General Illness Information
Full digestion of food and body protection is impossible without participation of microbes living in intestine. Disbacteriosis is a condition in which composition of microorganisms inhabiting intestine changes (there are less beneficial bacteria and more harmful bacteria), which leads to gastrointestinal tract disorders.
The human intestine is inhabited by different microbes – “bad”, “good” and “neutral.” Useful microbes – bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and bacteroids are real “friends”. They help in digestion, protect against allergies, support immune system and even reduce likelihood of developing cancer. And they suppress “enemies”:
- Candida fungi.
Under the influence of external factors, this balance is violated – the number of “useful” bacteria is reduced, and harmful microbes begin to host in intestines – a condition called “dysbiosis” develops. Disbacteriosis is not an independent disease, but a manifestation of other diseases or any troubles in body. This condition can accompany gastritis, pancreatitis and other diseases of digestive system, be a consequence of transferred intestinal infection, or develop as a result of prolonged use of antibiotics. An impetus to dysbiosis development can serve even a change in ordinary diet, which often occurs in foreign trips. For such cases, there is even a special term – “traveler’s diarrhea”.
To suspect a dysbacteriosis it is possible at presence of such symptoms as:
- bad breath;
- allergic reactions to harmless products.
In this case it is more correct to address to gastroenterologist. The doctor will send you to a bacteriological analysis of stool and, if necessary, to other studies of the gastrointestinal tract. If disbacteriosis is confirmed, you will be prescribed treatment – diet, probiotics (“useful” microbes in form of powder or capsules), and possibly antibiotics to destroy harmful intestinal bacteria.
Disbacteriosis does not develop in healthy people, it is a kind of signal about the dysfunction in body. Various causes can lead to disbacteriosis development:
- uncontrolled use of antibiotics;
- transferred intestinal infections (dysentery, salmonellosis);
- diseases of digestive system (gastritis, peptic ulcer, intestinal diseases, pancreatitis, cholelithiasis);
- operations on stomach and intestines;
- malnutrition (prevalence in food of spicy, fatty, lack of sufficient amount of plant foods and fermented milk products);
- reduction of body’s defenses.
Diagnosis and treatment of disbacteriosis is performed by a gastroenterologist. To confirm diagnosis, a bacteriological analysis of feces is necessary. As additional research, a doctor may appoint:
- gastroscopy (EGC);
- irrigoscopy – X-ray examination of intestine with its preliminary filling with a contrast agent;
- recto-manoscopy – intestine (up to 30 cm) is inspected with a special device (rectoscope) inserted into anus;
- colonoscopy – study is similar to sigmoidoscopy, but intestine is examined with a length of up to one meter.
Important components of treatment are:
- adherence to a diet. In nutrition it is necessary to include dairy products enriched with bifidobacteria;
- antibiotics or bacteriophages are prescribed in some cases to suppress harmful bacteria in intestine;
- special preparations that normalize composition of intestinal microflora (bifi-forms, bifidumbacterin);
- Treatment, as a rule, allows to restore normal digestion within two months.
Unfortunately, successful treatment of intestinal disbacteriosis does not guarantee getting rid of disease absolutely. The microflora of intestine is very sensitive to external influences and reacts to various malfunctions in human body. To reduce the risk of dysbacteriosis, it is necessary to take antibiotics only on strict indications, to treat catarrhal diseases and diseases of gastrointestinal tract in a timely manner.