Nutrition

How to Tell if You Have Bad Gut Health

You’re constantly hearing about gut health — but how do you know if your own gut is healthy? As a good rule of thumb, if your gut isn’t giving you…

You’re constantly hearing about gut health — but how do you know if your own gut is healthy? As a good rule of thumb, if your gut isn’t giving you a reason to think about it, it’s probably in good condition, but symptoms of bad gut health don’t necessarily limit themselves to stomach pain. Here are some of the most common ways to detect potential complications with your gut health.

Digestive Issues

It can be easy to ignore the occasional day when your stomach is far from your friend, whether you’re suffering with bloating, abdominal discomfort, heartburn, gas, or less pleasant symptoms. However, these might indicate a larger issue.

One of the most common way bad gut health manifests is through Irritated Bowl Syndrome (IBS), which impacts 1 out of 5 Australian men throughout their lifetime, and double that number of women. It can cause minor discomfort to constant bloating, abdominal pain, and chronic digestive issues.

Digestive issues can also reveal themselves through absences — particularly, the absences of essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, and Magnesium. If you have a deficiency in any of these, this could indicate that your gut isn’t able to properly absorb nutrients from your food.

Mental Issues

Feeling high levels of anxiety, brain fog, or even depression might be symptoms of a physical health concern. The gut and brain are closely linked since the gut produces neurotransmitters, and when your good and bad bacteria aren’t balanced, your emotional state might suffer. Professor Ted Dinan from Cork University Hospital says that in people suffering from depression, there “is a narrowing in the diversity of the microbiota.” He adds, “I’m not suggesting it is the sole cause of depression, but I do believe for many individuals it does play a role in the genesis of depression.”

High amounts of chronic stress can also trigger heightened cortisol levels that, in turn, impact your gut’s ability to function properly. If you’re having a stressful week — or month, or year — be aware that not finding ways to successfully cope could be impacting your intestines. Being conscious of this can help you moderate it and start doing some damage control.

Skin Conditions

Sure, you might be more prone to acne outbreaks when you’re stressed or forgot to take off your makeup the day before, but it can also be your body’s way of telling you that your gut needs some TLC. We’re talking about everything from run-of-the-mill zits to psoriasis to eczema to dry, flaky skin to dandruff. While lotions and other products might offer temporary fixes, addressing imbalances and inflammation in your gut can offer more permanent solutions.

Why Do These Issues Occur?

These symptoms are often due to an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria within your gut — the good bacteria is responsible for everything from digestion to supporting your immune system to ensuring we get the vitamins we need. When the bad bacteria isn’t kept under control, it can cause inflammation and gut dysbiosis, so your body isn’t able to function at its optimal level.

As frustrating and uncomfortable as gut conditions can be, lifestyle and diet changes can help your gut get back on track — and one of the easiest ways to do this? Switching to more plant-based foods, just like the delicious and nutritious pre-packaged meals that Soulara provides.

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Published: 27/08/18

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