When your gut loses the diversity of bacteria – causing gut dysbiosis, your body is exposed to a host of health risks. Discover the dysbiosis diet and more.
Trillions of microorganisms inhabit your gut microbiome and are responsible for balancing your body’s immune response. This army of bacteria also breaks down carbohydrates and other foods, promotes resilient brain functioning, regulates your mood, makes hormones, proteins and vitamins that nourish you. When these microorganisms are out of balance, your body cannot absorb the nutrients the way it should. Before we look at how to fix dysbiosis, let’s look at what the term actually means.
What is Gut Dysbiosis?
The word ‘dysbiosis’ is derived from the Greek word “dys” meaning ‘bad or ill’ and “biosis” meaning ‘way of living’. Gut dysbiosis or an imbalance in gut bacteria composition occurs when your gut loses its diversity of bacteria, exposing you to the risk of contracting a host of chronic illnesses. An imbalanced gut can manifest in the form of diarrhea/constipation, acne, hormonal issues, constant fatigue, bloating, mood swings and more. Furthermore, it can also lead to poor nutrient absorption, poor digestive health, reduced immunity, cancer and issues in mental health. To understand the role of gut microbiome and health, visit Navipoint Health for more details.
What causes Gut Dysbiosis?
Your gut microbes often live in harmony but they are sensitive, and sometimes even the slightest changes in the host (your body) can cause an imbalance. Every human is unique, which means that every microbiome is unique too and that no microbiome is “perfect”. While most common causes of gut dysbiosis can be broadly categorized into – overgrowth of bacteria or yeasts, absence of beneficial bacteria and low diversity of species in the microbiome. Here are a few specific causes of a gut dysbiosis:
Gut Dysbiosis or poor microbial diversity does not necessarily mean a reduced number of total bacteria. Excessive consumption or overuse of antibiotics eliminates the antibiotic-susceptible and multiplies the antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So when you finish an antibiotic treatment, even though your gut’s overall microbial load may increase, the species diversity is reduced. Monitoring the intake of medications or consumption of antibiotic-treated animal products is crucial to maintaining the health of your gut ecosystem.
2. POOR DIET
Fiber is the food that your gut microbes thrive on. Diets abundant in sugar, processed foods, and additives promote growth of harmful bacteria and yeast while turning on unfavorable genes. Fast foods like milkshakes, hamburgers and excessively salty or fried foods turn on genes that promote inflammation, whereas steamed broccoli or spinach turn on anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory gene pathways.
3. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
While a glass of wine at dinner may boost your level of antioxidants, consuming more than two units of alcohol on a regular basis can alter the diversity of your gut microbiota.
4. CHRONIC STRESS
Stress stimulates your immune system to react. When stress goes unchecked for a long period of time, the immune system can become overstimulated leading to chronic stress. This in turn may lead to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dysfunctions. A hectic work schedule or personal life struggles left unaddressed is a surefire way to wreck gut bacteria.
5. INCREASED INTAKE OF SUGAR OR PROTEIN
A dietary change that suddenly alters the level of sugar, protein or additives in your diet is bound to reflect poorly on your gut health.
6. OVEREXPOSURE TO CHEMICALS OR CONTRACEPTIVES
We are exposed to pollutants and chemicals like never before! Lingering pesticides on unwashed fruits and vegetables alter the diversity of bacteria, leading to gut dysbiosis. Oral contraceptives can also make poor additions to a gut dysbiosis diet.
7. POOR DENTAL HYGIENE OR UNPROTECTED SEX
Poor dental hygiene leads to a bacterial imbalance in your mouth, which in turn could affect the gut microbiota. Similarly, unprotected sexual practices expose your microbiome to harmful bacteria, eventually leading to gut dysbiosis.
How to fix Gut Dysbiosis?
A Happy Gut = A Happy Mind & Body
Therefore, ignoring gut health is not really an option! While there is no fixed time period on how long it takes to heal gut dysbiosis, here are some ways to fix it:
- Limit your intake of antibiotics and exposure to other drugs, chemicals and pollutants.
- Adopt a fibre-rich diet. A diet abundant in plant protein, fermented foods, probiotics and polyphenols is critical to help the diverse microorganisms thrive. Decrease the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates. For a detailed overview into foods best for gut microbiome, visit here.
- Monitor your alcohol consumption. Limit intake to 1-3 units in a week.
- Identify your stress triggers and use mindfulness and exercise to manage them. Start a daily practice of yoga, meditation or deep breathing. Make it a part of your daily downtime. To discover the inner workings of your brain and get scientifically-backed insights on leading a stress-free life, click here.
- Take probiotic supplements, if necessary. Some strains of bacteria are beneficial for the gut. Taking monitored doses of probiotics as prescribed by your healthcare practitioner could assist with the healing process.
Are any dietary changes necessary?
To understand and address the root cause of gut health, it could be worth looking at what you put at the end of your fork. If you already experience chronic digestive issues, like bloating, pain, constipation, or diarrhea, incorporating a gut dysbiosis diet can help ease the symptoms.
Our research shows that genetic and gut differences among individuals directly impact your dietary requirements. Whether you’re intolerant to certain foods, looking to understand your behavioural tendencies or want to offset potential health risks, incorporating a personalized diet can help achieve quicker, sustained results. While incorporating prebiotics, probiotics, and fermented foods certainly helps heal a leaky gut, a personalized approach to wellness is a true solution.
Stay ahead of the curve by taking India’s first-ever integrated DNA + Gut Microbiome testing kit available at home. With a global team and over a decade of experience delivering on the power of precision medicine and personalized health, Navipoint Health can help you balance the gut microbiome, reduce internal inflammation and detox the body, all without any medication. To know more about our products, visit www.navipointhealth.com
Get access to scientific insights about your body:
- Guidance on gut health management and improved digestive functioning
- Detailed meal plan and food recommendations
- Insights about your hormones, vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and fat levels
- Understand your skeletal muscle composition, sports performance, bone density health and exercise response
- Reduce risk of neuropsychiatric imbalances
- Free one-on-one consultation with a certified personal health coach
- Health and wellness reports customized your Gut Microbiome and DNA
To order your Navipoint Health home testing kit, visit www.navipointhealth.com