Literate gastroenterologists are perplexed every time they hear from their patients stories of long-term and unsuccessful treatment for dysbacteriosis. In the international classification of diseases, which operates in Russia, such a diagnosis is not listed.
And for a long time, and the reasons for the entire medical community should be well known. So, most of the leading domestic gastroenterologists as early as last century agreed that dysbacteriosis has no specific clinical symptoms, and firmly decided that such a disease does not exist and cannot exist. However, specialists of a broad profile did not seem to be inspired by such conclusions, because therapists and pediatricians continue to inspire the public with the opposite, giving directions to “special” paid tests and prescribing “effective” and also not free treatment.
At least some bacteriologists can give some explanation for the confusion, because the term “dysbacteriosis” exists only in their science and only in Russia. Under the popular and buzzword, these specialists imply a specific and momentary (that is, true only at the time of feces analysis) condition of the large intestine, the most frequent manifestations of which are the absence of bifidobacteria and a decrease in the number of lactic acid sticks. The total number of microorganisms is often increased due to the growth of conditionally pathogenic flora.
But this is far from the only misconception that we are going to debunk today. So, we announce the entire list!
Tangible violations of the qualitative and quantitative composition of the intestinal microflora (in particular, an increase in the content of bacteria in the small intestine from normal 104 / ml to 106 / ml and above) should not be called dysbacteriosis, but an excess bacterial growth syndrome, as is customary in the West. Such a state develops when the nature of food changes dramatically, the movement of food through the intestines slows down, the secretion of digestive juices is disturbed, or the normal flora is inhibited by the intake of antibacterial drugs that act just at the level of the small intestine.
The main manifestation of this syndrome is diarrhea. But to make a diagnosis only on this basis, of course, is impossible, it requires a detailed examination by a gastroenterologist. Treatment consists of exposing the disease that caused the bacterial overgrowth syndrome.
These can be gastritis, immunodeficiency states, chronic pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, renal failure, and much more.
Indeed, many doctors as therapeutic measures offer to regulate the balance of the intestinal flora with the help of biologically active or antibacterial drugs. For example, if the feces analysis revealed a lack of bifidobacteria, the patient is prescribed probiotics, that is, those same bifidobacteria that the body lacks.
And if the conditionally pathogenic flora, according to the doctor, is an excess amount, antibiotics are used to suppress it. But if the first tactic is not able to inflict any harm to health, then the second can only aggravate the situation.
Instead of obstinately bringing the test results to the norm, it is much more important to identify the true cause of the imbalance. Gastroenterologists are best able to cope with this key task, so it’s wiser to contact them with such questions.
In fact, these troubles are a typical manifestation of irritable bowel syndrome or latent lactase deficiency. Confirm the first diagnosis allows the presence of a number of other criteria. The reason for the development of this common ailment is usually chronic stress and excessive emotional stress, which leads to an overstrain of the nervous system and disables many organs, including the digestive system.
The treatment is much more effective if it is prescribed not by a gastroenterologist, but by an experienced therapist who is able to approach the problem in a comprehensive manner: prescribe both psychotherapeutic correction, and diet, and medications.
If the doctor suspects a hidden lactase deficiency, a 2-, 3-week diet with the exception of dairy products is prescribed to confirm the diagnosis, or a load test is performed, giving the patient an increased dose of lactose. As for the typical symptoms of dysbacteriosis itself, they do not exist, because there is no such disease.
Excessive growth of harmful flora occurs in the small intestine, but the contents of the rectum are sent for analysis (it is the final section of the large intestine). The main problem is that this study reveals in the biological material the presence of only a few individual types of bacteria, while more than 400 types of bacteria live in our intestines. Another depressing circumstance: the majority of doctors consider the bacterial spectrum not the consequence, but the cause of systemic disorders.
In other words, they attribute diarrhea to the results of an oversupply or lack of microbes in the intestine, while it is diarrhea that causes this excess or deficiency, and not vice versa. In any case, it is not so easy to interpret the results of the analysis, because doctors have not yet decided what to consider to be the norm. No serious studies have been conducted that would reveal the effect on the microflora of feces such factors as age, gender, diet, medication, various diseases and conditions (including pregnancy).
And no one seriously studied how quickly a return to the original indicators after the elimination of the root cause that caused the “dysbiosis” occurs. In addition, the analysis of intestinal microflora can only reveal a momentary picture that changes several times a day, including under the influence of products that fall into our stomach.
The intestine is a self-organizing system, and the bacterial balance is restored automatically even after a course of antibiotic therapy. To help the body, it is enough to eat more vegetables and fruits: the fiber contained in them is an excellent “feed” for beneficial microbes.
Although sometimes the recovery process is a little slower, and then due to the temporary dominance of “enemy” bacteria, there are unpleasant symptoms (increased gas formation, “rumbling in the stomach”, etc.). In most cases, intestinal antiseptics, such as sulgin and phthalazole, can easily cope with this problem.
These drugs are almost not absorbed and practically do not cause side effects, but only a doctor should prescribe them.
Probiotics are those microbes that enter our body through food, colonize the intestines and are not pathogenic. And food containing enough microbes to us is called probiotic products.
In Russia, for centuries, yogurt, kefir and pickled vegetables belonged to them. Today, probiotics are sold in pharmacies in the form of dietary supplements and drugs, which are live bacteria in capsules.
It should only be remembered that many of these preparations contain too small doses of microbes, therefore the use of fermented milk products will bring much more benefit. Given that we need the beneficial bacteria all the time, we need them every day.
Prebiotics are metabolic products of probiotic microbes, and most often such “waste” is lactic acid. This substance is contained in fermented milk products, and in many pharmaceutical prebiotic preparations.
For the body, it is of fundamental importance how much lactic acid (i.e. prebiotics) comes directly from food and how many healthy microbes (i.e. probiotics) can produce. According to statistics, from 1% to 10% of all probiotics in our stomach reach the intestine. However, they live there for several days.
How many bacteria survive, depends on various factors, in particular on the acidity of gastric juice. Those probiotics who successfully pass the test and get to their destination, begin to actively allocate useful prebiotics themselves.
This is the optimal scenario of colonization of the intestine with flora-friendly. If you do exactly the opposite and saturate the body with prebiotics instead of probiotics, the effect of such a “treatment” will tend to zero. The fact is that prebiotics are even more vulnerable to the aggressive effects of gastric juice, and therefore they have every chance of not reaching the intestines.
The conclusion is obvious: it is better to use probiotics to restore the intestinal flora.
Kefir is prepared on the basis of the so-called kefir fungus, which is a mutually beneficial coexistence of lactic acid bacteria and fungi, which “work” in different ways. The former translate milk sugar into lactic acid and roll up the milk, while the latter simultaneously cause alcohol fermentation, that is, they decompose milk sugar into ethyl alcohol and carbonic acid.
Alcohol not only gives the drink a certain taste, but also suppresses putrefactive processes in the intestines.
The amount of biologically active substances in kefir depends on the time of its “exposure”. The degree of maturity is weak (it is ripening per day), medium (two days) and strong (2-3 days).
It is easily identified by the release date printed on the package. Weak kefir soothes the stomach and esophagus, and 3-, 4-day has a fixing effect.