Gut Bugs – Parasitic Infections, Bacterial Infections
& Fungal Infections
We are exposed to gut bugs, or really, gut pathogens all the time. In fact, some bugs that we think are unhealthy actually exist in low levels in the normal healthy digestive tract. It is only when the scale gets tipped and there are more pathogens than healthy gut bacterial flora that problems really begin.
Simple things can tip the scales such as anti-biotic use, a high sugar and carbohydrate diet, chronic stress, chronic NSAID or alcohol use… all deteriorate the numbers and diversity of our healthy intestinal bacteria. That is why it can be said for many gut bugs that they are opportunistic. They take advantage of this weakened gut environment and take over. Candida or yeast, which is a fungal infection, is a good example of this.
The two most common gut bugs are Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection that mostly impacts the stomach and esophagus, and Cryptosporidium parvum, a parasite that affects the small intestine. H. pylori is associated with ulcers, acid reflux, burping and belching, and G.I. distress. Cryptosporidium is associated with chronic diarrhea, malabsorption of nutrients and leaky gut.
There are many different gut bugs but all are associated with dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is the loss of balance between healthy gut bacteria that help with many functions and the overgrowth of bad bugs.
The key to treating infections from pathogens is to 1) identify and get rid of the gut bugs and 2) treat the dysbiosis.
Our functional medicine doctors are experts at treating both the infection and the dysbiosis, returning your digestive tract to its healthy state!