Leading Causes of Gut Dysbiosis
Greetings. It’s Eric Bakker, naturopath from New Zealand, author of Candida Crusher and formulator of the Canxida range of dietary supplements. Thanks for checking out my video. Today we’re going to talk about the causes of gut dysbiosis.
You may have seen my video on what is gut dysbiosis and now we’re going to actually drill down into some of the reasons why people develop this condition that’s so common in the western world. I can safely say that well over half, if not three quarters, of my patients today have some form of gut dysbiosis. What causes this condition? What makes us develop symptoms like bloating, gas, farting, burping, and needing to take Rolaids or these proton-pump inhibitor drugs to soothe this sort of burning tummy? Stuff to stop us from feeling bad in the gut. Stuff to stop us from having constipation. All these sorts of things are often linked up with gut dysbiosis. Let’s just go over a couple of different reasons why this condition can come about. What causes it?
Pharmaceutical drugs are a really big one. There are many different classes of pharmaceutical drugs that can cause gut dysbiosis. In fact, I would go as far as to say most drugs to some degree cause gut dysbiosis. If we look at some of the most commonly prescribed pharmaceutical medications today, nearly all of them are implicated in causing a disordered gut flora, leading to gut dysbiosis.
Proton-pump inhibitor drugs. If we look at some drugs like Nexium, $6.2 billion US sales in 2014. That’s a phenomenal amount of money spent; $9.4 billion US spent in total last year on drugs to stop reflux, heartburn, and GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. How stupid is that? Why would you take a drug to stop acidity in the stomach? It’s a dumb thing to do. We need good levels of hydrochloric acid to break down proteins, fats, carbs, and things like that. If we break food down properly, we’re going to be able to digest it, absorb it, and excrete the waste properly. If we’re going to screw up our stomach with taking drugs to stop heartburn, we’re stupid enough to not look at the cause; we’re going to get a lot of problems as a result.
If you’re a person watching this who is taking some kind of a pill or liquid or something like that to stop heartburn, try to find out what the cause of this heartburn is. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Because if not, you’re going to get a lot of problems downstream. Things occurring further down. If you can’t break protein down properly, you’re going to get putrefaction further down here, which is going to cause bloating, gas, pain, headaches, tiredness, and aching everywhere, so it’s not a good idea to do that at all. PPIs or these sorts of drugs like Nexium are not good. They’re certainly linked up with this condition called dysbiosis.
Antibiotics are very, very powerful drugs that are one of the main drugs that cause gut dysbiosis because they’re non-selective, and they kill lots of beneficial bacterial, as well as pathogenic bacteria. There are two ways that antibiotics work. They can rupture the beta lactam ring or the cell wall of the membrane of the bacteria allowing your immune system to get in there, or they can disrupt protein synthesis, or if they interfere with what we call ribosomes in the bacterial cell, stopping the cell from actually forming. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out if you’re going to mess around with cells like this at that kind of level; you’re also going to mess around with a lot of beneficial bacteria as well. And you’re going to promote the production of a lot of yeast in the body and other kinds of bugs like clostridium. You’re going to encourage Blastocystis and other parasites in your gut. Taking antibiotics for different conditions, you’re on a course basically for disaster down the track. Taking them routinely is just crazy. It’s going to lead to all sorts of diseases.
There are many other pharmaceuticals implicated with dysbiosis. I haven’t got time in this video to cover all of them.
Another key one that I would see would be NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Ibuprofen or Advil, paracetamol. What’s another one, aspirin, diclofenac? All these drugs are non-steroidal, so they’re not really steroidal based, but they’ll ruin your gut. They cause dysbiosis. They destroy gastric health. They switch off pain, but at a huge cost to you.
Again, why would you want to take these drugs long term because you’re undermining your health? If you take pharmaceuticals routinely, you will get gut dysbiosis. There has got to be another way. Talk to your health care professional on other ways you can look at.
Stress. Stress has got an incredible way of causing gut dysbiosis long term, and there are several mechanisms by which stress operates to achieve this. One key thing that happens in the alarm phase or the acute phase of stress is it starts to reduce the blood supply to the digestive organs, favoring the blood to go to the larger muscles so you can run away from dinosaurs, the boss, your mother in law, or whatever threat is hanging over your head. Stress has another ability in different stages of the stress cycle to actually reduce the output of digestive enzymes, to inhibit peristalsis or the movement of feces through the digestive system, so it increases the likelihood of constipation, it increases the likelihood of bloating and gas, all of these things occur because of stress.
Not chewing food properly and eating it too quick is a key thing I see in my clinic. If you’re sitting there with your mobile phone liking somebody on Facebook while you’re eating a burger, you’re going to get dysbiosis. Get rid of these bloody electronic devices out of your life when you’re eating food. Don’t associate eating and technology. It’s a big mistake that a lot of people make today. Chewing food properly, taking your time to eat food, slowing down. Do what your grandparents did. Spend time eating. Not looking at Twitter, Facebook, or junk like that. I haven’t got time again in this video to go over a lot of the ramifications or effects of stress, but needless to say, if you’ve got stress, you’ll get dysbiosis.
Diet. This could be a half an hour video in its own right. There are multiple ways that diet increases your likelihood of dysbiosis. A lot of people today eat a highly processed diet. In fact, statistics show that people in England, for example, up to 30 percent of people don’t even eat fruit or vegetables anymore. It’s incredible. People eat so many different kinds of processed foods in their diet now in America, Australia, and New Zealand. I’ve got patients now in about 40 countries on Skype and face time, and it’s incredible how many people now all around the world in different countries are just eating a highly processed diet.
The patients I’ve got, however, that are older that grew up more with mom and dad cooking proper food, that come from backgrounds of cultivating vegetables and fruits and chickens and bees and things like that, which is my background. Which is why that’s the kind of lifestyle I like to lead. But those people tend to have better quality diets that lead to a lesser likelihood of dysbiosis. The fresher the diet, the cleaner and greener the diet, the cleaner and greener the gut. If you base your diet around diet Coke and burgers, you’re going to have bad dysbiosis. I encourage you to eat a good healthy food, to avoid soda drinks. I believe alcohol is not really a good part of health. But if you want to drink alcohol, that’s up to you. But I don’t see it playing much role in human health. Sugars, yeasty foods, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates in particular, they’re going to cause dysbiosis.
Those are three core things that are going to increase your likelihood of dysbiosis: pharmaceutical drugs, stress, and the kind of foods you eat. Have a think about those things. Thanks for tuning into my video today.