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Signs of an Unhealthy Gut + How to Make it Better

“Don’t underestimate the importance of these tiny creatures-gut bacteria- they can make or break your health”.

Introduction

Healthy gut bacteria are powerful small organisms dedicated to benefit your health.

Read our previous blog: what are gut bacteria? Why would you care?

 Stress, lack of sleep, adulterated pesticides and herbicides treated food, meat from hormone raised animals are intertwined with the current society we live in. This situation negatively impact gut bacterial assembly.

The gut assembly is highly complex and dynamic. There is equilibrium between good and bad bacteria. When this equilibrium shifts to bad bacteria side (dysbiosis), there are consequences to health of the host. Conversely,  in a healthy individual good bacteria predominates over the bad (bacteria causing diseases). A unique set of bacteria (good) act synergistically with the physiology of your body to keep you healthy. Each disease seems to be caused by a unique set of bad bacteria residing in an unhealthy gut. How do you know you are suffering from an unhealthy gut?

A Personal Message from Gut Heath to the Host

There are some distinct signs and critical syndromes of poor gut health.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

Upset Stomach

  • Indigestion

  • Bloating and gas

  • Burping continuously for some time

  • Stomach pain

  • Nausea or feeling nauseated

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Foul smelling fart

  • Headache

  • Feeling tired and uneasy to sit or move around

You can use one or more of these above signs as indicators. You see many people surrounding you are suffering from bloating and gas these days.

Abrupt Unintentional Change in Your Body Weight

If you haven’t changed your diet or haven’t changed your exercise routine, you are less likely to gain or lose weight. Impaired gut results in improper digestion of food and suboptimal absorption of nutrients, blood sugar management and storing fat. That prompts you to eat more and increases your insulin resistance which leads to weight gain. Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) is frequently implicated as the cause of chronic diarrhea and malabsorption leading to unintentional weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, and osteoporosis.

Food Allergy

The abundance of unhealthy bacteria in your gut makes you develop intolerance to some kind of food. Fixing your gut can help eradicate this problem.

Skin Allergy

Acne,spotty skin, eczema, rosacea are reflective of a poor gut. The skin bacteria are in communication with gut microbiome through gut brain axis.

Sugar Cravings

Gut bacteria, both good and bad thrive on the food we eat. If you eat a a lot of sugar you help grow unhealth bacteria. The release a proteins from those bad bacteria makes you crave for more sugar. To stop this vicious cycle, and help grow good bacteria, stop eating sugar in any form.

Sleeping Problem at Night

A study connecting sleep microbial composition show composition and diversity in the bacterial assembly is associated with efficiency of the sleep.

Diabetes.and Obesity

They increase the serotonin level. With regards to diabetes the gut microbiome regulate glucose level using serotonin.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

  • Bloating,

  • stomach pain

  •  Diarrhea

  • Cramping in stomach

  •  Indigestion

  •  Bloating and passing excessive amounts of gas,

  • Constipation.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Crohn and Colitis

You may get severe inflammation in your intestinal lining starting from mouth to anus. It leads to

  • Diarrhea – You may see blood in your stool.

  • Passing excessive amounts of gas

  • abdominal pain

  • Fever

  • Weight loss,

Certain microbial presence and genes are counted as the cause of this desisted. SIBO seems to be connected with chronic diarrhea.

Mental Health Resulting in Anxiey, Stress and Depression

Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of sleep,anxiety,stress and depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are connected (gut-brain axis) with the nerves ending at gut. Brain and gut communicate with each other..If your intestine which produces 90% of the serotonin is in trouble, the brain gets the signal. Serotonin, is responsible for sleep and send signals to the gut.

Compromised Immune System

Gut bacteria protect you from pathogens by strengthening your immune system. There are  bacteria that outcompetes the bad to protect you. Presence of larger number of gut bacteria compromise this fighting power and results in an impaired immune system making you more susceptible to get diseases.

Liver Diseases

Researchers have shown gut bacteria are associated with alcohol related liver damage.

Chronic Heart Disease

Chronic heart disease is related to poor gut performance.

Cancer

Gut bacteria can trigger DNA cleavage to their neighbours. Study has shown the composition of gut bacterial community is different in healthy and colon cancer patients. Dietary incorporation of Bifidobacteria (good bacteria) has been shown to reduce the colon cancer incidence.

HIV

HIV infection affects gut bacteria composition. Gut bacteria of HIV patients share more than 90% sequence of HIV.

Allergy, Asthma and More- Lungs Diseases

Extensive research studies have observed that The gut disturbances is the culprit of lung diseases including allergy, asthma, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer.

Rheumatic Diseases

There is a positive association between rheumatic diseases (RA) and microbial components. Research has found that joint inflammation did not develop in germ-free conditions in animal models.

Autism and Other Autoimmune Diseases

Autism is related to disorder in your nerve development or impaired nerve connectivity.

  • Impaired cognition

  • Stereotype behavior

  • Impaired social skills: Kids with autism spectrum disorder don’t eye contact you and can’t speak well.

  • Autistic kids show Distinct and less diverse bacterial microbiota

Autism is in increasing trend in current society. It can be due to hereditary and environment. People with autism often suffer from gut problems.

Researchers are revealing that gut bacteria manufacture bioactive compounds that help brain function and social development. Studies show that children with ASD often have a mix of gut microbes that is distinct from that in children without the condition.

Change of Microbiome Composition

Gut microbiome can change abnormally affecting your health 

How to improve Your Gut Health

Diet:

  • Eat plenty of plant based foods. Variety matters. A variety offers diverse nutrients for the body and bacteria.

  • Include fiber in your meal from whole grains, lentils, fruits and vegetables. Dietary fibers are an important source for the fermentation of intestinal bacteria.

  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables preferably.

  • Nuts are good as they provide fiber, fatty acids and bioactive compounds which gut like.

  • Eat smaller meals for obvious reasons. This will help blood sugar spikes.

  • Eat slow and chew your food properly before you gulp in.. This will ease your stomach digestion and will help form nutrients for health.

  • Eat at a particular time.

  • Drink water and stay hydrated. Water helps in digestion.

Exercise

Move your body parts. If you haven’t have any other access because of the pandemic or other wise, just walk.

Pranayam and yogic exercises help your endocrine system. You can watch in YouTube or join online classes to practice. Opt not to sit like a potato couch.

Substitute Antibiotic Drugs

Try alternative medicines to antibiotics if available at all cost. Home remedy and Ayurvedic medicines may be able to substitute gut assembly disrupting antibiotics.Ask your physician to help you.

Manage Stress

Stress create distress in the microbial colony and disrupts it. This creates imbalance in microbiome. Stress reduces your neurons which are responsible for your optimal brain function.

Stress can slowly creep in and takes over creating fear and anxiety leading to depression. Be careful to recognize and act on it. Learn some techniques to relieve stress.

Stay Hydrated

Sleep and Rest Well

An unhealthy gut microbiome can create disorder in your sleep cycle. Lack of adequate sleep creates lack of mental focus and reduces the ability to function.

Exercise can help you sleep better. Managing stress can help you sleep better. Practice 7-8 h of sleep every night. It helps your gut function better.

Control Sugar, Sugary Food and Beverages

Your gut bacteria does n’t enjoy sugar. Keep your temptation under control to buy ice cream, pies, sugar loaded candies, beverages and you name it. They don’t treat your heath well rather bite it. Bad bacteria thrive and create sugar cravings. The amount of good bacteria deplete. There are countries banning/restricting sugar but not ours.

Avoid Processed Foods, Salty, Oily Snacks

The super market isles are loaded with packs of varieties of snacks and look appetizing and tests great when you eat them. Filled with preservatives, added salt for better shelflife and cooked with oils containing trans fat most of the time: they make gut suffer and reduce good bacteria.

Cook your meal and snacks at home. Know your ingredients.

Pre/ProBiotics

Consumption of foods acting as pre/probiotics can improve gut health. There are pre/probiotic supplements available to boost gut health. You may consult your physician for recommendation.

Summary

Recognizing your symptoms which is linked with with gut health is of prime importance. Adopt practices to keep your good microbiome up by reducing number of poor bacteria. Gut friendly foods, managing life stress, maintaining active life style are some of the keys to sustainable good health.

Have you signed off on your health from gut?

Anusuya Choudhury

6 Comments

  1. Hello there! Thank you very much for sharing this article on signs of an unhealthy gut and how to make it better. I’ve gone through the article and it’s a really detailed and informative one. I find it very helpful and educative. I’ll get the pro biotics supplement so it can boost my gut health. I’ll also watch out for these signs listed out so that I wouldn’t have to pass through those medical conditions you listed out. Thank you. 

    • Hi Sophie,

      I am glad you found this article informative. Gut is an important virtual organ. If is important to watch the signs and take care of them.

  2. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful content here with us. I must say i have really learnt a lot from going through this review. This seems like a serious issue that everyone needs to treat seriously so as to avoid these effects one can get from unhealthy guts. I am going to share this so that more people may be aware.

    • Hi,

      I am glad you like the content. Gut problem ca lead to serious symptoms. It’s better to be aware of it and be knowledgeable about it.

  3. The gut is a very important and essential part of the body. It is handles the food we eat or anything we ingest into the body, and is responsible for getting nutrients from the food we eat. An unhealthy gut can cause lots of complication and aggravate cases of illness or sickness. Hence, we need to make sure our gut is healthy. Thanks for writing this article that covers a lot about all there is to know about the gut, if is it healthy enough or not, signs to know that the gut is unhealthy, what unhealthy gut can lead to, and how to improve gut health. A lot has been learnt.

    • You are most welcome. Thank you for providing your learning and understanding about gut bacteria.

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