7 Signs Of Poor Gut Health & 7 Ways To Good Gut Health
Having a healthy gut plays a significant role in the proper overall functioning of the human body. Over the past decades, numerous studies have shown that a person’s gut health is closely linked to their immune system, mental health, mood, skin condition, and risk of cancer.
Therefore, if you wish to become healthier and more active, one of the first things you should focus on improving is your gut health. An unhealthy gut may manifest itself in several different ways. Here are some significant signs of an unhealthy gut you need to watch out for.
Common Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
1. Upset Stomach
Having symptoms of a bloated stomach is one of the early signs of an unhealthy gut. Aside from bloating, you might also be experiencing other stomach disturbances, such as constipation, diarrhoea, and heartburn. An imbalanced gut will often find it quite difficult to process food and eliminate waste.
2. Unintentional Weight Changes
An imbalanced gut can also undermine your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar. For this reason, you may experience frequent weight gain or loss without making changes to your diet or exercise habits if your gut is not in a good state.
3. Sleep Disturbance
The majority of your body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects your mood and sleep, can be found in your digestive system. So, if your gut is damaged, it can also impair your ability to sleep well, disturb your sleep cycle, and lead to sleep disturbances like insomnia.
4. Skin Irritation and Breakout
Some skin conditions like acne breakout and eczema may be related to an impaired gut. An imbalanced gut microbiome can essentially increase your skin’s sensitivity, hence making it more prone to skin irritations and breakouts.
5. Bad Breath
Gut imbalance enables certain types of H. pylori bacteria to build up in your gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are the root cause of numerous stomach ulcers and bad breath. Therefore, an unpleasant breath may also signify an unhealthy gut.
6. Food Intolerance
Food intolerances usually result from having difficulty digesting certain foods that do not suit your body. Many experts believe that some food intolerances are caused by the poor quality of bacteria present in one’s gut.
7. Autoimmune Conditions
Medical studies constantly find new evidence of the gut’s impact on the immune system. It is believed that an unhealthy gut may worsen systemic inflammation and affect your immune system’s proper functioning. This can then result in autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis.
Things You Can Do For Your Gut Health
1. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drinking lots of water has been shown to positively affect the intestines’ mucosal lining and the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Hence, keeping yourself hydrated is a simple but effective way to achieve a healthy gut.
2. Eat More Whole Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits
Whole grains like oats and quinoa have fibre that your body needs to boost your intestines and help things move through quickly. Moreover, these whole grains have been shown to increase the kinds and numbers of bacteria in your gut.
On the other hand, fresh vegetables and fruits serve as the nutrition for the bacteria in your gut. So, aside from making you more active, eating these nutritious foods can also improve your gut health.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Depriving yourself of sufficient quality sleep can seriously impact your gut health, which, in turn, can contribute to more sleep problems. To improve the state of your gut, try getting at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
4. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Persistent high levels of stress are not beneficial for your entire body, particularly your gut. If you want to get rid of all your gut issues, minimise your stress levels as much as possible by doing relaxing activities, such as meditation, walking, yoga, and getting a massage.
5. Limit Artificial Sweeteners
Research studies have shown that artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, can dramatically increase your blood sugars and harm your body’s microbiome. Hence, it may be best to avoid artificial sweeteners to achieve a healthy gut.
6. Check for Food Intolerances
If you are suffering from specific food intolerance, try to identify the food or foods contributing to your symptoms and eliminate them. Avoiding your trigger foods and changing your eating habits will help you see a positive change in your overall digestive health.
7. Take a Prebiotic or Probiotic Supplement
Prebiotics provide nourishment designed to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are good bacteria. Hence, incorporating prebiotic and probiotic supplements into your regular diet may be a great way to enhance your gut health.
Several aspects of modern life, such as sleep deprivation, high stress levels, overconsumption of processed and high-sugar foods, and lifestyle neglect, can all damage your gut microbiome.
This, in turn, can have adverse impacts on the other facets of your health, including your heart, brain, immune system, weight, skin, hormone levels, and even the development of cancer.
In Singapore, colon cancer is mainly responsible for about 1 in 6 cancer diagnoses in men and 1 in 7 in women. If you want to keep yourself away from cancer and many other deadly diseases, it is time to start living a healthier lifestyle, and you can do so by improving your gut health first. Contact us now to get your gut check!