The gut or gastrointestinal system, simply refers to the long hollow tube that stretches from the tip of your tongue right down to your rectum.
“Dysbiosis” refers to a state of imbalance among the colonies of microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites, etc.) within your body.
Living in your gut are trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that are essential to the most basic biological mechanisms required for human life such as digestion, energy production, and detoxification.
Gut dysbiosis means that there is an upset in the natural balance of microorganisms in your gut.
Normally, your gut is inhabited by trillions of good bacteria, the ones that help you digest your food, produce energy, and produce important biological chemicals like serotonin and dopamine (needed for brain function), and they help you detoxify and eliminate toxic exposures.
When your gut is dysbiotic, this means that the “bad germs” (disease causing bacteria, for instance) begin to edge out the “good germs”.
When the bad germs edge out the good germs, basic biological functions (such as digestion) begin to breakdown, and symptoms (like diarrhea or constipation) begin to appear.
Not all symptoms of gut dysbiosis are obvious.
Because gut dysbiosis can lead to any number of physiological problems throughout the body, it can be responsible for symptoms as varied as depression and asthmatic wheezing.
When a body is unable to effectively combat the bad germs in the gut (or elsewhere in the body) a state of immune dysregulation can occur.
The bacteria in our guts are actually partly responsible for regulating our immune systems and keeping them in balance.
Thus, immune dysregulation and gut dysbiosis often occur simultaneously, and each can occur as a result of the other.
Additionally, gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation can both lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, a condition where the body’s energy production is affected on a cellular level.
Gut dysbiosis can result in conditions such as:
- Low muscle tone
- Failure to thrive
- Motor delays
- Developmental delays
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Autoimmune disorders
- Mood disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders
You can learn more about healing the gut and improving symptoms here.
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Lambert, Beth. A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children. Sentient Publications, 2010.