The role of the gut microbiome is complicated, especially in disease. It is presently being studied and believed to play a role in the severity of many diseases. However, it is difficult to say for sure (unless you are monitoring yourself years before disease onset) if the gut dysbiosis (imbalance) comes before disease onset or because of disease onset. However, we know that the majority of people with diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS suffer from some form of dysbiosis.
The gut microbiome plays a role in gut motility (peristalsis), as do nerves and muscles. It also plays a functioning role in inflammation, immune system regulation, and some metabolic regulation including hormones. ALS is characterized by the loss of motor neurons. ALS studies have recorded increased gut permeability, increased inflammation, and decrease in gut microbiome species. Constipation is a major complaint of ALS sufferers, which is most likely due to motor neuron degeneration. Constipation itself can cause a cascade of gut health issues that loop on each other.
Because there are several cyclic issues, the main focus becomes finding ways to alleviate discomfort. You can’t change the disease; however, you can change or work to improve the gut microbiome, which can alleviate some of the quality of life issues. This must be done actively and consistently because the disease progression and necessary medications both actively work against a balanced gut microbiome. By working to improve the gut microbiome, you may also relieve symptoms, improve the immune system, improve nutritional absorption, and decrease brain fog.