Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the types of gut bacteria present in the body – especially in your gut.
This imbalance can mean 3 things (Petersen C, 2014)
These are not mutually exclusive and can occur at the same time.
Dysbiosis can be triggered by various external factors like a change in diet, medications (especially antibiotics) or pathogens (bacteria or viruses that can cause disease). (Rodino-Janeiro, 2018) For instance, one meta-analysis showed that a bout of gastroenteritis increased the risk of developing IBS (in the next 3-18 moths) seven fold.
Studies have shown reduced bacterial abundances (total numbers) and diversity (variety) among people with IBS. (Principi N, 2018) It is speculated that this may contribute to: (Petersen C, 2014)
These changes may exacerbate gut symptoms, such as bloating, excess gas, abdominal pain and altered bowel habits.
At present, there is no hard and fast evidence on the correct method to diagnose or treat dysbiosis. Most people think the logical answer to gut dysbiosis is probiotics – providing your body with more of the good bacteria to help balance the gut again. But while the available data we have on probiotic treatment is promising, we still do not know enough at this stage to provide clear answers.
Petersen C, Round J. Defining dysbiosis and its influence on host immunity and disease. Cellular Microbiology 2014, 16(7): 1024-1033. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4143175/pdf/cmi0016-1024.pdf
Rodino-Janeiro B K, Vicario M, Alonso-Cotoner C, Pascua-Garcia R, Santos J. A Review of Microbiota and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Future in Therapies. Advances in Therapy 2018, 35:289-310. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859043/pdf/12325_2018_Article_673.pdf
Principi N, Cozzali R, Farinelli E, Brusaferro A, Esposito S. Gut dysbiosis and irritable bowel syndrome: The potential role of probiotics. Journal of Infection 2018, 76, 111-120. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163445317304127