Dysbacteriosis is an imbalance in the microflora in the human body.
Our body is home to many different bacteria. Some of them are useful, supportive of vital functions and necessary for health, others are referred to as conditionally pathogenic. Under certain conditions, they begin to multiply intensively, displacing beneficial microorganisms, and then the balance of microflora is disturbed and various disorders occur. This condition is called dysbiosis. Most often, intestinal dysbiosis occurs.
Representatives of normal microflora include lactobacilli, bacteriodes, bifidobacteria, enterococci and Escherichia coli, conditionally pathogenic – staphylococci, Proteus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc.
The normal intestinal microflora provides digestion processes, protects the body from toxins and putrefactive bacteria, and also supports the immune system. In a healthy intestine, the number of bacteria of each species is constant. With dysbiosis, the number of beneficial bacteria decreases, and pathogenic bacteria multiply actively, which leads to gastrointestinal upset.
Causes of Dysbiosis
Dysbacteriosis is not a disease, but a consequence of other diseases and disorders.
The first cause of dysbiosis is immunodeficiency, which occurs with severe infections, AIDS, tumors, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, as well as with chemotherapy, exposure to ionizing radiation, burns, etc. In such situations, the immune system is not able to control the number of pathogenic microorganisms.
The second common cause of dysbiosis is long-term treatment with antibiotics, which destroy not only pathogenic, but also beneficial microorganisms. As a rule, the standard course of antibacterial therapy for dysbacteriosis does not cause, and if individual symptoms occur, then after a while they disappear, since the intestines after treatment again populate the normal microflora. But very strong broad-spectrum antibiotics that have been used for a long time, they completely “cleanse” the intestines, only the strongest and most dangerous bacteria remain that the treatment could not destroy.
The third cause of dysbiosis is the lack or absence of certain digestive enzymes and, as a result, fermentation and rotting of food, which leads to a rapid increase in the number of pathogenic bacteria and the displacement of normal flora.
Another reason is impaired intestinal motility, when its muscles cannot promote food.
Dysbacteriosis can also occur with a change in acidity in the intestine, with a lack of substrate in the food intake for the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Intestinal dysbiosis is caused by parasites settled in it, which secrete substances that destroy the beneficial microflora.
Risk factors for dysbiosis may include:
severe infectious, autoimmune, oncological diseases, frequent colds;
hard diets, malnutrition, alcohol abuse;
long-term use of antibiotics, hormone therapy, chemotherapy for oncology;
intestinal infections, parasitic diseases, chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
physical overwork, stress.
Symptoms and diagnosis of dysbiosis
Specific, inherent only to dysbiosis, there are no symptoms. All its manifestations are also characteristic of many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. It:
diarrhea and constipation;
nausea and heartburn;
taste in the mouth;
allergic reaction to food.
Dysbiosis is diagnosed by the results of a bacteriological study, which reveals the number and composition of microbes. Another way to detect pathology is to determine the metabolites of the intestinal microflora, that is, substances secreted by microorganisms in the process of life. Additional studies of the state of the stomach and intestines are also being conducted.
Treatment of dysbiosis
The treatment of dysbiosis is complex, carried out for a long time and depends on the cause of the disorder, and on the prevailing manifestations.
First of all, the patient needs to establish proper nutrition and adjust his lifestyle. Food should be rich in vitamins and as gentle as possible mechanically, thermally and chemically. You need to eat at strictly defined hours, at the same time, chewing food well. With dysbiosis, the so-called eubiotic dinner, which contains a large amount of fiber, is very useful, as it is an excellent food for lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
Large physical activities suffering from dysbacteriosis are contraindicated, but light regular exercise will not hurt. It is also advisable to avoid stressful situations and psycho-emotional shocks whenever possible.
To restore normal microflora in the intestine, drugs are used: probiotics containing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and prebiotics – substances that create favorable conditions for the existence of beneficial microorganisms. Scientists have found that less than 10% of the microorganisms that enter the body remain in the intestines.