“Gut health is critical to overall health.”
Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria along with yeast and viruses that live among these bacteria. Collectively, these microorganisms are called your gut microbiome.
The immune system lies in the gut!
What causes gut issues?
Poor diet is one of the biggest causes of gut issues. While good bacteria thrive on things like fiber and plant foods, bad bacteria and yeast love processed foods and sugar. And when your diet is full of processed foods and sugar, as many Western diets are, the well-fed bad bacteria start to overtake the good. Your diet is so important that it can cause undesirable changes in gut health even in a short period.
Listen to Your Gut: 9 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut That Could Spell Trouble for Your Long-Term Health
Unfortunately, allowing gut issues to go untreated can increase your risks for a variety of diseases and chronic conditions. Take a look at signs of an unhealthy gut to be looking for if you’re worried that “tummy troubles” could be part of a more serious underlying issue.
1. You’re Always Tired
Many people who try to tackle chronic tiredness never think to check gut health because they are unaware of the serotonin-gut link. Serotonin is a hormone that plays a big role in helping us to regulate sleep. That means that restless nights may be linked to an imbalance in the gut that is preventing your body from making proper serotonin output. Leaving reduced serotonin levels unchecked can set you up for long-term sleep disturbances that chip away at your health, energy levels, mood and cognitive abilities.
By now we know there is a strong link between the gut and the brain. Have you ever felt upset, anxious, or stressed about something and symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea and bloating come along as well?
It comes the other way around and that the gut issues may also be causing those emotional feelings.
2. You’re Constantly Dealing With Gas, Bloating, Discomfort and Diarrhea
“The number and diversity, of the bacteria living inside your gut impact your overall health and wellness.”
Gas, in particular, is a sign that food is fermenting in your gut as you have insufficient stomach acid or an imbalance of bacteria to break down the food you’ve eaten.
Gas and discomfort are the two big telltale signs that something is wrong with your digestive system. Several things could be going on if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort. First, there’s a good chance that there’s an imbalance with the bacteria living in your digestive system. This includes your stomach, intestines, colon and gut.
Occasional loose stool affects everyone at some point, but chronic or acute diarrhoea can be a sign of bacteria overgrowth or infection with Clostridioides difficile, a type of bacteria that lives in the gut in small numbers, but can create problems when it multiples. Diarrhoea can also make gut health worse by pushing out the good bacteria in your gut, contributing to even more gut dysbiosis.
3. You Can’t Get Rid of Your Bad Breath
“Bad breath is a sign your gut flora isn’t optimal.”
Chronic bad breath is called halitosis. In most circumstances, halitosis stems from odour-inducing microbes that reside in between your teeth and gums, and on your tongue. It can also be caused by bacteria linked to gum disease.
A breath mint is just a bandage if you’re suffering from halitosis caused by gut issues. Chronic bad breath can form when microbes that live in your mouth are out of whack. Many people with kidney issues or diabetes stemming from improper flora balances in the gut also experience bad breath “without explanation.”
4. You’re Suffering From an Autoimmune Condition
It’s becoming impossible to ignore the potential links between autoimmune conditions and gut health. If you suffer from an autoimmune condition, it’s worth investigating how your diet may be creating immune-response triggers.
Your gut microbiome directly influences your immune system. When your gut is healthy, your immune system is healthy. But when things become imbalanced, it can lead to immune abnormalities, like autoimmune diseases.
Research has connected an unhealthy gut to several autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune liver disease.
5. You’re Experiencing Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiencies
A compromised gut could be to blame if you’re running into vitamin deficiencies even though you eat a balanced diet. The reality is that we should be able to get most of the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to function through diet.
Some vitamins and minerals have a hard time getting absorbed when gut bacteria is not in balance. Here are the deficiencies linked with poor absorption caused by gut issues:
• Vitamin B12.
• Vitamin B7.
• Vitamin D.
• Vitamin K.
6. You’re Experiencing Mood Issues
A compromised gut will affect your ability to use serotonin—your happy hormone—and vitamin D within your body.
Unfortunately, a gut that is compromised due to poor digestion and absorption can greatly reduce your ability to produce and use serotonin and dopamine. This is significant because both serotonin and dopamine greatly impact our ability to maintain happy, stable moods.
Many people resort to taking prescription medications that boost serotonin and dopamine levels when they experience anxiety and depression. However, there is a possibility that creating a balanced gut can help to restore those levels naturally without medication.
7. You’re Dealing With Painful, Skin inflammation and acne
Topical skincare products are often recommended for eczema, psoriasis, acne and other inflammatory skin problems, but in many cases, an unhealthy gut is to blame. Your gut is in direct communication with your skin through what’s called the gut-skin axis.
It plays a role in skin homeostasis and inflammatory responses that keep your skin clear and healthy. Your skin also has a microbiome of its own, and the bacteria in your gut directly influence the balance of bacteria on your skin. An imbalance in your gut can cause an imbalance in your skin that results in painful skin issues like:
• Atopic dermatitis.
8.Weight gain and obesity
Several factors contribute to weight gain, but the bacteria in your gut is one that’s often overlooked. One study looked at the gut microbiome in lean and overweight twins and found that the overweight twins had reduced bacterial diversity—or fewer types of bacteria in their gut.
Certain types of bacteria can also influence weight gain since bacteria help break down food and the way your body absorbs nutrients.
9. Food allergies or sensitivities
“The gut barrier is your gatekeeper that decides what gets in and what stays out.”
If you suffer from food intolerances such as gluten or dairy, this is almost always a result of a leaky gut. When you think about it, our gut is a system that operates entirely on its own. It is a sealed passageway from our mouth to our bottom. Technically, the scope with which it interacts with other organs in our body is somewhat limited.
Anything that goes in the mouth and isn’t digested will pass right out the other end. This is, in fact, one of the most important functions of the gut: to prevent foreign substances from entering the body.
When the intestinal barrier becomes permeable i.e. leaky gut syndrome, large protein molecules escape into the bloodstream. Since these proteins don’t belong outside of the gut, the body mounts an immune response and attacks them. This immune response shows up as food intolerances.
How to support your gut
Fortunately, just like there are a lot of things that can contribute to an unhealthy gut, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your gut health and bring your body back into balance: