Basic biology tells us the gut is important. It transports our food, converts it into useable nutrients and stored energy, and flushes out the waste. But in recent times, scientists have discovered that our gut is about so much more than digestion.
It is responsible for everything from immunity and emotional stress to chronic illnesses, and organ health. So listening to what your tummy is telling you is one of the most important ways of taking care of your body.
Here are a few ways to identify an unhealthy gut:
- Funny tummy: Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut that is struggling to process food and eliminate waste.
- Too much sugar: Processed foods and added sugars can decrease the number of good bacteria in your gut, which causes increased sugar cravings and a very tricky cycle. Refined sugars have been linked to increased inflammation which is a trigger for several diseases.
- Unexplained weight changes: Gaining or losing weight without changing your diet or exercise is not a good sign. If your gut is not healthy it can’t absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat which could cause either weight loss or weight gain.
- Poor sleep and tiredness: The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So an unhealthy gut can affect your sleep and cause major fatigue.
- Skin irritation: Skin conditions like eczema may be related to an unhealthy gut as inflammation causes the “leaking” of proteins into the body, which irritate the skin.
- Autoimmune conditions: Medical researchers believe that the inflammation caused by an unhealthy gut may affect the proper functioning of the immune system.
- Food intolerances: It is believed that food intolerances or the difficulty in digesting food, may be caused by poor gut health and an uncomfortable, sometimes painful tummy when certain foods are eaten.
Although there is still so much to learn about the gut and gut health, the experts all agree that the tummy has a story to tell and the sooner we listen the healthier we will be! Read more about our services and how we can support your healthy living.