Your gut plays a vital role in how you process and absorb nutrients. It also helps to regulate your immune system and produces vital nutrients, hormones and neurotransmitters. Unless you have some sort of magic camera, to see what’s going on inside, it’s hard to know exactly what is going on in there, that is until you start experiencing some negative symptoms.
But what are the symptoms of an unhealthy gut, I hear you ask? Well, there are several, but here are a few common signs and symptoms that can indicate something is up with your gut. Of course your gut may not be the only reason you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, but its definitely worth considering how your gut might be playing a part.
These symptoms could be linked to a bacterial imbalance (aka dysbiosis), such as an overgrowth of one variety of bacteria or they could be linked to your gut’s ability to grow and house healthy bacteria. It is important to listen to your body and think holistically about what is going on with your health before acting.
And as always, if your symptoms are distressing and severely impacting on your day-to-day life, do seek medical advice.
Constipation or diarrhoea—If you’re not going poo every day or your stools are hard or loose it could mean that something is amiss with your microbes.
Excessive wind and bloating—A certain amount of wind is a normal part of the natural fermentation process that takes place in your gut. But, there are some bad bacteria that produce excessive wind, which can get trapped and cause bloating.
Skin complaints—Suffering with eczema, psoriasis or acne? Your gut bacteria may be to blame. Many of the nutrients vital for healthy skin (i.e. Vitamin E and antioxidants) are made more accessible for absorption as a result of the fermentation process that takes place in a healthy gut.
Food allergies or sensitivities—You can’t have dairy or certain fruits or vegetables? Allergic reactions are immune responses. About 80% of your immune system, your body’s natural defence, is in your gut and can be compromised by an imbalance in your gut microbes.
Bad breath—H. Pylori bacteria imbalances can cause bad breath as well as ulcerations (ie stomach ulcers).
Sugar cravings—There are certain bacteria living in your gut, and more prevalent in the gut of those who eat lots of sugar. These bacteria essentially send messages to your brain asking for more, causing them to outnumber other beneficial bacterial groups.
Mood disorders and/or brain fog–The gut produces hundreds of neurochemicals that regulate mental processes such as learning, cognition and mood. Your gut bacteria also produce and help you to absorb key micronutrients associated with brain health.
If you are experience one or more of these symptoms and would like to improve your gut health and reduce experiences of these symptoms using food, get in touch and book a call to discuss how I can help.