Research on the digestive system has shown it to be far more complex that was previously thought. In fact, the digestive system, or gut, is sometimes referred to as our second brain because of its complexity. The gut contains a vast and diverse population of microorganisms, (also known as the gut microbiome) and its own nervous system with over 100 million nerve endings.
We now know the digestive system to be not just a tube through which food enters and exits the body, but instead a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding how our body functions. The gut has been shown to have an important link to the functioning of the immune system, the endocrine system, our mental health, our skin, and even our ability to fight cancer. A healthy digestive system is really essential to our overall health. So, armed with this knowledge, we now understand that maintaining a healthy gut is an essential part of enjoying good health.
So, what are the signs of bad gut health? Let’s review the most common poor gut health symptoms and what we can do to correct them.
Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
Some of the most common signs of an unhealthy gut include excess gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn that is more than just occasional. If you experience these troubles frequently, your gut bacteria are probably out of balance and are having trouble doing their job of processing foods.
Eating too much sugar and processed foods can harm the good bacteria in your gut, leading to an imbalance in the microbiome. This imbalance only serves to perpetuate the cravings, leading to increased inflammation in the body.
An imbalanced gut microbiome is likely responsible when we have difficulty digesting certain foods. (This is different than a food allergy.) As previously mentioned, excess gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain are often signs of an unhealthy gut.
Another sign of bad gut health is unplanned weight changes. An unhealthy gut struggles to process nutrients in food and to regulate blood sugar and store fat. This can lead to unintentional weight gain or loss.
Most of the serotonin our bodies need to regulate sleep patterns and mood is made in the gut. An unhealthy gut can lead to chronic insomnia and/or poor sleep.
As previously mentioned, most of the “feel good” hormone serotonin is produced in the gut. If the gut microbiome is out of balance, this can lead to depression and other mood issues.
Someone with a troubled gut is more likely to have chronic skin ailments like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Inflammation can cause proteins to leak out of the gut into the body which irritate the skin and cause flare ups and rashes.
A study in The Journal of Headache and Pain suggests that there may be a connection between migraines and gut health. Those who suffer from migraine headaches seem to be more likely to have gastrointestinal problems, as well.
An imbalance in the gut microbiome often leads to chronic fatigue syndrome, which is manifested by severe fatigue that persists for 6 months or more, along with joint and/or muscle pain and cognitive symptoms.
A study in Clinical & Experimental Immunology states that Bacteroides fragilis produces a protein that may be responsible for the onset of autoimmune conditions such as thyroid conditions, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and MS.
How to Fix an Unhealthy Gut
The best way to address poor gut health symptoms is to address the primary problem, which is insufficient quality and diversity of microorganisms in the digestive tract. The vast assortment of gut flora that ordinarily live in the digestive system can be damaged by our modern, high stress lifestyles and haphazard eating habits. Here are some tips for how to fix an unhealthy gut and restore balance.
Watch Your Diet
A largely plant-based, high fiber diet that includes lean proteins promotes a healthy gut. Limit or eliminate processed foods. Avoid food you are intolerant to that causes cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. Remember to eat slowly and chew thoroughly to help aid in the absorption of nutrients.
Eat a wide variety of fiber-rich foods to ensure that the beneficial bacteria in the gut have the nutrients that they need to produce a wide array of important health-promoting posbiotics.
High stress living takes a toll on the body and affects the gut negatively. If you have many stressors in your life, strive to reduce or eliminate at least one. Try some techniques such as meditation, exercise, massage, or yoga that can help restore calm and help you better cope with stressful situations.
Reduce or Eliminate Unhealthy Behaviors
Smoking, drinking to excess, and staying up too late are all unhealthy habits that contribute to an unhealthy digestive system. Insufficient sleep can add to stress which further damages the microbiome.
Good hydration has a positive effect on the intestinal lining and also promotes an appropriate balance of bacteria in the gut.
Take a Probiotic Supplement
The best way to get the gut back in working order is to restore balance to the gut microbiome by replacing the good bacteria that have been damaged or destroyed. Taking a probiotic supplement will do just that! Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® contain 12 distinct probiotic strains including TH10, a proprietary strain that is vitally important for good digestion and a healthy gut.
Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics are not cultured or grown in a lab, but are made from natural crops and pure water, then put through a unique, 3-year fermentation process based on Japanese traditions. This long-term fermentation process ensures that every capsule of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics supplies important posbiotics to restore and support a healthy microbiome and intestinal tract. Since its origin over 30 years ago, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics has prided itself on purity and the pristine process that creates this perfect whole food supplement.
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are the only 3-year fermented food supplement that contains prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics for optimal health. Try Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics today.