Dysbacteriosis: truth and myths

Health Tips

The word “dysbacteriosis” has been on everyone’s lips for more than a dozen years. This diagnosis is sometimes made to a child literally from the first months and haunts a person all his life. So what is this disease and how to cure it? The doctor tells Goodshapetips readers about this.

Thanks to advertising, most of us know that there are beneficial bacteria “lacto” and “bifido”.

They miraculously survive in yogurts and kefirs, being stored for a month on store shelves and in our refrigerators. But in the intestines, such bacteria are a little bit – they immediately die.

Young, slender and beautiful people who are not puzzled by the problem of overweight, beriberi, split ends and unhealthy skin have a lot of such bacteria!

But if there are few of them, then this is dysbacteriosis, from which the stomach boils, a career collapses, sex is not a joy, and vitamins disappear!

However, we are thinking people and blindly do not trust advertising. Let’s turn to medicine for clarification!

Turns out, there is no such diagnosis.

Scientific publications contradict one another, and practitioners are forced to to hide the outdated term “dysbacteriosis” under a variety of syndrome names: irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial overgrowth syndrome in the small intestine, microbial contamination disorder of the large intestine, intestinal dysbiosis and etc.

Causes and manifestations of dysbacteriosis

Still, there are unshakable truths. So, it is known that the first bacteria enter the human intestine at birth.

However, most of them are in transit. Only those microbes remain for eternal residence, to which the baby’s intestines seemed like a comfortable apartment.

If the baby is breastfed, then about 99% of the microflora should be bifidobacteria.

If a child is fed with a mixture, then the composition of its flora approaches the “adult” within a few months.

With the expansion of the diet, the “landscape of microflora” is gradually enriched – this is the name of the community of intestinal tenants.

Not only the quantity is important, but also the composition and location of microbes in the intestine. So, for example, in the small intestine there should be ten times less bacteria than in the large intestine.

Naturally, cohabitation with such “gluttonous” inhabitants is beneficial for us, and we feed them not without reason.

Normal microflora:

– destroys pathogenic bacteria that have entered the intestines. In the experiment, mice with dysbacteriosis were infected with dysentery.

And then some experimental subjects were given bifidobacteria with food. Rodents that receive “beneficial” microbes with food did not get sick.

– softens the viral “blow”. The intestinal microflora collects pathogenic viruses on the surface of its cells, as if obscuring the intestinal cells and protecting them from damage. Viruses “adhered” to microbes are removed from the body along with intestinal contents.

– creates a mechanical barrier, synthesizing mucus components, biologically active substances that envelop the intestinal wall and protect it from physical and chemical influences.

Gut bacteria:

– participate in digestion and assimilation fats, complex carbohydrates, proteins, as well as many minerals;

– contribute to the proper metabolism of bile acids, which are digestive enzymes;

– perform a biosynthetic function (synthesize amino acids, biologically active substances, vitamins).

True, it is worth noting that vitamins are synthesized mainly in the large intestine and are no longer absorbed in this section of the gastrointestinal tract.

Intestinal microorganisms:

– improve peristalsis – increase bowel contraction and thus contribute to its timely emptying;

– cleanse the body of toxins. In their antitoxic function, intestinal microbes are equated with the liver;

– have anti-allergic properties.

Diagnosis of the disease

Traditionally, dysbacteriosis is considered to be a decrease in the number of intestinal bacteria. This is not true!

With dysbacteriosis, the flora is redistributed throughout the intestine: the normally sparsely populated small intestine is filled with a huge number of bacteria, and their species composition changes in the large intestine.

Instead of useful and familiar species, pathogenic (disease-causing) species appear.

There are a lot of reasons for the violation of the species composition and number of microorganisms in the intestine, and they usually act in combination.

if they have nothing to eat. This happens when the diet is unbalanced, poor in plant fiber and dairy products.

if they are uncomfortable. In various diseases (colitis, pancreatitis, cholecystitis, gastritis, hepatitis, etc.), the pH in the intestine changes. In the changed conditions, the metabolism and the integrity of the cells of intestinal microbes are disturbed.

if their place is taken by aggressive brothers – pathogenic bacteria, microorganisms, helminths, fungi. This happens when:

– non-compliance with the rules of hygiene, chronic infections, immunodeficiency;

– lack of digestive enzymes (with pancreatitis, cholecystitis, hepatitis, gastritis, peptic ulcer).

Food in this case is not fully digested and begins to ferment, becoming an excellent substrate for the growth of pathogenic flora;

– with slow or accelerated bowel movements, what happens not only with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, but also with stress, hormonal disorders, in old age.

In a special risk group are people after operations on the abdominal organs.

with long-term use of certain drugs (antibacterial drugs, corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, laxatives, antisecretory agents and cytostatics), as well as preservatives, dyes, flavor enhancers.

Almost all known symptoms and diseases are currently associated with a violation of the intestinal microflora.

Although other organs of our body have microbial symbionts.

It has its own microflora in the mouth, on the skin, in the sebaceous and sweat glands, on the surface of the palatine tonsils, in the bronchi, in the vagina, etc.

However, it is the intestinal contents that are prescribed all the “sins”:

  • unstable stool, bloating, flatulence, seething, rumbling and pain in the abdomen, gallstones, bitterness in the mouth, hepatitis;
  • frequent cystitis, urolithiasis, pyelonephritis;
  • inflammatory diseases in gynecology;

  • atherosclerosis and hypertension;

  • food allergies, frequent colds;
  • beriberi and obesity;

  • bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis;

  • anemia, weakness, fatigue, irritability, depression, poor sleep;
  • skin and oncological diseases.

All these symptoms and diseases have many causes, however, in the case when the diagnosis comes to a standstill or the treatment of the immediate causes does not have the desired effect, the “on-duty” diagnosis remains – dysbacteriosis.

Treatment of dysbacteriosis

What can modern medicine offer for accurate diagnosis of dysbacteriosis?

Most often in the clinic they offer sowing feces for dysbacteriosis.

However, the results of this analysis are inconclusive. Firstly, the analysis shows the state of microbes that live only in the lumen of the colon, and in its distal (final) section. The “population” of the small intestine remains out of our reach.

Secondly, laboratory assistants give an opinion only in relation to 8-12 types of microbes, while their number in the intestine is more than 400.

Thirdly, for reliable diagnosis, it is required to collect the contents of the intestine under sterile conditions, transport the material at a certain temperature and deliver it to the laboratory within 3-4 hours. Otherwise, the results will be distorted.

There is another method: sowing aspirate of small intestine contents or biopsy of the wall of the small intestine.

In this case, we obtain data on the state of the flora in the small intestine. But such a diagnosis is rarely used.

There are also indirect methods that allow you to judge the state of the intestinal microflora.

These include chemical methods: gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

For analysis, the contents of the intestine are used, in which the concentration of substances is determined – the products of the vital activity of microflora, and then a conclusion is made about its qualitative and quantitative composition.

Also used breath tests, when the waste products of bacteria are determined in the exhaled air.

However, these methods can only be used as a preliminary diagnosis, since the proportion of false results is high.

The biggest diagnostic problem is that Until now, there is no concept of the norm of intestinal biocenosis all over the world.

It is known that the composition of intestinal microbes varies depending on the season, weather, climate, food preferences, during the recovery period after an illness, etc. However, serious research in this area has not yet been conducted.

Therefore, it is impossible to accurately interpret the results of the analyzes.

Simply put, if against the background of clinical signs of the disease, the results of your analysis are “conditionally normal”, then no one will believe them, attributing everything to the above diagnostic inaccuracies.

And if some indicators go beyond, then this will serve as confirmation of dysbacteriosis, despite the possibility of temporary, physiological deviations in the composition of your flora.

So what to do? To be treated or not? And if treated, then how and when?

It is possible that solving the problem of dysbacteriosis is the future of medicine.

After all, it is not for nothing that there are theories according to which all diseases are somehow connected with microorganisms and viruses.

One has only to restore the normal ratio of microflora in the body, get rid of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi, as the immune system will work properly, the metabolism will improve, and there will be more centenarians among us.

Perhaps the medicine of the future will really only deal with the maintenance of normal life and the prevention of diseases.

On the other hand, the interest of today’s medicine in dysbacteriosis may turn out to be nothing more than a fashion.

Years will pass, and attempts to interfere with the complex relationships of microbes in our intestines will be perceived as a waste of time and money, and other, now unknown causes of disease will come to the fore.

One way or another, but now we have access to various

Prebiotics (“Duphalac”, “Calcium pantothenate”, “Lysozyme”, etc.) are drugs that prepare the intestines for colonization by normal microflora, create comfortable conditions for it. As a rule, they contain vegetable fiber.

Prebiotics also include foods such as: corn, oatmeal, rye bread, legumes, juices with pulp, bran, dairy products, etc.

Probiotics (“Lactobacterin”, “Bifikol”, “Bifiform”, “Linex”, “Biovestin”, “Trilakt”, “Narine”) are preparations containing normal intestinal microflora.

Fermented milk products enriched with lacto- and bifidobacteria also have the properties of probiotics.

But when buying such products, be sure to pay attention to the composition and expiration date.

If the product contains live fermented milk cultures, then it should be stored for no more than 3-4 days.

Synbiotics (“Biovestin-lacto”, “Maltidofilus”, “Laminolact”) – combined preparations of pro- and prebiotics – “two in one”.

In some cases, it is advisable to start the correction of dysbacteriosis with the use of intestinal antiseptics, antibiotics, bacteriophages, which kill the pathogenic flora in the intestine and “make room” for the normal one.

After taking these drugs, it is necessary to use sorbents that will remove killed microorganisms and their toxins.

After that, pre- and probiotics are prescribed for long courses.

However, practice shows that drugs that work well “in vitro” do not always have the desired effect in the body.

The flora introduced with probiotics often disappears after the end of the course of therapy, regardless of the amount of money you spent at the pharmacy on drugs.

The fact is that dysbacteriosis is rather a consequence than a cause of diseases.

In a diseased organism, “beneficial” bacteria simply do not take root, no matter how much you “plant” them.

Just like atherosclerosis and obesity, dysbacteriosis develops under the influence of many factors. And it is impossible to cure it only by taking medications.

Before dealing with microflora, it is necessary treatment of chronic diseases, especially of the gastrointestinal tract.

Important get rid of foci of infection in the mouth, ENT organs, correct immune disorders. A balanced diet is of great importance.

That is, you need to create the most favorable conditions for colonization of the intestine, and only after that get down to business.

Natalia DOLGOPOLOVA,
general practitioner

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