Symbiosis Or Dysbiosis?

A healthy person is home to hundreds of different kinds of beneficial and friendly bacteria that inhabit mainly the digestive tract. It is estimated that there are more bacteria in the gut than there are cells in our entire body. In return for a healthy home, these friendly bugs help to contribute to the health of our bodies.

Their functions include:

  • Vitamin synthesis;
  • Detoxification processes;
  • Protect the body from harmful and carcinogenic chemicals;
  • Inhibit and fight off unhealthy bacteria and other nasty bugs;
  • Play an integral role in the bodies immune system (did you know that 70-80% of our immune system is in the gut);
  • Provide a protective coating to the bowel wall;
  • Foster the normal peristaltic action of the bowel and hence regularity;
  • Aids in the absorption and assimilation of nutrients. When the body and these friendly bacteria live in harmony .... this is known as SYMBIOSIS - a close, mutually beneficial relationship between us and the good bugs.

Unfortunately too often, the harmonious symbiotic relationship between the body and the friendly bugs gets destroyed or is out of balance and this is termed DYSBIOSIS. In the absence of sufficient good bugs, unhealthy ora “pathogenic” bacteria, fungi or parasites can proliferate and can initiate, stimulate, or contribute to disease conditions in the body.

The cause of dysbiosis are many, but some causes are:

  • Antibiotic therapy;
  • Prolonged stress;
  • Lack of good bugs from birth (ceasarean birth or not breast-fed);
  • Poor diets;
  • Hormone therapy or the pill;
  • Digestive problems/medications.  

Taking friendly bacteria or yoghurt is not enough to help dysbiosis. I like to use the analogy of a car park when explaining this in the clinic to clients I have picked up dysbiosis with Live Blood Analysis, because often they say “But I take friendly bacteria/eat yoghurt, often.” I explain that the bugs - good or bad - plug into receptor site or “parking spaces” along the bowel wall, so if all the parking spaces are filled with “the bad guys,” then there is no room for “the good guys” to park. (Like trying to find somewhere to park at K-Mart on Christmas eve) Therefore there is nowhere to go but out the exit.  

So to create symbiosis again, we need to clear out most of the bad guys with a combination of herbs - anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and/or antibacterial and colon hydrotherapy using bowel coating “strippers” such as bentonite, aloe vera, psyllium etc. (remember they are stuck into the bowel wall lining), then re-inoculate the system with the good guys. Half measures only result in half results or temporary relief, often with the return of symptoms in a short period of time.

So what sort of symptoms are we looking at? Well because there can be different symptoms with different “bad bugs”, and we’ve already featured parasites in a previous article I will now discuss the symptoms and relative issues to do with candida, a fungal species that is often in over proliferation in the gut. Briefly before listing symptoms, I will discuss what candida is and how it causes it’s damage.  

Candida albicans is one of only 70 different species of candida yeast. The term candidiasis is applied to excessive proliferation of candida albicans in the mouth, esophagus, intestines or vagina. Systemic candidiasis involves the over proliferation of candida albicans throughout the body. Candida albicans (C.A), inhabits all humans, but usually in only small amounts.  

Research shows that 33% of the Western world suffer from C.A over proliferation. If C.A yeast is allowed to proliferate, it changes from it’s normal yeast-fungal form to a mycelial-fungal form that produces rhizoids (often seen in live blood analysis), Rhizoids are long, root like components that are able to pierce the walls of the digestive tract and break down the protective barriers between the intestines and the blood. This “breaking through” (also known as leaky gut), allows many allergens to enter blood circulation causing reactions - Note that any food molecule that hasn’t yet been digested/broken down, is an allergen to blood in this state.

C.A proliferates by consuming sugars. A waste product of this is acetaldehyde - a toxic aldehyde that causes numerous toxic effects. Virtually any system can be affected, chronic candidiasis can trigger a multitude of symptoms.

General Symptoms - Chronic fatigue/lethargy, feeling drained, headaches, decreased libido, numbness, burning, tingling, itching, muscle aches, weakness and dizziness. Digestive system - colitis, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, halitosis, intestinal cramps. 

Excretory System - Cystitis, oedema. Immune system - allergies, inhibits neutrophils (white blood cells that destroy antigens), sore throat. 

Metabolism - C.A converts carbohydrates to acetaldehyde causing craving for carbs/sugars, breads, alcohol, yeasts. Nervous system - anxiety, depression, headaches, irritability.

Oral - Gingivitis, peridontal disease, white coated tongue, asthma, pharyngitis, sinusitis. Sexual system - discharge, PMS, vaginal itch/burning. 

Skin/Nails - nail infections, tinea, athletes foot, jock itch, acne rosacea, dermatitis, eczema and other skin eruptions. The list could go on. So as mentioned earlier, to eradicate the bad guys we need to clear them out of the system first. Some people go on an “anti candida diet” of low carbs/sugars, this is helpful but not enough on it’s own. Starving them out usually doesn’t work, as more often than not, a little bit of sugar sneaks in and off they go - rampant again. So a combination approach as mentioned earlier appears to be the best approach, from my experience. 

Incidentally I have seen what happens to people who have ignored the early signs as “part of life” stuff and left it and left it and after years of a C.A over proliferation, they have come in to see me in a “desperate” state, and I do mean desperate. So allergic to just about everything, anything they eat, touch, breath, gives them reactions, making them very sick, and worse still they have become so bad, that they even react to the things one would use to help treat them. They are sensitive to “life”. They tell me to warn people to not let themselves get as bad as them. 

Do you have symbiosis or dysbiosis? 
You owe it to yourself to find out.

Originally published in Here & Now magazine, written by Sue Kira, from True Vitality

Related to - Health | Naturopathy | Food and Nutrition

By Sue Kira

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