Dysbiosis occurs when a child has an imbalance of bacteria within the gut.
The bacteria in our guts is important to many aspects of our health, including helping the body extract energy from food, protecting the body from harmful diseases and even affecting brain function. There are said to be “good” types of gut bacteria, which protect and aid the body in its normal functions, as well as “bad” types of gut bacteria, which may contribute to conditions such as obesity or heart disease.
Dysbiosis is when a child has an imbalance (too much or too little) of gut bacteria. Having too much of certain kinds of bacteria is the most common type of this condition. This microbial imbalance can lead to problems throughout the body.
Children with dysbiosis sometimes have other, related conditions, including:
- Aches and pain in the joints
- Autoimmune diseases
- Hormonal imbalances
- Psychiatric disease
- Trouble losing weight
The two main types of dysbiosis are:
- Microbial overgrowth – occurs when a child has too much “bad” – typically inflammatory – gut bacteria or too much yeast
- Microbial undergrowth – occurs when a child doesn’t have enough bacteria – good and bad
The causes of dysbiosis are varied, and include:
- Exposure to bacteria at birth
- Food choices throughout a child’s life
- Taking certain prescription and over-the-counter medications
Signs and symptoms of this condition may include: