vitality_rx (vitality_rx) wrote,

The 4 types of Bacterial Dysbiosis [imbalanced intestinal flora]

Bacterial Dysbiosis

Bacterial dysbiosis results from the same situation as Candida overgrowth, namely disruption of normal intestinal flora by the the various factors mentioned previously. When the normal balance of organisms in the intestines is disturbed, potentially pathogenic bacteria are able to thrive. Common bacterial infections found on CDSA tests include klebsiella and proteus species as well as various strains of e.coli. It should be noted that doctors who routinely use diagnostic tests such as CDSA's and organic acid testing often find evidence that Candida and bacterial overgrowth are both present in the same patient.

According to Dr. Leo. Galland, a New York physician specializing in gut dysbiosis, there are 4 distinct types that can occur, these being:

1. Putrefaction
2. Fermentation
3. Deficiency
4. Sensitization


Putrefaction dysbiosis results from diets high in fat and animal flesh and low in insoluble fiber which increases transit time and allows ingested material to putrify in the colon. This results in an increased concentration of Bacteroides species and a decreased concentration of Bifidobacteria species (friendly bacteria) in the stool. The change in composition of the gut flora leads to an increase in bacterial enzymes which amongst other things can increase cancer causing substances, play a role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cause diarrhea and interfere with the body's hormones (14, 15, 16, 17). As there is a decrease in friendly bacteria, the production of short chain fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients is decreased. There is also an increase in ammonia which can have negative effects on numerous bodily functions, especially liver/detoxification pathways and brain functions. Research has implicated this type of dysbiosis in contributing to colon cancer and breast cancer.

Fermentation/Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

This type of dysbiosis is commonly referred to as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO. This is due to the fact that it involves overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine rather than the colon. The result is the same type of problem as with yeast overgrowth (also predominantly in the small intestine) whereby the sufferer develops an intolerance to carbohydrate. Any carbohydrate ingested is fermented by the bacteria and results in production of toxic waste products such as organic acids (acetic acid, lactic acid etc) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S), all of which are potentially toxic in increased amounts and can lead to acidosis. The bacteria also compete with the patient for nutrients, potentially leading to malnutrition, and may also damage the cells of the intestine (18). A study at Biolab Medical Unit in London, UK, found that patients with increased gut fermentation also had increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome (19). These findings have also been replicated elsewhere (20).

Typical symptoms of SIBO include:

+ Diarrhea
+ Anemia
+ Weight Loss
+ Malnutrition
+ Flatulence
+ Abdominal Pain

It is likely, due to the increased production of organic acids and other metabolites that end up in the circulating blood, that SIBO can cause a much wider range of systemic complaints, as suspected with Candida overgrowth, but these are obviously much more difficult to document.

Unlike Candida overgrowth however, a reliable test is available to diagnose SIBO. The test is known as the breath hydrogen test and measures the amount of hydrogen on a patient's breath a specified amount of time after they have ingested a sugar solution. An elevated level of hydrogen indicates an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. The breath hydrogen test is now in common use and has been used in multiple published studies (21, 22, 23).


Use of antibiotics or a diet low in soluble fiber may create an absolute deficiency of normal gut flora, including Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus and E. Coli. As a result of deficiency the human host will be deprived of the nutrients usually supplied by the gut flora and deficiencies may result. There will also be weakening of the immune system and hence a reduced resistance to infection. Deficiency has been linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and food intolerance. Deficiency and putrefaction dysbiosis often occur simultaneously.


Sensitization dysbiosis refers to a condition where there is an increased immune response to the normal gut flora. This situation may be associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease, spondyloarthropathies, other connective tissue disease and skin disorders like psoriasis or acne. One study at King's College, London, UK, found that IBD patients produced a higher than normal number of IgG antibodies in their intestines and that these antibodies were directed against the intestinal bacteria (24). The immune system may be overreacting to the bacteria themselves, or substances produced by them. Intestinal bacteria may play a part in autoimmune diseases as the immune system first reacts to bacterial antigens and then cross reacts with the body's own cells with a similar protein structures. Sensitization and fermentation types of dysbiosis may go hand in hand, just as deficiency and putrefaction do.

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