What is Dysbiosis?
Dysbiosis is an imbalance in number and diversity of your gut microflora. In other words, dysbiosis is an imbalance of friendly bacteria and overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria in the GI tract.
Dysbiosis can alter a woman’s estrogen levels negatively. The microbiome plays a central role in the excretion of excess estrogen via beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme produced by gut microbes. When this enzyme is elevated, it increases a woman’s risk for estrogen-related pathologies such as fibroids, polyps, PMS, and cancer.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
The cells of your small intestine are held together by tight junctions- sometimes referred to as gatekeepers. A function of the small intestine is to allow proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients, while playing a crucial role in defense against pathogenic invasion.
Zonulin is that gatekeeper. It is a protein produced by the epithelial cells of the small intestine. When zonulin levels are elevated, tight junctions of the small intestine loosen and become permeable like cheesecloth— undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins pass from the GI tract into the bloodstream, causing an inflammatory and heightened immune response.
This heightened immune response has been implicated in many autoimmune disorders, including Celiac, Crohn’s, RA, and Fibromyalgia. Also, a growing body of research indicates that mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are directly associated with leaky gut syndrome.
Dysbiosis & Leaky Gut are major contributors to most hormone imbalances.
Perpetrators of Dysbiosis & Leaky Gut
- The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a leading cause of dysbiosis. SAD feeds bacterial overgrowth in the GI tract— it is laden with excess sugar, refined carbohydrates, industrial seed oils, low fiber void of nutrients.
- Food sensitivity and food allergies include gluten and dairy
- Antibiotics, NSAIDs, oral contraceptives, and other medications
- Unresolved chronic stress
- Parasites, environmental toxins, heavy metals, mycotoxins
- Chronic infections
- C-section birth, bottle-feed as opposed to breast-fed
Common Symptoms of Dysbiosis & Leaky Gut
- Bloating, excess gas, nausea, abdominal pain, cramping
- Constipation, diarrhea, or undigested stool
- Acid reflux, heartburn
- UTI’s or Interstitial cystitis, vaginosis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome or fatigue
- Hormone Imbalances- PMS, PCOS, infertility, low libido
- Mental Health Issues— depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, ADHD
- Skin Disorders— rashes, hives, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema
- Autoimmune Disease- Graves, Lupus, Sjogren’s, Scleroderma
- Focus, difficulty concentrating
- Joint pain or fibromyalgia
- and many more
Now that we’ve explored dysbiosis and leaky gut, let’s take a deep dive into gut intervention— healing and recovery!