Dysbiosis is a term for a microbial imbalance that most often affects a person’s digestive tract. That being said, dysbiosis can also affect the skin, eyes, lungs, ears, nose, sinuses, nails, and vagina.
Dysbiosis is also sometimes called dysbacteriosis or bacterial dysbiosis. That is because the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) contains both “good” and “bad” bacteria to form the gut flora—also called the gut microbe. But, other tiny organisms also reside in the gastrointestinal tract, including yeast, fungus, viruses, and parasites.
The dysbiosis pronunciation is “diss-bi-osis.” Russian-born microbiologist and zoologist, Dr. Elie Metchnikoff, would first coin the term in the 20th century. Dr. Metchnikoff is the first scientist to discover the impact of the properties of probiotics—also known as that “good bacteria.” The terms “dys” and “symbiosis” translate to “not living in harmony.”
The gut, or GI tract, has three major roles: the absorption of nutrients, the digestion of foods while converting food into vitamins, and the prevention of toxins and pathogens from entering your body. There are approximately 500 species of bacteria that make up “the gut flora.” The beneficial bacteria are essential for good digestion and the proper maintenance of the intestines. The most common classification of “good bacteria” will begin with the names “Bifidobacteria,” or “Lactobacillus.”
When the gut flora is balanced, it is called “orthobiosis,” which again is a term introduced by Dr. Metchnikoff in the early 1900s. He considered dysbiosis so serious that is also said, “death begins in the gut.” The issue here is that not all of the friendly organisms in the gut flora are “friendly.” In fact, when there is an overgrowth of bacteria, parasites, fungus, yeast, or other organisms, it can lead to dysbiosis.
Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is stomach pain.
Peptic ulcers include:
- Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach
- Duodenal ulcers that occur on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum)
The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of aspirin and certain other painkillers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others). Stress and spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcers. However, they can make your symptoms worse.
Acute cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that sits below your liver and helps your body digest fat. Cholecystitis can become very severe and in most cases requires immediate medical attention. See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you have acute cholecystitis. This condition is can become chronic if it persists for a prolonged period of time or if you are having recurring symptoms from the inflammation.
Cholelithiasis is the medical name for hard deposits (gallstones) that may form in the gallbladder. Cholelithiasis is common in the United States population. Six percent of adult men and 10% of adult women are affected.
The cause of cholelithiasis is not completely understood, but it is thought to have multiple factors. The gallbladder stores bile and releases it into the small intestine when it is needed for digestion. Gallstones can develop if the bile contains too much cholesterol or too much bilirubin (one of the components of bile), or if the gallbladder is dysfunctional and cannot release the bile.
Different types of gallstones form in cholelithiasis. The most common type, called a cholesterol stone, results from the presence of too much cholesterol in the bile. Another type of stone, called a pigment stone, is formed from excess bilirubin, a waste product created by the breakdown of the red blood cells in the liver. The size and number of gallstones varies in cholelithiasis; the gallbladder can form many small stones or one large stone.
Biliary dyskinesia is a quite common disease of the gallbladder. The gallbladder stores the bile which is released by the liver. The bile reaches the small intestine where it digests the fat from aliments. To reach the small intestine, the bile must pass through the common bile duct and if the bile can not be secreted by the gallbladder or can not flow through the common bile duct, then will return in the gallbladder, leading to biliary dyskinesia.
When a person eats, a hormone known as cholecystokinin is secreted by the cells from the intestine. The main action of cholecystokinin is activation of receptors that are distributed in the muscle of the gallbladder, thus producing contraction of gallbladder and the elimination of bile. Then, the bile is cleared from the gallbladder and will reach the small intestine. If a patient is suffering from biliary dyskinesia, then the gallbladder can not contract properly.
At the end of the common bile duct are three muscles that form the sphincter of Oddi. In its action to contract the gallbladder, cholecystokinin it binds to the receptors in the sphincter of Oddi and cause muscle relaxation. In this way the bile is eliminated from the gallbladder and will reach into the small intestine. If the sphincter of Oddi does not work properly, the bile will not pass through common bile duct and will remain in the gallbladder, which will cause biliary dyskinesia.
Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. They are found most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon). Diverticula are common, especially after age 40, and seldom cause problems.
Sometimes, however, one or more of the pouches become inflamed or infected. That condition is known as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits.
Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet and antibiotics. Severe or recurring diverticulitis may require surgery.
Diverticulosis is a condition that develops when pouches (diverticula ) form in the wall of the colon (large intestine ). These pouches are usually very small (5 to 10 millimeters) in diameter but can be larger.
In diverticulosis, the pouches in the colon wall do not cause symptoms. Diverticulosis may not be discovered unless symptoms occur, such as in painful diverticular disease or in diverticulitis. As many as 80 out of 100 people who have diverticulosis never get diverticulitis. In many cases, diverticulosis is discovered only when tests are done to find the cause of a different medical problem or during a screening exam.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Symptoms usually develop over time, rather than suddenly.
Ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and sometimes can lead to life-threatening complications. While it has no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease and even bring about long-term remission.
Ischemic colitis occurs when blood flow to part of the large intestine (colon) is reduced, usually due to narrowed or blocked blood vessels (arteries). The diminished blood flow doesn't provide enough oxygen for the cells in your digestive system.
Ischemic colitis can cause pain and may damage your colon. Any part of the colon can be affected, but ischemic colitis usually causes pain on the left side of the belly area (abdomen).
The condition can be misdiagnosed because it can easily be confused with other digestive problems. Ischemic colitis may heal on its own. But you may need medication to treat ischemic colitis or prevent infection, or you may need surgery if your colon has been damaged.
Microscopic colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine (colon) that causes persistent watery diarrhea. The disorder gets its name from the fact that it's necessary to examine colon tissue under a microscope to identify it, since the tissue may appear normal with colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.