How Does Unhealthy Gut Harm You?

Oct 14, 2019 03:31 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter

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How Does Unhealthy Gut Harm You?
How Does Unhealthy Gut Harm You?

(Photo : Photo by Kat Jayne )

The medical community is laying a lot of stress on gut health recently. The importance of maintaining the gut and the microbiome within is a hot topic of discussion rampant in health circles. Given that numerous studies have been conducted on subjects related to proper gut health, it's not a matter of surprise that more and more people are looking for information on the benefits of maintaining their gut. Some reports and results talk about the link between mood swings, immune system, and gut health. Certain endocrine disorders, mental health, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and skin conditions are directly or indirectly related to the condition of the gut. 

Once upon a time, your digestive system was just another metabolic function that involved vital organs like the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and rectum. No longer. With gut health gaining more prominence with every passing day, people are now discussing the effects of the gut microbiome on their mental and physical health. The good and bad gut bacteria and parasites are also under the scanner and making it to discussion tables, both online and offline. Here, we intend to throw light on the significance and need of "gut microbiome" which refers to the different types of microorganisms residing in your intestines.

What is Gut Microbiome?

Did you know that an adult may have 300 to 500 various species of bacteria and other microorganisms in his or her digestive tract? Out of these, a certain percentage of the microbiome is considered harmful to the health of humans. 

On the flip side, a large percentage of the microbiota is considered necessary and beneficial for the maintenance of a healthy body and mind. The challenge lies in maintaining the right balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. The article "Are Gut Microbiome Tests Accurate Or Worth It? What to Do Instead" from Microbe Formulas says that our gut microbiome is being harmed through our overuse of antibacterial products and our habits of washing produce on a regular basis. The good bacteria that manage to remain in the gastrointestinal tract is effective in enhancing the immune system functions. They are instrumental in improving the signs and symptoms of depression, combating obesity, and bringing forth a plethora of other benefits. 

What are the Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut?

Several aspects of modern day-to-day life influence gut health adversely. The primary triggers for an unhealthy gut are too little sleep, high-stress levels, excessive intake of high-sugar and processed foods, regular intake of antibiotics, and so forth. The poor gut health can impact several other organs and parts of the body negatively. If you do not take proper care of your gut then you may expect to harm other vital body parts such as your immune system, heart, and brain. The other signs of a poor gut are related to weight, hormone levels, skin, the potential of absorbing nutrients, and in extreme cases, the development of cancer.

The common symptoms signaling poor gut health include:

1. Stomach issues

Stomach disturbances such as bloating, constipation, gas, heartburn, and diarrhea point towards an unhealthy gut. As an imbalanced gut finds it difficult to process and absorb the food you eat, the problems related to the stomach are bound to crop up.

2. Excessive-sugar diet

A diet that contains high levels of added sugar or processed foods can reduce the percentage of good bacteria present in your gut. The imbalance caused to your digestive system leads to increased sugar cravings. This will cause further and serious damages to your gut. High levels of refined sugars, such as items like high-fructose corn syrups, are known to cause inflammation in the human body. This inflammation serves as the precursor to several diseases and physical conditions, even ailments as dangerous as cancers.

3. Unwanted weight changes 

If you are losing or gaining weight suddenly, without including any major changes to your diet, then you may be nurturing an unhealthy gut. Any imbalances in your gut impair your body's ability to regulate blood sugar, absorb nutrients, or store fat. An unwanted weight loss can be attributed to the incidence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). On the other hand, any unprecedented weight gain attributed to poor gut health can be caused by insulin resistance. The weight gain may also take place due to the urge for overeating when the rate of absorption of nutrients decreases. 

4. Sleep disruptions and fatigue

Your unhealthy gut may also be the cause of unexplained sleep disruptions. Poor sleeping patterns and insomnia can become an order of the day and compel you to see a doctor. Unhealthy gut conditions bring about poor absorption of food nutrients. This, in turn, leads to a reduction in your levels of energy, thereby leading to constant and chronic fatigue. Besides, a high percentage of serotonin is produced in the gut. This hormone is responsible for affecting the sleep patterns and moods of people. As and when the level of serotonin drops in the body, your ability to sleep well will be impaired. Certain sleep disturbances are associated with the risks of fibromyalgia. You need to take care of your gut health to avoid any further digestive complications. 

5. Skin irritations

Do note that concerning skin conditions, such as eczema, are often attributed to a damaged gut. Also, any type of inflammation or disturbances in the gut may be the result of food sensitivities, a poor diet, or allergies caused by specific food items. All these conditions may lead to the leakage of different proteins. These conditions result in skin irritation and agonizing problems like eczema.

6. Autoimmune diseases

Your immune system can be adversely impacted by an unhealthy gut. Poor gut health leads to an escalation in systemic inflammation that brings about negative changes in how your immune system functions.

Restore Your Gut Health

To bring back your gut into good shape, it's essential to assess its condition before anything else. You may want to consult your health care specialist to understand the types of microbiome tests that are essential for you. Once the reports are in, you'll find it easy to figure out the course of treatment to make your gut health better. Book yourself a slot for microbiome testing, today.

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