The sign of a healthy body is a healthy gut. The intestine consists of several microscopic living things known as microbes, referred to as the gut microbiome, which is extremely crucial for your overall health and wellbeing. Your gut microbiome, which aids in digestion and in improving the immune system, among other things, diversifies with age. A higher microbiome diversity containing different types of microbial species is considered good for your digestive system and health. However, any imbalance in the gut microbiome could result in you developing various health conditions.
Signs of unhealthy gut
Whenever one experiences skin problems, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, hair fall, and the like, one question they must definitely ask ourselves, ‘Is my gut healthy?’ There are several ways in which an unhealthy gut can reveal itself. Let us look at some of the symptoms of unhealthy gut in greater detail below.
- Autoimmune health conditions: If your gut is unhealthy, it could affect the immune system's functioning, causing the body to attack itself. Some studies suggest that an unhealthy gut is likely to increase inflammation in the body and impact the proper functioning of the immune system. Some of the most common types of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, pernicious anemia and more.
- Stomach problems: The most common and obvious symptom of an unhealthy gut is an upset stomach. Constipation, bloating, gas, acidity, diarrhea, and heartburn are all signs of an unhealthy gut. If your gut is healthy, it will process food and eliminate waste without any trouble.
- Weight alterations: If you find yourself losing or gaining weight without making any changes to your diet or physical activity, it’s definitely a sign of an unhealthy gut. Your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar could be badly affected if your gut is imbalanced. Weight gain could occur due to a lack of proper nutrient absorption or conditions like insulin resistance. On the contrary, an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine could cause weight loss.
- Skin issues: An imbalanced gut could also result in several skin problems like eczema. If your gut is harmed due to poor diet, food allergies, etc., it affects your intestinal barrier's integrity and can cause what many refer to as a ‘leaky gut.’ A leaky gut condition causes unwanted particles and toxins to pass through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream, which affects the immune system and causes inflammation in the body. This then badly affects skin health, causing conditions like acne, eczema, among other things.
- Disturbances in sleep: According to research, our appetite, sleep, and moods are regulated by a neurotransmitter in the brain known as serotonin, 95% of which is created in our gastrointestinal tract. Lack of sleep can cause a feeling of perpetual tiredness. This demonstrates how a sound and healthy digestive system can positively impact your sleep, mood, and emotions.
It is thus good to check your gut health from time to time. If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, consider them as signs, you have an unhealthy gut. The ideal way to restore balance in your gut is by changing your diet. To maintain a healthy gut flora, avoid processed, highly fatty, or rich in sugar foods, as these can cause an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Substitute these with high fibrous foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, pulses, etc. Other ways of maintaining a healthy gut are exercising daily, managing stress, drinking plenty of water, and the like. In case of prolonged gut problems, it’s advisable to consult a doctor and investigate the underlying cause to avoid further complications.