Think your gut is unhealthy? Here are the top 3 signs…
In the human body, there’s a powerful link between gut health and overall mental and physical health. The gut is populated by hundreds of different strains of bacteria, some good and some bad. Digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation occur when one or more of the bad types begins to grow out of control. An imbalance in the gut flora can be the cause of a large number of health problems.
Another hallmark of an unhealthy gut is sugar cravings. Gut bacteria secretes certain proteins that mimic the action of the hunger-related hormones, leptin and ghrelin. These proteins have a profound effect on both mood and food cravings. Some strains of bacteria thrive on sugary foods, and when they grow out of control, they signal your brain to eat more of the foods they need to thrive. It creates a circular pattern: the more sugar you eat, the larger the population of these bacteria grows, and the stronger the cravings become.
Bad breath can also be a signal that your gut may be unhealthy. When gut flora is imbalanced, you’re more vulnerable to health conditions that result in bad breath.
But that’s not all
More signs that your gut flora is unhealthy include a predisposition to diabetes, skin problems, and food allergies. The wall of the digestive tract acts as a barrier to keep bad substances like foreign bodies, (think of a kid swallowing a quarter), from escaping into the bloodstream.
A negative environment in the gut can break down this wall to the point where unwanted substances leak out. This is known as “leaky gut”. Your body detects these unwanted molecules and mounts an immune system response which appears as food allergies. Digestive distress, autoimmune diseases, and skin problems such as eczema are all thought to be linked with leaky gut.
Changes in mood, particularly anxiety and depression, are also an indication that you’re suffering from gut dysfunction. A compromised gut affects your ability to make and use the hormones, serotonin and dopamine, both of which control mood.
An easy fix?
If you’re experiencing signs that your gut is unhealthy, there are actions you can take to help heal it. Paying attention to what you’re putting into your body, particularly eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, is the first step. Lifestyle changes, like lowering stress, sleeping eight hours a night, and getting daily exercise also support good digestive health.
Adding supplements for flora health is another way you can actively support a healthy environment in your gut. Probiotics like FiveLac introduce a large number of the good bacteria your body needs to function properly and to keep the population of bad bacteria in check.
An unhealthy digestive system can make you uncomfortable all of the time, affect your mood, and open the door to disease. Take control today, and reap the benefits of a balanced gut.