How to Tell if Your Gut Is Unhealthy
The complexity of your gut is nothing short of incredible. In fact, the link between a healthy gut and your overall health is one that might surprise you. Over the last two decades, numerous studies have shown that an unhealthy gut is linked to a myriad of
unpleasant medical and psychological conditions.
Gut microbiomes are the microorganisms which live in your intestines. We have about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in our digestive tract. While some can be harmful, many others are beneficial and even necessary. However, if your gut is unhealthy, you may suffer from ailments you never had before. And it doesn’t matter how healthy your diet or the quality of health supplements you take.
If your gut is unhealthy, it manifests itself in a number of ways:
Stomach issues like constipation, gas, bloating and diarrhea are all signs of an unhealthy gut. When your gut is unbalanced, your body has trouble digesting certain foods, which leads to not only stomach discomfort, but also the often embarrassing above-mentioned symptoms.
Changes in Weight
Losing or gaining weight without following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can also be a sign of an unhealthy gut, particularly when it comes to men’s health. An imbalanced gut impairs your ability to absorb necessary nutrients. It also inhibits your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and store fat properly. Unexplained weight loss can be linked to bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine, whereas weight gain is often attributed to insulin resistance.
People who consume a diet high in processed foods and added sugar usually have a decreased amount of good bacteria in their gut. The imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria can cause excessive sugar cravings. Unfortunately, consuming excessive amounts of sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup, can lead to increased levels of inflammation in your body.
Since inflammation is your gut can create wide-spread inflammation, someone suffering from an imbalanced gut might also suffer from chronic issues like eczema. Inflammation caused by a poor diet can cause leakage of certain proteins, which irritate your skin.
Poor sleep hygiene can lead to feeling poorly overall., but did you know that an unhealthy gut can lead to poor sleep, insomnia and chronic fatigue? Since the majority of your serotonin, the hormone that affects both mood and sleep, is produced in your gut, when things are off kilter, it’s not uncommon to experience sleep disturbances.
Ways to Improve Gut Health
Improving gut health is the best way to improve both men’s health and women’s health, says the experts over at Healthy Body Healthy Mind. First and foremost, you need to do a serious inventory of your diet. How many days do you eat healthy and how many do you consider a cheat day? If you have more cheat days than healthy eating, it’s time for an overhaul. You should strive for at least five days out the week following a low-fat, low-sugar diet that is high in protein and healthy fats.
In addition, you also need to get your stress levels under control. While that’s usually easier said than done, it’s important for both your physical and mental well-being. Mindful eating can also go a long way when it comes to improving your gut health. Take the time to enjoy what you are eating as opposed to eating on the fly. Not only does eating on the fly cause excessive GI symptoms, but it also leads to overeating and poor dietary choices.
Finally, try taking a probiotic to improve your gut health. Not all probiotics are the same, so it’s a good idea to check with your doctor prior to starting one.
Overall your goal should be to eat, sleep and be healthy. Since your gut plays such an active role in your overall well-being, it’s important to identify and treat any conditions which are causing it to function less than perfect.
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