Your Gut Microbiome and Dysbiosis
Dysbiosis or imbalances in the gut can negatively influence digestion, which could consequently lead to other health problems. Dysbiosis can cause an imbalance of bacteria, and your lifestyle may play a huge role in it.
Your gut is one of the major interfaces that connect the inside and the outside of your body. Foods, medications, environmental toxins, and harmful microbes pass through your gut. Each of these factors can affect the composition and diversity of your gut.
Imbalances in the gut don’t just occur, external factors like your lifestyle play a causal role as well. Though it may be unique to you, your diet, the way you were born, your activity level, and your exposure to medications can all disrupt the harmony within.
Ways your life can cause dysbiosis
- Antibiotic therapy
Antibiotics therapy can shape the diversity of your gut bacteria. They can disrupt the microbial balance and ultimately probiotics will become less abundant. Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections, but they don’t discriminate. They kill both harmful and beneficial microbes. This leaves more room for harmful bacteria to grow out of control, causing digestive issues and other health problems. After the treatment, it can take months or even years for the ecosystem to recover. Because of this, doctors generally recommend probiotic supplements along with antibiotics.
- The way you were born
Your gut microbiota is influenced by your birth process, whether it was vaginal or c-section. You have a colony of microbes in your gut as soon as you are born if you were delivered naturally. When you were born, an array of fecal and vaginal bacteria welcomed you but, these are all friendly microbes that help build your gut into what it is today.
In a cesarean section, the sterile techniques used to deliver the bay can delay the establishment of the gut microbes like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Babies born via C-section are more at risk of developing allergies and asthma. In short, your gut microbiome and immune system are linked.
- Low fiber, low-carb diet
Low-carb diets are all at the rage, but depriving the probiotics in your gut with plant nutrients and dietary fibers limits their food sources. Bacteria in your gut loves complex carbohydrates. They break down complex carbs and turn them into vital enzymes needed by your body to function properly like short-chain fatty acids. Cutting out on dietary fibers can reduce the diversity of bacteria in the gut.
- Prescription medications
Just like antibiotics, prescription drugs like steroids, statins, anti-inflammatories, and painkillers can induce dysbiosis. They can alter the composition, diversity, and abundance of gut bacteria. Although more research needs to be done, prescriptions medication has a potential effect on your gut.
Stress can affect your gut microbiome. It’s linked to both types and abundance of gut bacteria. Because of the gut and brain connection, your gut can have profound effects on your mood. Research shows that when you are under stress, the number of health-promoting bacteria declines while the number of harmful bacteria increases.