immune system, while a dysbiotic one triggers immune inflammatory activation. Inflammation in the gut will trigger secondary injury to the intestinal epithelial membrane commonly known as leaky gut. Once leaky gut is present, incompletely digested food particles such as peptides can now leak into the immune layer of the gut where they normally are not present triggering food sensitivities to a number of foods.
Primary food sensitivities typically occur in response to only one or two food components such as gliadin in gluten, or casein in dairy. With dysbiosis triggered leaky gut reactions tend to occur to many different foods. Avoiding these foods will help for a relatively short period of time only to find new reactions occurring to the foods now being eaten.
Dysbiosis is often caused by an acute bacteria gut infection which imbalances the microbiome allowing some of the less helpful bacteria and yeast to overgrow. This further inhibits population of the helpful probiotic bacteria. This is particularly common when antibiotics are used. Unfortunately, antibiotics are generally “non-selective” reducing both the infectious bacteria and the helpful microbiome. They also do not kill yeast and often allow a yeast overgrowth to develop. When they are discontinued, populations of less helpful bacteria and yeast overgrow and inhibit the return of the normal microbiome.
Another problem associated with leaky gut is it allows surface particles from gram negative bacteria called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the gut to enter the system. LPS are potent inflammatory activators in the body and trigger immune inflammatory reactions in many different areas of the body. Common ones are joint/muscle pain, brain fog, and in the skin causing eczema and other similar skin rashes. Alessio Fasano, MD who is a leading researcher on leaky gut and food sensitivities opens many of his lectures saying the gut is not Las Vegas. While what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas, what happens in the gut does not stay in the gut. One of his primary areas of research now is into the role of leaky gut in triggering autoimmune disease.
As with food sensitivities, many times dysbiosis can be determined with the Biomeridian test. In more complex cases, a stool PCR test is done. Once the pattern of dysbiosis is identified specific antimicrobials are used to reduce the dysbiotic organisms, and specific probiotics of the preferred organism are added back. A healthy microbiome helps to prevent the overgrowth of the dysbiotic organisms.
Correcting dysbiosis also requires avoiding any secondary food sensitivities until the leaky gut has healed up. Specific supplemental nutritional support is also used to facilitate healing of the gut lining. Dysbiosis also carries a learning process along with healing it. Anytime antibiotics are used, good multispecies probiotic and prebiotic supplementation should be used. Putting the “good bacteria” back continually will often prevent their depletion preventing the overgrowth of the dysbiotic bacteria and yeast. The easiest case to treat is the one that is not allowed to develop.