If you don’t know what gut health is, it is the function and balance of bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract. Organs like the esophagus, stomach, and intestines work together to allow us to digest food without any obstruction.
However, if we want to keep our digestive system healthy and going, we need to take good care of it. All foods are broken down by the gut to a simple form that enters the bloodstream and delivers nutrients across the human body. But, this all is only possible with a healthy gut, and for a gut to be healthy, it needs to have beneficial bacteria and immune cells. This helps to keep away agents like fungi, viruses, and bacteria. A fit gut interacts with the brain using nerves and hormones.
For a healthy digestive system, you can use gut health supplements or foods like lentils and whole grains. Fresh vegetables and fruits are good for gut health as well. To avoid risks of stomach and colon cancers, you need to ditch charring meats.
Besides healthy food and supplements, you also need to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Antibiotics can wipe out not only harmful but also good germs in the gut. This is why it is advised that you don’t take antibiotics for conditions like sore throats or common colds. These illnesses are due to viral infections and don’t respond to antibiotics anyway.
What are the signs of an unhealthy gut?
Many ‘normal habits’ of our daily life result in compromised health. Increased stress levels, less sleep, consumption of high-sugar foods, and taking antibiotics can really take a toll on your gut microbiome. This, in turn, affects our hormone levels, weight, skin, immune system, heart and can sometimes cause fatal diseases like cancer, yes you read that right!
If you want to examine the health of your digestive system, here are a few symptoms that indicate you have an unhealthy gut.
High sugar diet
Eating processed foods and added sugar could decrease the good bacteria in your gut. This can cause increased sugar cravings, which can damage your gut even more. Refined sugar in large amounts is linked to inflammation in the body.
An upset stomach
Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. These indicate that your digestive tract is having difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.
Fluctuations in weight
If you notice weight gain or loss without making any changes to your diet or exercise, you may be subject to an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can halt your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, store fat, and absorb nutrients. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can lead to weight loss. In contrast, weight gain can be caused by insulin resistance or the urge to overeat due to decreased nutrient absorption.
Food intolerances are due to difficulty digesting certain foods caused by unhealthy bacteria in the gut. This can lead to problems digesting the trigger foods, and symptoms like diarrhoea, gas, bloating and nausea, etc., may occur.
We’ve already established that poor gut health has an impact all over your body and on your general health. Sometimes, skin conditions (like eczema) may be related to your gut health too. Inflammation in the gut may cause increased leaking of specific proteins out into the body, leading to multiple skin conditions.