Dysbiosis (say ‘DIS-bi-OH-sis’) is a scientific term that refers to a bacterial imbalance in the body.
Most often, dysbiosis refers to an imbalance in the bacteria of your intestinal tract, but this can also occur on any exposed surface of your body, such as your skin, or mucous membranes found in the lungs, nose, vagina, ears and other areas. Most often, dysbiosis refers to a gut bacterial imbalance and that is what we will concentrate on here.
If you are like most people, you were brought up to believe that all bacteria are bad for you, and it was modern medicine’s job to search out and destroy any microbial invader before it had the chance to make you ill, or at least, if you did get sick, finish off these bacterial invaders with potent antibiotics so you could recover. Only in the last few years has it become more common to hear the average person talking about ‘good’ bacteria, not to mention the idea that the health of your gut’s bacterial colonies or microbiome, is crucial to your health.
What is the function of your microbiome?
Your gut is a remarkable organ as it produces three fourths of your body’s neurotransmitters, contains more than two thirds of your body’s immune tissues, has a metabolic activity greater than your liver and houses a genome (due to the presence of gut bacteria) that is more than one hundred times larger than the human genome!
Your gut’s bacterial microbiome is vitally important in each and every one of these key roles, and an imbalance in your gut microbiome has the capacity to affect nearly every system in the body. Dysregulation of the intestinal microbiome has also been implicated in a wide variety of human disease processes, including inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and more. In short, the makeup of your gut bacterial microbiome can either predispose you to disease or help to shape a healthy immune response.
Imbalances in your gut microflora can be caused by a variety of factors, including the use of antibiotics, your diet, genetic inheritance and even whether you grew up on a farm or in a city highrise and many other factors. At the Grewal Center we use state of the art labs to evaluate not only the activity of your gut microbes but also the digestion and absorption, intestinal permeability, inflammation and bacterial/ yeast overgrowth.