Thousands of Americans face digestive issues every year. The gut is a complex and incredibly important part of the human body and is often called the body’s second brain.
Maintaining gut health is crucial for the proper functioning of your body. An unhealthy gut has, in fact, been linked to endocrine disorders, mental health, autoimmune diseases, moods, skin conditions, cancer, and the immune system.
Not sure if your gut is healthy? Let’s look at some of the major symptoms of an unhealthy gut, so you can take precautions to improve your gut health.
Symptoms of Gut Problems
If your gut is imbalanced or you’re having issues that point to a bigger problem, they will manifest in different ways. Here are some of the signs of an unhealthy gut.
1. Stomach Upsets
If you frequently experience discomfort, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn, these could be signs of a bad gut. These symptoms indicate that your gut is unable to process food and eliminate waste properly, thereby resulting in an upset system.
If you feel chronically tired and fatigued often, this suggests an imbalance in the chemicals or microorganisms in the gut.
3. Insomnia and Mood Changes
Gut bacteria are responsible for producing several neurochemicals, including serotonin, the hormone that affects your sleep and mood. An unhealthy gut may change your serotonin levels, causing sleeplessness and insomnia. An imbalance of serotonin can also cause anxiety and depression, leading to drastic mood changes.
4. Sugar Cravings
If you frequently eat processed food with high amounts of added sugar, it can affect the good bacteria in your gut. This will cause a further increase in sugar cravings and result in a vicious cycle that could severely damage your gut.
5. Weight Changes
If you haven’t made any changes to your lifestyle or diet but find yourself suddenly gaining or losing weight, it could be related to a gut problem.
If your gut is imbalanced or not functioning properly, it may impair the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, store fat, and absorb blood sugar. This could result in insulin resistance or overeating that can cause weight gain or bacterial growth in the small intestine that will lead to weight loss.
6. Skin Irritation
An unhealthy gut can manifest in different types of skin irritations such as eczema. This is due to inflammation in the gut, which is caused by a poor diet. It may also be due to certain gut proteins being “leaked” into the body, a phenomenon called a leaky gut syndrome. This can then create an autoimmune response in the form of rashes or breakouts on the skin.
7. Migraine and Autoimmune Disorders
If you experience frequent headaches and nausea, it may be linked to a gastrointestinal disorder. Additionally, the bad bacteria in the gut may also trigger autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid issues.
How To Improve Your Gut Health
If you’ve been observing any of the aforementioned symptoms and suspect an unhealthy gut, you should seek medical advice.
Apart from getting a professional opinion, here are some tried and tested ways that can help balance your gut:
- Include probiotics in your diet
- Eat slowly and chew properly
- Limit consumption of processed foods and sugar
- Stay hydrated
- Have a proper exercise regime
- Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
- Reduce or quit smoking
- Try to reduce your stress levels
- Check for food intolerances
- Change your diet to eliminate foods that do not suit you
- Consume high-fiber and collagen-boosting foods
A healthy gut is the secret to a healthy and happy life. Maintaining your gut health can go a long in ensuring your overall health. That’s why it’s important to know what the signs of an unhealthy gut are, so you can take the necessary measures to improve your gut health, thus enriching your general health.