Research shows that 70 percent of your immune system is located in the gut. It further describes a strong link between the gut microbiome and various health issues, including skin conditions, anxiety, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and depression. Here Is How to Tell If You Have an Unhealthy Gut!

This clearly shows that your gut plays a fundamental role in promoting overall health and wellbeing. But since gut issues may not always present with digestive symptoms, you could be ill yet unaware that your gut is the main problem.

That’s why it’s essential to understand the critical signs associated with an unhealthy gut and what to do about it.

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10 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

An unhealthy gut can present in various ways, including

1.   Unintended weight changes

Unintentional weight loss or weight gain can signal an imbalance in your gut flora. Your gut flora is a host to trillion bacteria, both good and bad, and the key to a healthy gut lies in having a balance between the two.

Any disruption in your gut will increase inflammatory markers, which will impact nutrient absorption, blood glucose regulation, and fat storage, causing a drastic change in your weight. What Makes You Gain Weight?

2.   Skin irritation

An unhealthy gut can result in inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema, spots, psoriasis, and rosacea (a chronic inflammatory skin condition that usually affects the face).

Although an unhealthy gut cannot directly affect your skin, researchers believe that when your gut is populated with harmful bacteria, the immune system triggers inflammation to help fight back. This causes inflammatory skin conditions to occur.

Increased inflammation can also cause your gut to leak out protein, which can irritate the skin and cause more issues.

3.   A high-sugar diet

If your diet is often high in sugar, you could, without a doubt, have an unhealthy gut.

Added sugar or dietary sugar alters the composition of your gut microbiome by decreasing the good bacteria that promote healthy digestion and metabolism while increasing the harmful ones. This is because the bad bacteria feed on the sugar, causing them to multiply.

Over time, there will be an overgrowth of “bad” gut bacteria, leading to chronic inflammation with further gut damage. How To Stop Sugar Cravings?

4.   Sleep disturbances

An unhealthy gut can cause sleep disturbances and insomnia

Research shows that the gut microbiome can affect a wide range of cognitive abilities, mental health, sleep cycle, brain development, and memory formation.

Most hormones responsible for sleep, such as serotonin, are produced in the gut, but an unhealthy gut can cause serotonin depletion, making it difficult to fall asleep.

The good news is that diet plays a significant role in altering the gut microbiota, and by embracing a healthy diet, you can completely reprogram your sleep cycle and enjoy a night of better sleep. 6 Best Sleep Inducing Teas To Drink At Bedtime.

5.   Food intolerances

Food intolerances are common in some individuals, but most can be a sign of an unhealthy gut. This is not the same as food allergy, which is associated with an adverse immune reaction to certain foods, especially proteins.

Food intolerances occur when the gut gets overwhelmed with harmful bacteria, making it difficult to digest trigger foods. This may result in indigestion associated with bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. What Is Quercetin?

6.   Bad breath

Bad breath can be due to different factors such as poor oral hygiene or foods with a pungent smell like garlic and fresh onions. What is  Activated Charcoal Good For?

However, an imbalance in the gut microbiome like an H.pylori overgrowth or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can also cause bad breath. It’s especially a common symptom in H.pylori. Parsley Tea.

7.   Autoimmune conditions

Since a large part of your immune system is located in the gut, any disruption in the gut microbiome may result in autoimmune conditions such as ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

Here Are the Things You Can Do to Fix an unhealthy Gut

1.   Lower your stress levels

A troubled mind can affect you mentally, emotionally, and physically. And while short-term stress can diminish your appetite and slow digestion, chronic stress can cause diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, and indigestion, among other gastrointestinal issues.

Some practical ways to combat stress include walking, meditation, massage, and most importantly, addressing whatever issue causing you stress. How To Reverse Adrenal Fatigue?                 

2.   Eat probiotic and prebiotic rich-foods

Probiotics are good gut bacteria that support a healthy gut and digestion.

They can be found in supplement form or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and fermented vegetables.

Since these foods contain the same bacteria as those in your gut, they will help increase their population, thus leveling out the harmful ones.

To keep your gut bacteria fed and happy, you need prebiotics. This form of fiber cannot be digested but plays an important role in feeding good gut bacteria. Best examples include asparagus, onions, leeks, dandelion root, apples, bananas, flaxseed, radishes, cabbage, and berries.

3.   Get enough sleep

Research shows a strong connection between a healthy gut and sound sleep.

In a study conducted by scientists in Japan, they wanted to ascertain the effects of probiotics (the good gut bacteria) on sleep. So they took a group of students preparing for an exam and divided them into two groups.

One group took a probiotic drink every day for 8 weeks before exams and 3 more weeks after the exams, while the other took a placebo beverage for the same duration. The exam was expected to inflict stress on the students and probably affect their sleep; however, the probiotics group slept better than the placebo. How To Sleep Better?

4.   Stay hydrated

Drinking adequate water may also balance good bacteria in the gut and promote a healthy mucosal lining. Water is also a natural lubricant that helps soften stools, thus preventing constipation. Benefits Of Drinking Water.

5.   Change your diet

Processed foods, added sugar, and processed oils are the common causes of gut inflammation resulting in a series of gut problems.

Replace processed food with whole, natural foods rich in nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy and function properly. How To Transition To A Plant-Based Diet?

6.   Monitor for any food intolerances

Do you experience symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, rashes, diarrhea, nausea, and acid reflux when eating certain foods? You could be intolerant to them, meaning you need to stay off or find a better substitute.

Final Thoughts

A healthy gut is essential for a healthy mind and body. But to understand whether yours is healthy, it’s essential to understand when it’s not.

An unhealthy gut could demonstrate unexplained weight gain, skin irritation, sleep disturbances, food intolerances, bad breath, and autoimmune conditions.

But it doesn’t stop there; embracing different practices such as opting for a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress, staying hydrated, and consuming probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods can help restore your gut health and functions.

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