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Imbalanced Microbiotas and Derived Disorders

Microbiomes

The human microbiota corresponds to the set of microorganisms that have colonized your body and with which it coexists: mainly bacteria, but also viruses, fungi, yeasts, and protozoa. Its composition differs depending on the colonized surfaces: we distinguish the skin microbiota, vaginal microbiota, urinary microbiota, respiratory microbiota, ocular microbiota, ear-nose-throat (ENT) microbiota, and the intestinal microbiota, which was previously called intestinal flora and is by far the most important with its 100 trillion microorganisms.

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IMBALANCED MICROBIOTAS AND RESULTING DISORDERS

The human body hosts in its various parts (intestine, skin, vagina, etc.) groups of living microorganisms - bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, etc. - called microbiotas that, when in balance, help us maintain good health. However, when this balance is disrupted (we then speak of "dysbiosis"), it can be associated with different types of disorders depending on the location of the affected microbiota. For example, gastroenteritis, Crohn's disease, some gastrointestinal cancers, but also depression, diabetes, cancer, obesity, some allergies, or even skin diseases like eczema, could be linked to microbiota imbalances. Let's explore the relationship between microbiota and health!

FOCUS ON DYSBIOSIS

The composition of a microbiota is characterized by its diversity (the number of different species present in an individual) and its richness (the total number of microorganisms present). When this composition is altered (a modification of either of these two factors), the balance is disrupted, giving rise to dysbiosis, which may be associated with various diseases, without us knowing for sure whether it is a cause or consequence of them. So, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Science has not been able to answer this question yet.

factors

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MY MICROBIOME

IS IMBALANCED

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Medications

Taking medication (antibiotics, etc.)

without a medical prescription.

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ALCOHOL

Alcohol consumption

and tobacco use

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Stress

Stress

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Infections

Bacterial, viral,

or parasitic infections.

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FEEDING

Sudden change

in environment

and diet.

disorders

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Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease related to an abnormality in the production or use of insulin, which is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Among the environmental factors involved, the intestinal microbiota is mentioned.

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Liver diseases

Highly implicated in the development of certain liver diseases, the intestinal microbiota could become a significant therapeutic target. Alcohol and obesity are responsible for liver diseases.

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Asthma

Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease, which can be serious if left uncontrolled. Like other diseases, the lack of diversity in the microbiota could favor its development.

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Gastrointestinal issues

Functional bowel disorders (FDI), the most common intestinal condition, are a set of chronic digestive symptoms that are not associated with any detectable anatomical abnormality.

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Infectious gastroenteritis

Infectious gastroenteritis, a leading cause of mortality in developing countries, is generally benign and often viral in Western countries. In addition to the usual hygiene measures, probiotics could be useful for your treatment.

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Vaginal candidiasis

Vaginal candidiasis is a common infection in women. The imbalance of the vaginal microbiota could cause its appearance. In general, the fungi involved are from the Candida family.

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Respiratory infections

Fever, bronchitis, tonsillitis, etc. It is difficult to get through the winter without being affected by one of these respiratory infections. Preventively, treatments with probiotics would stimulate immune defenses.

Image by Diego Geraldi

Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease, whose causes are still unknown, still has no effective treatment. However, the role played by the intestinal microbiota is hypothesized, raising hope for new therapeutic perspectives.

Image by Alexander Krivitskiy

Anxiety

It is a pathology shared by many people. Some anxiety disorders may be related to the activity of the intestinal microbiota in regulating stress hormones. The detection of the role played by the microbiota in anxiety disorders provides new clues for their treatment.

Image by Robina Weermeijer

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is characterized by an accumulation of fatty bodies in the wall of the arteries, which can cause anything from simple narrowing to total blockage of blood vessels. The new prevention routes plan to focus on diet and intestinal flora. 

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Lupus

Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus or disseminated lupus, is an autoimmune disease. The intestinal microbiota could be implicated in this disorder.

Image by National Cancer Institute

Anemia

The relationship between microbiota, excess iron in the colon, and its impact on our health. An excess of iron in the colon plays a proinflammatory role, increasing the vulnerability of the intestine and the possibility of colonization by pathogens.

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Obesity

Characterized by an increase in adipose tissue, obesity has an impact on health and life expectancy. Modifications in the composition of the intestinal microbiota are observed in obese patients.

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Food allergies

Food allergies, a constantly evolving phenomenon, remain difficult to treat. But the discovery of the importance of the microbiota in its development has allowed the introduction of new treatments. 

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Eczema

Allergic eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin disease that combines skin dryness and itching. This non-contagious dermatosis is favored by a predisposition to allergies in which the microbiota would play an important role.

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Traveler's diarrhea

Traveler's diarrhea, generally benign, is one of the most common infections of bacterial origin that temporarily alters the intestinal microbiota.

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Stomach cancer

Colorectal cancer and stomach cancer are two digestive cancers in whose origin the intestinal microbiota undoubtedly plays an essential role. 

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Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis reflects an imbalance in the vaginal bacterial flora in which different pathogens may be involved. Treatment with probiotics has been evaluated, especially for the prevention of relapses.

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Prostatitis

Prostatitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the prostate. It can have an infectious origin in the case of acute inflammation: in general, the bacteria that causes it is Escherichia coli. Chronic cases would imply an imbalance of the urinary microbiota.

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Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in France. It progressively destroys brain neurons that produce dopamine. Its relationship with a disturbance of the intestinal microbiota has been demonstrated.

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Mood State

Depression and bipolar disorders signal a mood disorder. Along with classic psychiatric treatments, research is being carried out to evaluate the impact of the intestinal microbiota on these disorders.

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Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease encompasses a set of problems caused by insufficient oxygen supply to the heart muscle.

Image by Megan Bagshaw

Acne

Acne, a very common skin disease during adolescence, is caused by hormonal changes associated with an imbalance in the cutaneous microbiota in favor of a bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes.

Image by Angélica Echeverry

Thyroid

The microbiota plays a role in the absorption and utilization of essential minerals for thyroid function: iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron are the most important ones in this regard.

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