Title: Intestinal Dysbiosis
Key words: malabsorption, bacterial, fungal, leaky gut syndrome, susceptibility, fermentation
Date: Oct 2000
Category: 8. The Gut
Author: Dr C Forsyth
Dysbiosis is the term given to imbalance of the normal gastrointestinal flora and may be either bacterial or fungal.
Dysbiosis may cause:
· Malabsorption - nutritional deficiencies
· Leaky gut syndrome
· Increased susceptibility to intestinal pathogens
· Local symptoms of increased fermentation
Major Causes of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
· Poor diet/nutritional status (esp. high fat and simple carbohydrates)
· Diabetes mellitus
· Immunodeficiency syndromes, esp. sIgA deficiency
· Abnormal gut motility
· Hypochlorhydria, achlorhydria, drug-induced hypoacidity
· Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency - chronic pancreatitis etc.
· Intestinal parasites e.g. Giardiasis
· Intestinal adhesions
· Stasis due to structural changes - diverticular disease, blind loops, radiation damage
· Other drug therapies
· Presence of xenobiotics
· Increased small intestinal pH
· Mercury from amalgam restorations
Commonly associated with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth:
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Hydrogen breath test (more sensitive than GFP for bacterial overgrowth) – Biolab recommended.
Gut fermentation profile (GFP) (measurement of bacterial and yeast fermentation products- short chain fatty acids and alcohols in blood 1 hour after an oral glucose load) – Biolab.
Treatment of Bacterial Overgrowth:
Identification and treatment of predisposing factors
Identification and treatment of secondary effects
Natural anti-bacterial agents -citrus seed extract, berberis concentrate, etc.
Probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus & L. bifidus)
Prebiotics (fructo-oligosaccharides, Inulin)