Gut health has undergone critical research over the past couple decades because it is incredibly complex. The reason for gut health being a hot topic in the medical community is because research has solidified the link between poor gut health and autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, certain cancers, depression, and endocrine disorders.
A healthy gut is essential for a healthy body. An unhealthy gut can cause a lot of other health problems because everything in the body is connected. Just as we had the power to create an unhealthy gut, we also have the power to undo a lot of the damage and reestablish healthy gut bacteria. There is no one trick fix for an unhealthy gut; rather, you have to approach healing from all angles.
There are many things in life that can lead to an unhealthy gut. Too many stress hormones, not enough sleep, eating too many processed or sugary foods, or excessive consumption of medications/antibiotics can damage the gut. Because all of those things are considered to be normal for many Americans, they may not realize the damage that is being done. To help you better understand when you have an unhealthy gut, we’ve detailed the most common signs below.
Unhealthy gut bacteria secrete proteins that are very similar to hunger-regulating hormones, which affect cravings and mood. Bacteria feed on sugar, so you are increasing the population of unhealthy bacteria when you consume sugary foods. The bacteria want us to give them the foods they thrive on, causing you to reach for sweet foods when you aren’t hungry.
When you consume unhealthy foods or foods that may not necessarily agree with your body (we call those food intolerances), you can inflame the gut. Too much inflammation can cause certain proteins to leak out of the gut and into the body. This leakage can irritate the skin, often times resulting in eczema or similar skin conditions.
Bloating, Gas, Or Diarrhea
Often referred to as the hallmark symptoms of poor gut health, bloating, gas, or diarrhea are typically caused by an overabundance of bad bacteria in the stomach, colon, or intestines. Gas, which is commonly caused by food that ferments in the gut, occurs because there aren’t enough good bacteria to break down the food you eat.
While it may seem odd, an unhealthy gut can often cause irregular sleep patterns, chronic fatigue, or insomnia. Serotonin, which is a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is primarily produced in the gut. If the gut isn’t functioning properly, it cannot produce sufficient amounts of serotonin to regulate your mood and sleep.
Halitosis, the medical term for chronic bad breath, is a sign that there is an overabundance of bad bacteria in the gut. These bacteria can make you vulnerable to conditions like kidney infections or chronic bad breath. Having a higher amount of healthy bacteria in the gut helps prevent food fermentation, which can cause foul breath.
More and more research suggests that an unhealthy gut can increase systemic inflammation, altering the way the immune system is supposed to function. When the immune system isn’t functioning like it should, it can begin attacking the body instead of working to neutralize foreign bacteria or viruses.
We hope this information helps you identify when your gut isn’t functioning like it should.