In the last couple of posts we’ve talked about the Gut Centered Theory of Disease, of which dysbiosis is a really big part. So in this post, let’s talk about ways to know if you have dybiosis.
- You have serious health problems. Like: autoimmune disease (long, long list here, including autoimmune thyroid diseases – Hashimoto’s and Graves), chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migratory arthralgia (joint pains), and many others. If you accept the Gut Centered Theory of Disease then you can see that any disease/syndrome that involves significant inflammation, toxic overload, or autoimmunity likely involves dysbiosis.
- You have gut centered problems. Like: Gas and bloating, GERD (new evidence is suggesting esophageal dysbiosis plays a part in GERD), IBS, significant constipation or diarrhea, IBD (Crohn’s or Ulcerative colitis) and others.
- Prebiotic challenge – our gut flora can be roughly divided into acid forming and gas forming bacteria. Normally, in a healthy gut, we want acid forming bacteria to predominate, and often in a dysbiotic gut, gas forming bacteria are dominant. Prebiotics are soluble fibers that feed gut bacteria. The most common one is something called inulin.
- How to do it – take 1/4 – 1 tsp of inulin. If you experience significant gas and bloating this suggests you have a predominance of gas forming bacteria and likely have a dysbiosis. This test doesn’t tell you anything in detail about what is going on, but is also very cheap, very safe, and easy to do.
- Urinary indican test – when gut bacteria get out of control they will steal food meant for us. When they steal protein, specifically the amino acid tryptophan, and use it for themselves they create a byproduct known as indican (technically the bacteria eliminate another metabolite that is absorbed and the body converts it into indican before getting ride of it) that is absorbed into the body, processed and then eliminated in our urine.
- How to do it – this is a test that you are probably not going to do yourself because it requires a couple of toxic agents, one of which is chloroform. But is is simple to do and any health care practitioner can do it cheaply. You collect urine and the agents are added to the urine and allowed to react. The darker your urine becomes (from normal color to light blue to medium blue to dark blue to black) the more indican that is in your urine, and thus the more protein that is being stolen and eaten by bacteria. Again this does not tell us details about the dysbiosis but confirms that it is present.
- Stool testing – these tests collect samples of poop and send them off to a lab for analysis. They typically run in price from about $200-300ish dollars.
- How to do it – your health practitioner gives you a kit with instructions. You collect samples from a bowel movement, put it in a vial and mail it off to the lab which runs the tests. Advantages include specific information, like what kind of dysbiosis is present which lets us treat it in a much more targeted way. Disadvantages are cost.
So, there are 5 ways to know if you have dybiosis, ranging from looking at your health and symptoms, to doing cheap, non-invasive tests which show you have dysbiosis, to more expensive but more clinically useful stool testing.
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Another Interesting post:
Understanding H Pylori & Improving the Triple Drug Therapy – Post 13; Day 13 By: Dr. TIm Gerstmar – 10/6/2011