colon health tips

- Intestinal Dysbiosis -
An Imbalance of Intestinal Bacteria Needed for Colon Health

Intestinal dysbiosis is the term used to describe an imbalance in the types of bacteria needed to maintain colon health. The inflammation caused by a reduction in healthy gut flora is suspect in the cause of colon disease such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

A connection between the reduction in healthy gut probiotics and antibiotics has been established. A deficiency in probiotics or the healthy types of gut flora can cause changes in the way the immune system functions creating allergies, reduced immunity to infection, and even the development of autoimmune diseases.

So how does this imbalance in intestinal bacteria come about?

Intestinal dysbiosis can only occur in an environment that favours it. I know that you do not want to read this but...it really is all about lifestyle and diet. Some factors are under your control while others may not be.

Here are the main causative factors that are thought to contribute to an imbalance in your gut flora.

Diet

Natural health practitioners would say that your internal colon floral environment is a reflection of what you eat.

A diet that contains processed foods that are low in insoluble fiber, and high in fat and animal product (especially flesh) increases the numbers of unhealthy bacteria and decreases the concentration of the good ones. The lack of fiber allows the flesh foods and processed carbohydrates to stay in the colon for longer periods of time increasing the release of chemicals and gases caused by their putrefaction and decay.

A highly processed diet low in live foods and good carbohydrates is also lacking in prebiotics nutrition.


See What are Prebiotics?

See Foods That Cause Constipation


Poor Digestion

An over growth of unhealthy bacteria is more likely to occur if food is not properly digested.

A lack of acid in the stomach, poor motility in the colon resulting in constipation and of course poor nutritional intake can all affect your ability to properly digest your food and extract all the goodness from it that you need.

Poor digestion of food leads to excessive fermentation of intestinal contents leading to a disruption in the normal ratio and balance of gut flora.


Exposures

Chemical exposures are implicated in the development of intestinal dysbiosis.

In the developed world it is hard to avoid exposure to chemicals, but everything from mercury in dental fillings, additives in foods, vaccines, cigarette smoke, recreational drug use, and even endogenous toxins1 are implicated in contributing to a toxic overload with the result that the intestinal environment cannot sustain a healthy number of probiotics. And antibiotics are a significant chemical exposure that are known to reduce the healthy intestinal bacteria needed for health and well being.


What Happens When Intestinal Dysbiosis Develops?

It is easy to understand that the reduction in the healthy types of bacteria in the colon can promote the overgrowth of other bacteria and cause colon disease because it really is all about balance. However, the effects of an imbalance in gut flora go beyond the walls of the colon.

Perhaps the most significant effect of intestinal dysbiosis is on the immune system.

A reduction in the healthy gut flora also creates a colon environment that is more friendly to intestinal parasites.

How Do You Reverse Intestinal Dysbiosis?

Sometimes just taking probiotic supplements is not enough to re-establish a normal gut flora balance again.

Natural health practitioners would try to correct intestinal dysbiosis with multiple strategies. A treatment program would be highly individualized and focussed on reversing causative factors and probably would include such strategies as:

  • assessing and implementing diet modifications to increase fiber, reduce processed foods and increase hydration with safe, clean water.
  • eliminating exposures - stop smoking, remove mercury amalgam fillings, reassess environmental exposures to toxins and minimize as much as possible.
  • stop putrefaction and fermentation in the intestines with colon cleansing and treatment to improve and promote better digestion of food and improve liver function.
  • assessing and addressing deficiencies including vitamin, mineral, and probiotic supplements.

by Beverly OMalley

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  1. Endogenous toxicity simply means that the toxins are originating within the body and not from outside the body. In the course of daily functioning the human body produces many chemicals as a result of the thousands of metabolic processes that occur every day. These byproducts or metabolites, are usually removed for the system by the liver, kidneys, lungs and the lymphatic system. If the production of toxins is increased beyond the body's capacity to remove them or if the rate of toxin removal is reduced then of course the chemicals can build up in your system. This is referred to as autointoxication.






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