When you think about your body’s well-being, what are you thinking about? There are so many different areas of your overall health…but poor gut health actually shows up in lots of those areas.
Many of us primarily think about how our bodies feel, how strong our immune systems are, our diets, exercise routines, and mental health when it comes to our wellness. But you should also be thinking about the consequences of poor gut health.
What’s Going On In Your Gut, Anyway?
- 1 What’s Going On In Your Gut, Anyway?
- 2 6 Ways Poor Gut Health Shows Up In Your Body
- 3 How To Address Poor Gut Health
Poor gut health is something that people often easily overlook because they don’t realize just how important it is. Recent studies have shown that our gut health connects to lots of different health conditions, including mental health, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, endocrine disorders, and even cancer.
When you think of your digestive system, you may believe that the process is simple. But your gut is about so much more than just eating, absorbing, and letting go.
Why Is It Important To Address Poor Gut Health?
Your gut health is tied to many other systems of the body. If you have poor gut health, you could be jeopardizing your overall health.
How does gut health affect your overall health? Your digestive tract has trillions of bacteria, (more than 100 trillion, actually!). Among those, there are a variety of bad and good bacteria.
Good bacteria help your metabolism. This bacteria can help break down dietary fibers while producing specific vitamins, like B and K. By breaking down fibers, anti-inflammatory fatty acids are released which results in more energy for our bodies. Energy is a good thing!
Bad bacteria still exists though. Taking probiotics can help filter out the bad bacteria with the good. Too many harmful bacteria cause an imbalance in our bodies, which leads to further damage.
By taking care of your poor gut health, you’re repairing your immune system. 70% of our immune system lives in the gut. If something feels off in your immune system, that means something could be wrong in your digestive tract. But knowing the connections means that change can be made.
Lastly, your gut and brain are connected. Your brain sends signals to let your body know what it is feeling. The brain sends signals to the digestive tract to tell you that you’re hungry or that your stomach is upset. If you have poor gut health, your mood can be severely affected.
6 Ways Poor Gut Health Shows Up In Your Body
Here are six signs of poor gut health in the rest of your body.
1. Fatigue Issues
The hormone that influences your mood and sleep patterns, serotonin, is created in the gut. If you have poor gut health, you could be experiencing insomnia or irregular sleep patterns.
And the more your sleep is disturbed, the higher the risk of chronic fatigue or conditions like fibromyalgia.
2. An Upset Stomach
Poor gut health can lead to stomach issues, like frequent gas, heartburn, and bloating. It can also cause irregularity in your stool movement, like constipation and diarrhea.
Your body may have a harder time processing the foods you eat. This can lead to more complications with expelling it.
3. Unintentional Changes in Your Weight
If you have poor gut health, you could be experiencing changes in your weight.
Your body needs to be able to absorb nutrients, maintain blood sugar, and accumulate fat. If your gut isn’t balanced, your body might not be able to do these things. You may be gaining or losing weight because of your imbalanced gut.
Bacteria growth in your small intestines affects weight loss. Insulin resistance and overeating because of a deficit in nutrients can cause weight gain.
4. Autoimmune Disorders
Poor gut health can increase inflammation in the body and change the way your immune system functions.
As a result, our bodies have a higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases. These conditions are usually when our bodies turn on the good things instead of attacking the foreign substances.
5. Irritated Skin or Skin Conditions
People may experience skin irritation, like eczema, because of poor gut health.
If you are not eating healthy or if you’re consuming food allergies, your gut may be inflamed. As a result, there is an increased flow of specific proteins out of the body. This increased protein flow is what causes the skin to become irritated.
6. Food Intolerances
Intolerance to certain foods may come alongside an unhealthy gut. Digestive problems can lead to food intolerances (and yes, these are different than allergies)!
The bacteria in the gut may not be sufficient enough to digest certain foods. As a result, people may experience symptoms similar to that of an upset stomach. This includes abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and gas.
How To Address Poor Gut Health
Poor gut health affects too much of your body to ignore. Now you can focus on the right changes to get you a clean bill of health.
Switch Up Your Diet
Eating too much processed, high-sugar, or high-fat foods can slow down your gut. Focus on finding plant-based meals with lean protein. By also including fiber in your diet, you can positively influence your gut microbiome.
Focus On Reducing Stress
Let’s face it. Stress affects everything, including your gut health!
Try to find ways you can eliminate stress from your life. You can participate in physical activities like meditation, yoga, and walking to release stress. Another great way to relax is spending some time with friends or family. They may be able to help you laugh and bring a smile to your face.
It’s the little things that go a long way.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can negatively affect the lining of your intestines. That lining is where all of the good bacteria live. If the lining isn’t sufficient, the bacteria won’t be either.
By staying hydrated you’re promoting a healthier place for the good bacteria to live. As a result, your poor gut health could improve.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
The relationship between gut health and sleep is a continuous cycle. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your gut health may decline, which can further interrupt your sleep.
Focus on trying for 7 to 8 hours of consistent sleep every night. By making your sleep a priority, you’re taking a step in protecting your gut health.
Talk to a medical professional if you’re experiencing sleep problems or insomnia.
Add Prebiotic or Probiotics To Your Routine To Boost Poor Gut Health
Outside supplements like prebiotics or probiotics can boost your gut health. Prebiotics supplement the growth of bacteria, and probiotics are live bacteria.
You should talk to a medical professional before using prebiotic or probiotic supplements. Those who experience too much bacterial growth should avoid probiotics. There are also some probiotics that don’t offer any benefits. By consulting a doctor, you’re able to choose the best option for you with guidance.
Poor gut health is so much more than just poor gut health. It affects all different parts of the body on a regular basis. Noticing how poor gut health can manifest physically is important. By knowing the signs, you will be able to correct them and improve your health.