Digestive dysbiosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and cystitis: the gut-bladder relationship

After an exchange in our Facebook group, I found it useful to report the comments and highlights on the relationship that may exist between digestive dysbiosis and recurrent cystitis.

The human microbiota, when healthy and balanced, provides almost 80% of the body’s immune competence. When we talk about dysbiosis, the physiological balance that exists between the heterogeneous commensal flora that populates the intestine (and is made up of yeasts, bacteria and viruses) and the host (us!) is broken. Therefore, it is useless to specify to what extent intestinal dysbiosis can influence the predisposition to infections, in particular urinary (and more generally in the urogenital sphere).

Genesis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In the case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the “root” cause of the symptoms is usually an intestinal dysbiosis (whose primary origin must be identified and handled for a complete and lasting resolution of the problem to the origin).

After dysbiosis, digestive symptoms appear mainly at the intestinal level (diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, etc.) but also gastric (burns, reflux, heaviness, bloating, etc.). These signs tend to feed themselves into dysbiosis as they generate poor digestion and absorption of nutrients, induce inflammatory processes in the intestinal mucosa and can even lead to the establishment of intestinal hyperpermeability.

All these chain reactions predispose the “terrain” for other cascading problems, including bacterial cystitis (either due to the increase or migration of germs).

Cystitis and IBS/intestinal dysbiosis: the vicious circle

Most of the time, before the appearance of bacterial cystitis, a “standard” medical response is given (according to current recommendations): antibiotic therapy. However, this approach, especially if repeated, will aggravate dysbiosis and thus the procession of IBS symptoms and disorders, creating a “vicious circle” effect.

What to do?

It is important to specify here that Irritable Bowel Syndrome/dysbiosis is almost never the only risk factor for cystitis. On the contrary, it is rather a “deaf” factor that can predispose or maintain the problem. In addition, it is usually installed for a long time when cystitis appears and/or becomes chronic, which is why its management is usually neglected, thus becoming the main cause of relapse or failure in attempts to solve the problem.

Worse still, in the case of antibiotic prophylaxis, this “background” factor can flare up and become preponderant.

In circumstances in which Irritable Bowel Syndrome and recurrent bacterial cystitis coexist, it is therefore necessary to define a management and prevention strategy aimed both at protecting the urinary tract and restoring the balance of the intestinal flora.

As always, this approach (which can be natural) must be “tailor-made” and personalized, taking into account all the shades of cystitis: predisposing and precipitating factors of acute episodes, global balance of the sphere urogenital, etc. plus all the facets of dysbiosis: risk factors, transit characteristics, level of inflammation of the mucosa, existence or not of intestinal hyperpermeability, MCAS, histaminosis, etc.

This may seem complex, but it is simply about putting a solution to each risk factor, so I allow myself to conclude the article by inviting those interested to request personalized advice by email

Also read:

Dysbiosis of the microbiota: is it possible to diagnose it?

Digestive dysbiosis: the return to balance

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