Trillions of microorganisms make up your gut microbiome, and you feel well mentally, physically, and emotionally when you have a healthy, balanced gut microbiome. However, your gut microbiome changes throughout your life, and gut dysbiosis symptoms may arise if your gut is unbalanced.
Many different factors can affect your gut microbiome. Changes in your gut microbiome can result in an imbalance between your good and bad microbes. This is called gut dysbiosis.
Gut dysbiosis occurs when you have more bad bacteria than good bacteria or low diversity in your gut microbiome. Gut dysbiosis is associated with many different health problems.
This post will review gut dysbiosis symptoms, gut dysbiosis vs. SIBO, factors affecting your gut microbiome, the best gut dysbiosis diet, and healing gut dysbiosis.
Gut Dysbiosis Symptoms
While many gut dysbiosis symptoms are related to the digestive system, there are also several other symptoms to look out for. Some of the most common gut dysbiosis symptoms include:
· Bad breath
· Rash or redness
· Having trouble thinking or concentrating
If you have gut dysbiosis symptoms, it’s important to consult with a doctor to rule out other causes of your symptoms.
Gut Dysbiosis vs. SIBO
Given that gut dysbiosis vs. SIBO have similar symptoms, it’s easy to confuse them. However, they are actually two different conditions.
Gut dysbiosis refers to a change in the microbiome of your large intestine (colon). It’s usually an imbalance rather than an infection by bad bacteria. Gut dysbiosis symptoms are similar to SIBO symptoms and include gas, bloating, and bowel changes.
SIBO is short for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It occurs when bacteria grow in the small intestine, where there shouldn’t be as many bacteria as in the large intestine. When the bacteria colonize the small intestine, they produce hydrogen or methane gas. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. SIBO is typically treated with antibiotics, but some people also successfully use herbal supplements.
Factors that Affect Your Gut Microbiome
Many different factors can negatively impact your gut microbiome and cause gut dysbiosis symptoms. Here are a few of the main culprits.
Mother’s Diet and Method of Birth
The health of your microbiome is determined even before you’re born. Babies typically develop a healthy gut microbiome if their mother is healthy during pregnancy.
Factors such as pregnancy complications, smoking, or poor diet during pregnancy all negatively affect the baby’s microbiome.
Your gut microbiome is also impacted by how you came into the world. Babies get their first dose of microbiome from their mothers during vaginal birth. The baby gets completely covered with bacteria during this journey, giving it a brand-new microbiome. Also, babies born via C-section don’t receive the same healthy bacteria as babies born vaginally.
Antibiotic use is another significant factor that can affect your gut microbiome and cause gut dysbiosis symptoms. Antibiotics are important for treating bacterial infections, but the excessive use of antibiotics can disrupt your entire gut microbiome. This is because, while the antibiotics clear out the harmful bacteria, they also clear out the good bacteria, leading to less diversity and gut dysbiosis.
A study done at Johns Hopkins University demonstrated this. The study showed that it can take up to six months for your gut microbiome to get back on track after a seven-to-ten-day course of antibiotics.
Stress and Gut Dysbiosis
Chronic stress negatively impacts the diversity of your gut microbiome. It promotes the growth of harmful bacteria and alters the mucous lining of the gut wall, which usually acts as a protective barrier. This can lead to gut dysbiosis symptoms.
If you’ve had periods in your life where you were under chronic stress, this can be a contributing factor to your poor gut health today.
Gut Dysbiosis Diet
Nutrition also plays a massive role in your gut and microbiome’s health. The standard American diet, which is low in fiber, high in sodium, and high in processed sugars and foods, can make your gut microbiome unhealthy and lead to gut dysbiosis symptoms.
Remember, the microbes in your gut love to eat fiber from your diet. The best gut dysbiosis diet includes plenty of fiber from plant-based foods. If your diet is low in fiber, add more fiber-rich foods (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables).
The good news is that when you implement a gut dysbiosis diet that includes healthy foods and lots of fiber, your gut microbiome can change in as little as two to four days.
Other Factors That Affect Gut Health
Many other factors can affect gut health and cause gut dysbiosis symptoms. They include:
· Gastrointestinal infections.
· Gastrointestinal surgeries.
· Poor quality sleep.
· Past traumatic events (like a sudden death in the family or an ugly divorce).
Healing Gut Dysbiosis
If you have gut dysbiosis symptoms, you’re probably looking for methods of healing gut dysbiosis. There are many options available, including:
· Probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that provide health benefits when you take them in the correct amounts. Try eating more fermented foods like sauerkraut and yogurt to boost your probiotic intake.
· Prebiotics. Prebiotics are food for your good gut microbes. Some foods that contain prebiotics include garlic, onions, bananas, oats, and apples.
· Diet. A diet high in processed foods, added sugar, artificial sweetener, artificial color, and artificial flavor all negatively impact your gut microbiome. Try to reduce your intake of these foods and increase your intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
· Lifestyle. Stress and poor sleep can lead to negative changes in your gut microbiome. Try stress management techniques like journaling or meditation and ensure you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
To learn more about healing gut dysbiosis, check out my blog post about natural remedies for an unbalanced gut.
Many different factors can influence your gut microbiome, including how you were born (vaginal vs. C-section), antibiotic use, stress, diet, sleep, infections, and surgeries. Gut dysbiosis symptoms can be bothersome, but luckily, healing gut dysbiosis through diet and lifestyle change is possible.
If you’re struggling with gut health and interested in healing gut dysbiosis, my gut healing program provides evidence-based tips and tricks to include for better gut health. Click here to get in touch and book a complimentary 15-minute health discovery call to learn how my gut healing program can help you.