Your Gut Health Affects Your Whole Body
All the systems in your body are connected with each other. The gut does more than just process food and excrete waste. Your digestive system is actually a central part of your body. This is why the gut is also known as the ‘second brain.’ The friendly bacteria in your gut microbiome communicate directly with your brain and immune system. This means that your gut health affects everything from your appetite to your mood and mental clarity.
There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate problems with the gut. The obvious symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and problems with bowel movements. But this is not all. An imbalanced gut can also cause fatigue, fungal skin infections, and even conditions like fibromyalgia. Other signs include high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, autoimmune conditions, poor memory, and difficulty in concentrating, irritable mood swings, food allergies/food sensitivities, and diabetes.
If you are wondering how your gut is feeling, here are a few of the most prominent signs you should heed.
8 Symptoms that Can Be a Product of Problems with the Gut
1. Digestive Health Conditions
We already mentioned the obvious digestive issues that could signal a gut problem, as the gut becomes more imbalanced, these issues can become chronic or evolve into even more serious digestive disorders such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis. (2) If you are experiencing chronic symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice so you can find out what’s going on and formulate the best plan to restore your digestive tract to balance.
2. Falling Sick Often
As per the Gut Health Project, 70-80% of your immune system resides in your gut area. (1) If your gut microbiota is in perfect health, the friendly bacteria in your body produces mucus that keeps harmful bacteria, toxins, and viruses from hurting you, and helps push them out of the body. A healthy gut also supports your immunity by allowing your digestive system to absorb maximum nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the food you eat. On the other hand, an unhealthy gut will allow harmful bugs to survive and thrive in your body so you are likely to find yourself falling ill often. (2)
3. Trouble Losing Weight
This is not just about losing the last few pounds of your post-holiday weight gain. If you have been having trouble losing weight irrespective of what you do, your gut is quite likely not working well. Studies show that people who are obese or overweight have an imbalance in their intestinal bacteria. (3) For the healthy functioning of your microbiome, it is important to have at least 85% good bacteria. People who are overweight suffer from an imbalance which also makes it pretty much impossible to lose weight. However, there is no need to fret—setting your gut balance right can help you lose weight.
4. Skin is Inflamed
If you have been following a cleansing-toning-moisturizing routine to the last letter but are still suffering from acne breakouts, your gut could be the culprit. Skin problems such as acne breakouts, eczema, dandruff, flaky scalp, itchy skin, and rosacea could be the result of an unhealthy gut. Since your gut microbes are in constant communication with your brain via the gut-brain axis, an imbalance causes inflammation in your body which then is reflected in the condition of your skin. (4)
5. Brain Fog, Cognitive, or Mood Issues
Not only can gut issues affect your skin via the gut-brain axis, but the same is also true when it comes to your mental health. Certain probiotic strains produce neurotransmitters which are key to regulating mood, memory, and emotions, reduce cortisol (the stress-inducing hormone), have an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain, and can help protect the brain from oxidative stress. However, when the gut is in disarray, brain health can suffer causing brain fog, cognitive difficulty, and even contribute to mood disorders.
6. Suffer from Acid Reflux
Those who have constant heartburn will attest to the fact that acid reflux severely reduces your quality of life. Acid reflux that just refuses to abate is telling you that your gut needs your attention. Bloating and acidity are caused by a buildup of harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. When your gut is working properly, your stomach acid is potent enough to get rid of any bad bacteria. Taking over the counter medication to reduce acidity actually works in a counter-productive manner by neutralizing stomach acids. This allows bad bacteria to thrive, and you end up in a vicious circle of heartburn.
7. Chronic Fatigue and Energy-Loss
In the fast-paced lifestyles of today, feeling a little tired is understandable. However, if you regularly find it difficult to get out of bed even after a good night of sleep, unhealthy bacterial buildup might be to blame. If your microbiome is imbalanced, your body will not be able to absorb necessary nutrients from the food you eat which results in a lack of energy. Furthermore, excessive bad bacteria makes the lining of the GI tract permeable. Instead of eliminating toxins, a permeable lining allows toxins to go right through the walls of your intestine. This is the main cause of leaky gut syndrome, can lead to autoimmune diseases, and these toxins further reduce your energy levels.
8. Frequent Yeast Infections
In an imbalanced gut environment, yeast thrives in an uncontrolled manner. This is likely to cause candida infections. A balanced microbiome helps to lower the pH of the vagina to make it acidic and therefore inhospitable to harmful pathogens. In addition, some of the common risk factors of yeast infections including having a suppressed immune system, antibiotic use (which destroys good bacteria along with the bad), and hormonal changes, can all be combatted through the use of probiotics.
Support Your Gut Health
Maintaining a healthy gut requires you to make healthy choices for your lifestyle. The first thing to do is to take a look at your diet. Changing your diet to replace chemically processed foods with nutrient-rich, organic, whole foods goes a long way in balancing your gut bacteria. Sugar is the food of harmful bacteria, so steer clear of sugar as much as possible. You can also add more fermented foods to your diet, which are rich in probiotic bacteria.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy gut and getting rid of acidity, water is your best friend. Keep tabs on how much water you are drinking daily, and stay hydrated.
Lastly, support your gut flora balance by repopulating your microbiome with friendly bacteria called probiotics. A quality probiotic supplement taken daily helps your gut feel better so your overall health fares better. Choose probiotic supplements that contain multiple strains of friendly bacteria in a substantial quality.
LoveBug Probiotics are supplements that contain a powerful blend of friendly bacterial strains that are designed to repopulate your microbiome, support your health and happiness, and aid metabolism. Here’s the Skinny is the perfect probiotic for digestive health support, while Yeast is a Beast for women contains strains that are designed to keep yeast infections at bay. Choose the right supplement to support your gut and get that happy gut feeling back.
- Ramos, Modi. “8 Warning Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut!” Gut Health Project. Last modified October 2015. https://www.guthealthproject.com/8-common-health-issues-caused-by-an-unhealthy-gut/
- Quigley, Eamonn M. M. “Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease.” Gastroenterology & Hepatology (NY) 9, no. 9 (2013): 560-569. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/.
- Wallis, Claudia. “How Gut Bacteria Help Make Us Fat and Thin.” Scientific American. Last modified June 2014. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-help-make-us-fat-and-thin/.
- Bowe, W. P. and A.C.Logan. “Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?” Gut Pathogens 3, no. 1 (2011). doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-3-1.