Our digestive systems are incredibly complex and it’s easy to see why gut health has become such a hot topic recently. Studies are showing a distinct connection between our gut health and major health concerns like autoimmune diseases, mental health, mood disorders, immune system health, skin conditions, and even cancer.
One of the newest buzzwords in the health and wellness community is the term “microbiome.” Humans have as many as 500 different types of bacteria living in their digestive systems, and these tiny microorganisms make up your gut microbiome. Some of these little critters can be harmful to your health, but many of them have important functions that contribute to overall health.
So, keeping your gut healthy allows healthy bacteria to flourish, which also provides numerous benefits for your overall health. Here’s a look at the signs of an unhealthy gut, plus some steps you can take to improve it.
7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
Tummy Troubles: Tummy troubles like diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, gas, and bloating are sure signs of an unhealthy gut. When your microbiome is functioning as it should, it processes food and eliminates waste more efficiently.
Poor Diet: Do you eat a diet high in refined sugars? If so, the healthy bacteria in your gut are struggling to survive. This allows the harmful bacteria to take over, leading to inflammation throughout the body, and eventually illness and disease.
Food Intolerances: When your digestive system has difficulty digesting specific foods, a food intolerance develops. A lack of healthy gut bacteria can lead to this issue and may result in tummy issues. There is also some evidence that an unhealthy gut can lead to food allergies.
Unexplained Weight Gain or Loss: If you notice a change in your weight that can’t be explained by changes in your eating or exercise habits, it may be a signal of an unhealthy gut. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, your body can’t absorb nutrients or regulate your blood sugar efficiently. Weight loss is often a sign of overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the small intestine, while weight gain can be a sign of insulin resistance or an urge to overeat due to nutrient deficiencies.
Sleep Issues and Chronic Fatigue: Insomnia and other sleep issues can be related to an unhealthy gut, which can result in chronic fatigue. Serotonin, a hormone that affects your sleep and moods, is made in your gut. So, when your gut is unhealthy, your ability to get quality sleep can be impaired.
Skin Problems: When there’s inflammation in your gut due to food intolerances or a poor diet, certain proteins can be leaked into the body. These proteins could lead to skin problems like eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
Autoimmune Disorders: Science is discovering that our gut health has a tremendous impact on the health of our immune systems. An unhealthy gut can cause chronic inflammation throughout the body, which impairs immune system function. This may cause autoimmune disorders, leading to the immune system attacking itself instead of harmful invaders.
Tips for Improving Your Gut Health
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to begin improving your gut health right away.
Start with a Colonic Treatment
Colon cleansing has been used throughout history as an effective way to improve digestion and remove excess waste from the gut. According to the experts in colonics by Rahav Wellness in New York City, this service is meant to rebalance the gut and remove toxins. Just one treatment can reset your gut and begin to relieve digestive issues, clear up skin problems, and reduce inflammation throughout the body. It’s the fastest way to renew your gut health and get things functioning normally again.
Learn How to Manage Stress
It’s no secret that chronic stress is hard on our health, including our gut health. To support a healthy gut, learn how to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Some great ways to manage stress include exercise, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage, and creative hobbies like drawing or writing.
Eating mindfully means slowing down and chewing your food thoroughly. This will help your body digest food better and improve nutrient absorption.
Drinking plenty of water each day is important for many body functions, including your gut health. Staying well-hydrated keeps the mucosal lining of your gut hydrated, which supports your healthy gut bacteria.
Supplement with a Probiotic
Supplementing with a probiotic is an easy and effective way to improve your gut health. Probiotic supplements introduce new, healthy bacteria to the gut. Although they’re not a substitute for eating a healthy diet, they can certainly tip the scales in the right direction.
Consider Food Intolerances
If you are dealing with chronic digestive issues or headaches, food intolerances could be the issue. When you eat foods that your body can’t digest properly, it causes inflammation in the gut, which harms beneficial bacteria. To improve your gut health, consider being tested for food intolerances and making the necessary changes to your eating habits.
Eat a Healthier Diet
If you want to keep your gut healthy for the long term, eating a healthy diet is mandatory. Start by cutting back on refined sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed foods. The majority of your diet should revolve around fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains.
A high-fiber diet supports your gut microbiome, so those fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are especially important. Garlic and onions are considered to be prebiotic foods, which means they feed the healthy gut bacteria.
You should also try to eat some fermented foods each day to introduce more healthy bacteria to your digestive system. Miso, yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchi are all great choices.
Clearly, the human digestive system is much more complex than we realized. Our gut health impacts the health of our entire body, including our brains, heart, immune system, and emotional health. Supporting your microbiome may even prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases. Consider making these healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle for a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.