These days, the topic of conversation seems to be firmly planted on gut health and what it means for our bodies. Scientists have discovered just how significant the health of our gut can be and why balancing the flora within is so important. We’re going to explore the symptoms of poor gut health, how you can make improvements and the ways that you’ll benefit from a healthy gut.
Not that long ago, we looked at our digestive system as one simple thing that was essentially a tube that our food passed through. These days, we understand that within the gut is an intricate system of various microorganisms that live in our intestines and play a huge role in the body.
Gut health is getting a lot of attention in recent years and whether it’s fermented foods, kombucha tea, probiotic supplements, or special diets, there are so many solutions out there for improving it. The reason for this attention is the many symptoms and side effects we feel as a result of poor gut health and just how impactful they can do, and so we look for ways to make it better.
For those new to the topic of gut health, it can seem complex. However, the inner workings of the gut are relatively simple and it’s a matter of knowing what foods and other things will affect it. We’re going to explore deeper the common symptoms you might feel when your gut health isn’t at its best, how you can improve it, and what other things gut health has been linked to.
Why Is Gut Health So Important?
Now that we have begun to understand that our digestive system isn’t as simple as we first thought, we’re putting more focus on what we do to impact it. The digestive system is now known to be complex, and more than just a tube for food to pass through, actually comprised of many different species of bacteria.
Gut microbiome is a term used to describe the many microorganisms that live in the human body, especially in the intestines. Each person will have around 300 to 500 different species of these bacteria that live in their digestive tract. For the most part, these microorganisms are beneficial for the human body, but there are some that are harmful.
When talking about health, the aim is to have more of these good bacteria around and less of the bad, thus finding the perfect balance. Achieving this balance can be done by adjusting our diets and other lifestyle choices, but the rewards are well worth it. With more of the good bacteria, we’ll have better immune systems, be able to fight obesity, and even reduce depression, among other benefits.
Though it’s still early days in research on the issue, studies that have already been done in recent years have linked gut health with many other areas of the body. Our mental health, immune system, skin, and other organs, and overall mood can all be impacted by it, making it a crucial bodily function to understand.
Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
As we can’t see inside our intestines or take a peek into our gut, it’s hard to know whether things are healthy down there. There are many things that contribute to poor gut health like poor diet or high-stress levels, but for others, there may be no obvious indicators.
This is why we rely on specific symptoms to give us some insight into how healthy or unhealthy our body may be. If you suspect your gut health needs improvement or just want to know what to be aware of, we’ve got some signs that could indicate a poor balance of these microorganisms.
- High sugar diet
Those who knowingly eat a high sugar diet could see this as an obvious symptom of poor gut health. Good bacteria can be damaged with processed and high sugar foods, and the bad bacteria have more to feed on.
- Weight changes
Unintentional weight gain or weight loss could be a sign that things aren’t healthy. When your gut health isn’t ideal, it might not be able to store nutrients or regulate your blood sugar. This could cause weight loss or weight gain, even when no diet changes have been made.
Having sleep disturbances or feeling fatigued throughout the day are indicators of poor gut health. This is due to the serotonin, which is predominantly made in the gut, not being made as it should.
- Upset stomach
This common symptom of bad gut health includes things like gas, bloating, pains, and diarrhea. This is due to your gut not being able to process foods properly.
- Food Intolerances
Some research suggests that food intolerances are a direct result of your gut bacteria not being able to process food correctly and being unable to digest certain foods.
- Skin irritation
Conditions like eczema or dry skin may be present when gut bacteria is poor. This is due to the fact that proteins may leak from the gut into the body which then shows up with a reaction on your skin.
- Autoimmune conditions
An autoimmune disease occurs when your body starts to attack itself rather than intruding infections, and it’s believed to be linked to poor gut health.
Ways You Can Restore Gut Health
Feeling any of these symptoms can be worrying, but if you believed they’re caused by poor gut health then they can be fixed. There are some great things you can do that will instantly improve the health of your gut and they don’t include any dramatic lifestyle changes.
- Aim for around 7-8 hours of sleep each night to ensure you are getting adequate rest.
- Take time to chew your food while eating and never rush your food. This will make less work for your digestive system when it passes through.
- Make an effort to lower your stress levels through things like massage, yoga, meditation, exercise, and talk therapy.
- Keep hydrated and drink at least two liters of water a day, or eight 8oz glasses. Being hydrated helps balance the bacteria and improves intestinal lining.
- Add a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to your daily routine.
- Reduce the high sugar and processed foods that you eat and replace them with natural foods, as well as some fermented ingredients.
- Figure out if you have any food intolerances and avoid those that can trigger you.
How Fast Gut Health Can Change
We now know that diet has the ability to shift the balance of bacteria within the gut, which is good news for those who want to make a change. There have already been several studies that prove these microorganisms can change quickly through diet alone, and in some cases, it’s been shown to happen within just 24 hours.
By making a simple alteration to your diet by introducing new foods or removing those that could be doing it harm, you will be able to feel the benefits within days. This could improve more focus and a clearer mind, increased energy, better moods, and the ability to fight off infections.
Knowing that we can alter our gut profile in this short amount of time makes it promising for anyone looking for relief. Unlike other diets or supplements where you might need to wait weeks or months to feel the results, your gut health can change quickly and dramatically with the right choices.
Taking Care of Your Gut So the Rest of Your Body Can Benefit
The wonders of modern medicine and science have shown us just how big of a role our gut health plays in determining the rest of our health and wellbeing. This balance of good and bad bacteria has been linked to all kinds of conditions including cancer, obesity, depression, and more, so the more we can learn about it the better.
Thankfully, we know now enough about gut health to understand what will impact it. Through making smart food choices and limiting our intake of things that can help the bad bacteria to multiply, we’ll be giving our bodies a huge boost in immunity and preventing the various other conditions and symptoms that come with it.
Taking these measures to improve the health of your gut is easy to do, whether you want the quick fix of a probiotic supplement or want to eliminate certain foods from your diet that have an impact. The good news is that the results can be felt relatively fast, so you’ll notice a huge improvement in your health in no time at all.
Gut health is still in its early stages as far as research and there’s no doubt that the more we find out the more we’ll be able to benefit. What is known is that these tiny bacteria living in our intestines play a major role in our overall health, so it’s important to give them the attention they need.
Last update on 2021-02-26 at 14:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API