The incredible complexity of the gut and its importance to our overall health is a topic of increasing research. So many studies over the past decade have demonstrated links between gut health and the huge number of illnesses ranging from immune system, mood, mental health to skin conditions and even cancer.
So what is your “gut microbiome”?
The term “gut microbiome” specifically refers to the micro-organisms living in your intestines. A person has between around 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract.
7 signs of an Unhealthy Gut
Below are 7 of the most common signs on an unhealthy gut:
- Upset Stomach
Unsurprisingly, stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut.
- Unintentional weight changes
Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.
- Poor diet
A diet high in processed foods, added sugars and preservatives can decrease the amount of HDL or “good” bacteria in your gut. It works in a viscious cycle where an imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which damage your gut further.
- Constant fatigue or poor sleep quality
An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut, so gut damage can impair your body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.
- Inflammation and skin rashes
Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Evidence suggests that inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.
- Auto-immune conditions
An autoimmune disease is an illness where the body attacks itself. There is a plethora of recent research showing the impact of the gut on the immune system. Researchers believe that an unhealthy gut may impair the proper functioning of the immune system, leading to auto-immune diseases.
- Food intolerances
A food intolerances occurs when you have trouble digesting certain foods (not the same as a food allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods) which, unsurprisingly, can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea.
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