Six consequences of diseased intestines
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iPhone: Laura Nobbs

The gut microbiome affects the body and mind. If the balance of the intestinal flora is disturbed, this can have health consequences.

The human microbiome is the sum of all the bacteria and microorganisms that can be found in our bodies. The gut microbiome in particular has a huge impact on our health. Because intestinal germs not only affect digestion. Various metabolic processes and psychological well-being are also greatly influenced by the microbiome. If the digestive system becomes unbalanced, this can have serious consequences. Here you can find out what symptoms indicate a disturbed microbiome and what this means for the body.

Disturbed gut microbiota: six consequences of a diseased gut

Although certain strains of bacteria are present in every gastrointestinal tract, the microbiome varies from person to person. A healthy microbiome consists of approximately 100 trillion bacteria. This is not only responsible for digestion. The psyche, the immune system and the development of various diseases are also closely related to the intestine. Illnesses, poor diet, and taking antibiotics can also lead to an imbalance in the gut. As a result, the intestine is improperly colonized, also known as dysbiosis. Unhealthy strains of bacteria spread, expelling beneficial bacteria.

Different bacteria from the gut microbiome can be seen (glyph).
The intestinal microbiome contains more than 100 trillion bacteria (glyph). © Science Photo Library / Imago

If the diversity of protective intestinal bacteria decreases, this can affect the whole body. The following complaints and diseases are associated with disturbed intestinal flora:

  • overweight
  • ignition
  • permeable intestinal barrier
  • mental illness
  • Weakened immune system
  • Diseases such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis

In the long term, incorrect colonization can lead to serious complaints and even diseases. Intestinal bacteria are thus linked to diseases such as diabetes, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and even multiple sclerosis. Because the microbiome is in constant contact with the brain, its state affects the way we think, feel, and act. Even psychiatric disorders such as depression and autism seem to be linked at least in part to gut flora.

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Disturbed intestinal flora: The microbiome affects weight and the immune system

that microbiome It also plays an important role in defense against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. In this way, the intestinal flora ensures that the body’s defenses develop properly. If an imbalance occurs in the intestinal flora, this can also impair the intestinal barrier function. Thus, foreign substances can enter the intestine. This can cause inflammation in the intestines, but also in the whole body.

The microbiome is particularly adaptable. A typical Western diet that is high in fiber, animal fats, and proteins can reduce the diversity of bacteria in the gut. This faulty colonization affects, among other things, calorie intake and satiety. So obesity could be the result of an imbalance in the microbiome. However, those who eat primarily plant-based food can reverse this effect just as quickly.

This article only contains general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not in any way replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not permitted to answer individual questions about clinical images.


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