The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis

The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis

What factors may cause such a loss of balance of the protozoa, bacteria, and fungi in the intestines? Certainly one of the first and foremost causes in modern days is the use of Western medical antibiotics. Antibiotics as a class of medicines kill bacteria. Often antibiotics kill bacteria in the body indiscriminately, eliminating all the healthy bacteria as well as any pathological bacteria. Since "good" bacteria in the intestines help to keep populations of yeast and fungi in the guts in their proper numbers, if one wipes out all these healthy bacteria, yeast and fungi populations may soar.

Yeast and fungi populations may also soar due to exposure to certain types of hormones. This helps explain why these populations typically increase during the luteal phase of women’s menstrual cycle and also during pregnancy when progesterone levels are up. However, hormone therapies, including the use of corticosteroids, may also stimulate the proliferation of yeast and fungi in the body.

Further, faulty diet may also contribute to over-growths of yeast and fungi. If you want to grow yeast and fungi in a bucket of water, what do you do? You add sugar. Therefore, diets high in sugars and sweets tend to feed yeast and fungi in the body to an unnatural and unhealthy extent. Human beings are now eating unprecedented amounts of sugars and sweets, which were unavailable to the majority of people only 150 years ago.

According to Chinese medical theory, antibiotics are bitter and cold and can easily damage the spleen if used in too large doses or for extended periods of time. Sweet is the flavor corresponding to earth and which enters the spleen. In very small, naturally occurring amounts, the sweet flavor fortifies the spleen and supplements the qi. However, due to its correspondence with earth (which is damp in nature), the sweet flavor also engenders dampness. When too much sweet is eaten, instead of fortifying the spleen, it damages the spleen and engenders evil dampness. If either antibiotics or overeating sugars and sweets damages the spleen and dampness is engendered, this dampness will obstruct and hinder the free flow of yang qi. The yang qi will become depressed and this depressed qi may transform into evil heat. If this depressive heat mutually binds with this dampness, it then gives rise to internally engendered damp heat.

Estrogen is a yin essence supplement. If taken in excessive amounts for the individual patient’s pattern, estrogen can cause pathological accumulations of dampness and even phlegm (i.e., con gealed dampness). Progesterone is a yang essence supplement. Being yang, progesterone adds yang qi to the system and yang is inherently warm. Thus progesterone in some patients may stir ministerial fire and quicken the transformation of evil dampness into damp heat or simple qi stagnation into depressive heat. Corticosteroids, such as Prednisone, are warm, exterior-resolvers which transform essence into yang qi, which is then upborne and out-thrust. Although out-thrusting is one way of clearing internal heat, because they are yang, corticosteroids may also quicken or make more likely the transformation of dampness into damp heat, especially in those where strong use of exterior-resolving damages yin fluids and leads to yin vacuity with yang hyperactivity.


If yeast and fungi remain in the intestinal tract, they cause only
digestive complaints, such as bloating and gas after meals, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and intestinal pain. However, when yeast multiply unchecked, they may branch out by sending hyphae or tentacles through the walls of the intestines. New fungi then bud from these hyphae and reproduce within the body itself. When these yeast and fungi, which are now on the inside of the body, die, they break down into foreign protein molecules, which the body recognizes as "not me." Hence the body mounts an immune response against these foreign molecules. This immune response may be experienced as an allergic response. Further, because these fungi have breached the intestinal lining with their tentacles, other large molecules, which would not enter the "inside" of the body may pass through. These other large, undigested food molecules may also provoke allergic reactions. This is what is meant by leaky gut syndrome.

If a constant succession of allergic reactions continue day in and day out, over time two things will happen. One, the immune system will lose its perspective of what to attack and what not to attack. It "pops off" at the drop of the hat so to speak, reacting to stimuli as threats to the body, which most people do not. Eventually, if the immune system loses all sense of what it should and shouldn’t do, it may start to attack our own tissues and organs. Then we label the patient as suffering from this or that autoimmune disease depending upon what tissues the body is attack ing. If the body’s immune system is attacking the thyroid gland, then the patient may suffer from autoimmune or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If the body’s immune system attacks the ovaries, causing autoimmune ovaritis, then the patient may suffer from endometriosis. Secondly, because of overwork, the immune system may become fatigued and not very effective at fighting the pathogens it normally should. So patients with this scenario may also easily be invaded by viruses and other disease-causing pathogens most of us routinely and successfully ward off.

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