Stomach and small intestine

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Who lives in our stomach?

Although, due to the formation of gastric acid and a very low pH, the stomach is a hostile environment for most microbes, however the few microbes that make up the specific gastric microbiome live and survive in it. If present, Helicobacter pylori is a major but certainly not the only member of the gastric microbiome.

From the stomach continues the small intestine into which the nutrients that we ingest with food and drink are absorbed. Because of this, bile and various digestive enzymes are excreted in the small intestine, which makes it an unfavorable environment for many microbes. That is why, as in the stomach, the small intestinal microbiome is made up of very few microbes.


Name: Helicobacter pylori
Profession: I'm a Gram-negative, spiral bacteria.
Specialization: Causing inflammation of the gastric mucosa – gastritis, the onset of small sores, gastric ulcers and even cancer.
Skills: I live happily in the hostile acid environment of the stomach! How? I secrete urease enzyme, which breaks down gastric juice urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide. Ammonia "turns off" acid, so it doesn't bother me anymore and I can live carelessly. At the same time, I take revenge on the stomach by irritating its mucous membrane and causing disease.


Stomach and small intestine = garden?

Imagine if your stomach and small intestine were one interior garden in which quite specific types of microbes grow. There may be a loss of balance in your microbial garden. This may happen because you were taking antibiotics or other medicines, due to stress or poor nutrition. Think of a garden becoming overgrown with weeds. When the balance of the microbiome is impaired, we are talking about dysbiosis that can contribute to the onset of the disease.

What if good bacteria are found in the wrong place?

What if a large number of bacteria from the oral cavity or, more often, from the large intestine are found in the stomach and small intestine? If there is an increased number or presence of unusual microbes in the small intestine, we say that the person has had a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine or that the person has SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Even good, friendly bacteria consume food and vitamins and interfere with the process of receiving nutrients, so a person who has developed SIBO suffers from vitamin deficiency, bloating and weight loss.