Too Much Bacteria In Gut


Signs Your Gut Needs Support

How to optimize your gut and brain bacteria | Dave Asprey | Big Think

Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria along with yeast and viruses that live among these bacteria.

Collectively, these microorganisms are called your gut microbiota. Their collective genes make up the gut microbiome.

Although everyones gut microbiome shares some similar characteristics, there are also vast differences.

As Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., a gastroenterologist and internationally recognized gut health expert, puts it you are one-of-a-kind with a gut microbiome as unique as a fingerprint.

When the bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that live in your gut are in balance, the rest of your body is often in harmony, too.

However, when a bacterial imbalance occurs , it can lead to suboptimal gut health, and if not supported or corrected, this can affect the rest of your body.

Here are some common factors affected by gut health, and how to optimize yours.

What Foods Kill Bad Bacteria In The Gut

There are many herbs and plant foods that kill bacteria in the gut. The problem is that they kill good bacteria too.

We cant say it enough: a happy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. Right now, we dont know enough to say that any substance will only kill bad bacteria in the gut. If you use any of the following, its likely your good bacteria will take a hit too.

Risk Factors For Bacterial Gastroenteritis

If you have a weakened immune system because of an existing condition or treatment, you may have a higher risk of bacterial gastroenteritis. The risk also increases if you take drugs that decrease your stomachs acidity.

Handling food incorrectly can also raise your risk of bacterial gastroenteritis. Food thats undercooked, stored too long at room temperature, or not reheated well can aid in the spread and survival of bacteria.

Bacteria can produce harmful substances known as toxins. These toxins can remain even after reheating food.

. To find out which type of bacteria is causing your infection, you may be asked to provide a stool sample for analysis.

Your doctor may also take a blood sample to check for dehydration.

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How To Get Rid Of Bad Bacteria In The Gut

We hear a lot about good and bad bacteria these days. Trying every new friendly bacteria food and drink product on the market would be a full-time job. And what about the herbs, teas and plants were told get rid of bad bacteria? If were increasing our friendly bacteria with a yoghurt drink or sauerkraut, why would we then get rid of them by cooking with oreganoan anti-bacterial herbfor example?

It doesnt really make sense, until you dig a bit deeper. Read on to find out why blaming bad bacteria for your symptoms is oversimplifying a very complex situation.

What Is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

Life is a gut reaction

Do you have uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating or abdominal pain after eating? Struggling with gas, constipation, or diarrhea? You may have a condition known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or commonly known as SIBO. In this condition, the bacteria, which should normally be in your colon, inappropriately move into the small intestine where they can cause a myriad of uncomfortable digestive symptoms.

Just as a quick overview, the small intestine is where food is further digested by enzymes and acid after receiving it from the stomach. The colon, which anatomically follows the last part of the small intestine, has bacteria in it that further help digest and absorb nutrients. Now if those bacteria move into the small intestine, where they are not supposed to be, the bacteria feed on the food you are trying to digest, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, pain, and bloating. Thats no good!

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The Large Intestine: Meet Your Magical Microbiome

Although there are microbes in your small intestine, your large intestine is the seat of your microbiome. Its where your bacteria get to work on your food, producing all sorts of substances which, in an ideal world, keeps them happy and you healthy.

Today, very few of us live in an ideal world, so your large intestine is also where things can go wrong. Its where the ecosystem we mentioned earlier can go awry, resulting in a lack of microbial diversity and dysbiosis. For you, that can mean gut symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

Dysbiosis can also result in:

Gut Bacteria And Obesity

Besides probiotics, other gut bacteria could also protect humans from obesity. Bacteroidetes phylum, particularly Bacteroides spp., was suggested to be mainly responsible for protection against increased adiposity . More complex bacterial interactions and associated metabolic disturbance were involved in protection against increased adiposity. The study also showed that microbial protection from increased body mass was only possible when the hosts have a suitable diet. In addition, a study showed that mice were protected against high-fat diet induced obesity by modified E. coli Nissle 1917 expressing either N-acylethanolamines or their precursors . Therefore, targeting gut bacteria may provide a novel way for the treatment of obesity.

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Identify And Eliminate Your Specific Food Triggers

While there are some foods, like refined sugars, that are known to contribute to gut imbalance in most people, its possible that you have specific food sensitivities and personalized nutrition needs when it comes to optimizing your gut health.

If you keep eating the a food that you’re sensitive to, it can lead to immune reactivity and contributes to gut imbalance.

The key to good gut health is identifying and eliminating your food triggers to allow your gut to thrive.

The simplest way to identify individual food response differences is an elimination diet, in which you eliminate common food triggers for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce them, looking out for how you feel along the journey.

Several companies offer at-home testing kits that you can use to confirm which food may be your personal triggers.

While the science behind these food sensitivity testing may not be perfect, if you are able to identify some of your food triggers, eliminating them for at least 30 days could help get your gut on the path to success.

How Do We Test For Sibo

How To Get Rid of SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth) With Intermittent Fasting Dr.Berg

Comprehensive Stool Analysis- this test looks at the balance of bacteria in your gut microbiome. It provides information regarding bacterial, yeast, ova, and parasite overgrowth.

Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test- This non-invasive test is performed typically after 12 hours of fasting and requires ingesting a precise amount of sugar and measuring your breath every 15 minutes for 3 hours. If bacteria are present within the small intestine, they end up fermenting the sugar, producing hydrogen, methane, or both, which are absorbed into the bloodstream, and breathed out .

Urine organic acids testing– This test evaluates one urine sample for byproducts of yeast and bacteria. If out of range, it can indicate yeast or bacterial overgrowth.

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Move Your Body Regularly

Getting regular exercise is also an important step in getting your gut into a balanced state.

According to one research review on the effects of exercise on the gut microbiome, aerobic exercise can increase the amount of bacteria in your digestive tract and contribute to overall bacterial diversity.

While any movement can help, it appears that the more physically fit you are, the more diverse your microbiome is.

If youre sedentary, start small by exercising a couple days a week, then work your way up to including exercise as part of your regular, everyday routine.

Gut Bacteria And Liver Diseases

The gut and liver have a close interplay based on the evidence that the gut absorbs beneficial substances produced by the liver. The liver receives approximately 70% of its blood supply from the intestinal venous outflow, which represents the first line of defense against gut-derived antigens and is equipped with a broad array of immune cells, including macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells, to accomplish this function . Gut bacteria play a key role in the maintenance of gut-liver axis health. Ethanol, ammonia, and acetaldehyde produced by the intestinal microflora are generally metabolized by the liver and control Kupffer cell activity and cytokine production.

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Why Is There Bacteria In The Gut

There is a negative perception surrounding gut bacteria. Some people think that all of them cause disease.

Yes, there are harmful ones. However, there are also friendly microbes that help you stay healthy.

Bacteria make up 90% of microorganisms found inside the human gut. They are introduced into the human body from birth to adulthood.

The bacteria in your gut help you maintain good health by:

  • Aiding in digestion

Too Much Sugar Can Reduce Beneficial Bacteria Leading To A Leaky Gut Syndrome


An increase of pathogenic bacteria, which is the species of microorganisms that cause diseases, can lead to a condition known as dysbiosis. An increase of this type of bacteria causes changes to the internal mucosal barrier of the intestine.With the reduction of beneficial bacteria along this barrier, its permeability is altered, allowing harmful substances to pass through. This then leads to leaky gut syndrome, which launches an inflammatory immune response targeting the substance that leaks through the intestines of the wall.

What does sugar do to gut bacteria?

The effect of sugar on gut bacteria varies based on the type of bacteria involved. The gut microbiome is home to many kinds of bacteria and may not react to sugar the same way.

Bacteria, however, need energy, and sugar can be broken down to provide this energy for the bacterias growth. When a person has a high sugar diet, some of these sugars make their way into the gut microbiome, and this gives some bacteria the energy to multiply, throwing off the balance in the microbiome.

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What Foods Trigger Sibo

While foods arent the original cause of SIBO, certain foods do encourage the overgrowth of the wrong bacteria in the small intestine. If youre feeding them their favorite foods, they’re going to grow more, and that will trigger more of your SIBO symptoms. By the same token, you can help reduce the overgrowth by starving the problematic bacteria of their favorite foods. This strategy has led to a number of proposed SIBO diet plans. The diets vary, and so do individual results. But in general, they tend to recommend limiting carbohydrates. These include:

  • Sugars and sweeteners.

The Effects Of Too Much Good Bacteria In The Intestines

Probiotics are beneficial microbes, many of which are located in your gut. They’re also found in your diet in foods such as miso, yogurt, tempeh and kefir, as well as supplements. While probiotics offer health benefits, taking too many — or under the wrong conditions — can cause side effects. Consult your physician first if you’re considering taking a probiotic supplement.

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Home Remedies For Mild Cases

If you have a milder case, you may be able to treat your illness at home. Try the following:

  • Drink fluids regularly throughout the day, especially after bouts of diarrhea.
  • Eat little and often, and include some salty foods.
  • Consume foods or drinks with potassium, such as fruit juice and bananas.

A few ingredients you may have at home can help keep your electrolytes balanced and treat diarrhea. Avoid eating dairy, fruit, or high fiber foods to keep diarrhea from getting worse.

Over-the-counter medications that neutralize your stomach acid can help. Medications that treat symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain can help ease the stress and pain of the infection.

However, do not take OTC treatments unless your doctor tells you to do so. Go to the hospital if you cant keep any fluids down.

Many bacteria can cause gastroenteritis, including:

  • Yersinia, found in pork
  • Staphylococcus, found in dairy products, meat, and eggs
  • Shigella, found in water and often swimming pools
  • Salmonella, found in meat, dairy products, and eggs
  • Campylobacter, found in meat and poultry
  • E. coli, found in ground beef and salads

Bacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks can happen when restaurants serve contaminated food to many people. An outbreak can also trigger recalls of produce and other foods.

Bacteria that cause gastroenteritis can be easily transmitted from person to person if someone carries the bacteria on their hands.

What Are Gut Bacteria

How to STOP Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth(SIBO)? Dr. Berg

Living inside of your gut are 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria containing nearly 2 million genes. Paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, they make whatâs known as the microbiota, or the microbiome.

Like a fingerprint, each person’s microbiota is unique: The mix of bacteria in your body is different from everyone else’s mix. Itâs determined partly by your motherâs microbiota — the environment that youâre exposed to at birth — and partly from your diet and lifestyle.

The bacteria live throughout your body, but the ones in your gut may have the biggest impact on your well-being. They line your entire digestive system. Most live in your intestines and colon. They affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system.

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Good Gut Health For Overall Health And Wellness

Your overall health and wellness depend on various systems working together efficiently. Each of your organs is dependent on one another. If one fails, a chain of reactions happens.

People with poor gut health experience frequent bloating, excess gas, and chronic fatigue. And they are more prone to developing diseases, such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Good Versus Bad Bacteria

Bacteria living in your gut are a mixture of both good and bad types. You may think that you want to remove all the bad bacteria from your body and only keep good bacteria. However, it is actually a balance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria that is considered healthy.

The good bacteria are types such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and others.

The good bacteria help our digestive system by helping us digest food, maintaining a healthy gut, providing us with nutrients and vitamins, and fighting off bad bacteria. You can add good bacteria by taking probiotic supplements.

When bad bacteria outnumber good bacteria, they start creating health problems.

Bad bacteria include types that cause disease such as Salmonella, Clostridium, and others. Yeasts, such as Candida, are not harmful in small amounts. They only become problematic when their number grows uncontrollably.

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Lack Of Vitamins And Mineral

Your body relies on your gut to create and synthesize the essential vitamins and minerals it needs.

If the good bacteria in your gut isnt helping to convert food into nutrients, it means your digestive system has a problem.

Any food you consume wont be digested properly and its going to result in a vitamin and mineral deficiency.

This can be serious especially when you consider that iron, magnesium, vitamin B12, B7, and D, cannot be produced by your body. You can only get it from healthy food.

So if your annual physical shows youre lacking those things, you probably have an unhealthy gut.

Terrain Theory: Building A Better Environment For Gut Bacteria

Good vs Bad Bacteria in the Gut

Its tempting to place blame on one offending microbe, like candida or a parasite, and simply eliminate that microbe to regain a healthy gut. Attack the invader directly, kill it, and everything should go back to normal, right?

In reality, this approach can create more problems than it solves. When we go straight to antibiotics, whether pharmaceutical or herbal, they often create a situation where only some of the bad bacteria dies off, and it resurges with a vengeance after the antibiotic course has been completed.

Or, even if the antibiotic works and completely gets rid of the microbe, odds are good that another microbe will simply take its place, and the problem starts all over again. This is often the case with candida overgrowth post-antibiotics. Patients end up playing a frustrating game of ping-pong between antibiotics and antifungal medicines.

So whats the alternative? Instead of pinpointing and attacking a single type of bacteria, we want to look at the overall environment in the gut, the gut terrain, if you will. Bad bacteria are much less likely to proliferate in a healthy gut.

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How To Balance Your Gut Health

If you experience any of these various symptoms, its best to get checked out by a doctor to determine if your symptoms are due to an unhealthy gut or other factors. From there, you may also want to visit a naturopathic doctor who specializes in gut health.

A naturopath may opt to put you on a specialized diet or perform tests to see if you have food triggers and sensitivities that might be causing an imbalance in your gut. “The very first step in healing the gut is to identify and remove the offending foods. If you stop eating the food that is affecting the lining of the intestines, this can give your gastrointestinal tract a break and give it a chance to heal,” says Parrish.

A naturopath can also help identify if you have bacterial overgrowth, yeast, or parasites that are affecting your gut health.

From there, a naturopath will likely recommend tailored foods and supplements that can help repair your gut, including probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, glutamine, fish oil, and more.

Addressing your lifestyle habits can also help. “Balancing other aspects of health can restore your gut to optimal functioning, says Parrish. its amazing how much stress plays a role in digestion, as well as sleep.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol is addictive, highly toxic and can have harmful physical and mental effects when consumed in large amounts .

In terms of gut health, chronic alcohol consumption can cause serious problems, including dysbiosis.

One study examined the gut flora of 41 alcoholics and compared them to 10 healthy individuals who consumed little-to-no alcohol. Dysbiosis was present in 27% of the alcoholic population, but it was not present in any of the healthy individuals .

Another study compared the effects of three different types of alcohol on gut health.

For 20 days, each individual consumed 9.2 ounces of red wine, the same amount of de-alcoholized red wine or 3.4 ounces of gin each day .

Gin decreased the number of beneficial gut bacteria, whereas red wine actually increased the abundance of bacteria known to promote gut health and decreased the number of harmful gut bacteria like Clostridium.

The beneficial effect of moderate red wine consumption on gut bacteria appears to be due to its polyphenol content.

Polyphenols are plant compounds that escape digestion and are broken down by gut bacteria. They may also help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol .


Generally speaking, alcohol consumption has a harmful effect on gut bacteria. However, the polyphenol content in red wine may have a protective effect on gut bacteria when consumed in moderation.

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