Your body is home to millions of microorganisms, the majority of which reside in your gut. Some of these bacteria are good while others are nefarious. When the bad guys outbalance the good ones, your gut is unhealthy. This negative balance between the bugs in your body, does not only show in the form of digestive troubles such as gas, bloating, and other digestive issues.
In fact, since the gut is interconnected to several other bodily systems, upheaval in the gut can cause a lot more trouble than you can imagine. The gut shares a link with your central nervous system, the endocrine, autoimmune, and autonomic systems as well. This means that the symptoms of an unhealthy gut pop up in various forms.
Not taking proper care of the gut and letting the imbalance reign can bring about diseases and illnesses. One can become depressive, obese or a victim of another such ailment. Since the immune defenses are low when the gut microflora are out of balance, infections are allowed in easily as well.
Most people are not even aware that their gut is unhealthy. They consider its symptoms to be a normal part of their lives. Even you could have an unhealthy gut and be entirely unaware of it!
That said, let’s dive into the details and explore 10 signs of an unhealthy gut.
- Gas, diarrhea and other digestive issues
The first clue that you have an unhealthy gut is that your digestive health is a mess. If you are constantly struggling with gas, bloating, diarrhea or other digestive concerns, there is a huge chance the problem is in your gut. Gas signals that your food is fermenting in your gut due to the imbalance of microbiome and the lack of stomach acid.
- Bad breath
An imbalance in the gut flora has its effects spreading far and wide in the body. When bad bacteria resides in your mouth, between your teeth and gums, and on your tongue, an unpleasant breath becomes a consistent trouble that you have to deal with. Typically, this is an indication of another underlying issue such as a gum disease, diabetes or a kidney infection.
- Mood-related disorders
Since the gut and the brain share a bidirectional link, improper gut health can cause anxiety and depression. Moreover, bad gut health keeps one from using happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine. It also impacts the use of vitamin D by the brain. The production levels of these compounds also go down causing mental health concerns to rise.
- Lowered immunity
Research shows that the autoimmune system is connected to the gut. The gastrointestinal tract is where more than 70% of your immune system lives. Certain cells in the gut are responsible for the creation of antibodies that fight off ailments and inflammation. Due to this deep connection between the two, an unhealthy gut weakens immunity which opens the doors for illnesses.
- Food sensitivities
Are you experiencing certain foods eliciting an allergic response? Imbalanced gut microbiome can be at the core of this as well. What happens is that the intestinal walls become permeable and allow those food particles to travel out into the bloodstream where they do not belong. The immune system recognizes them as foreign bodies and attacks. This triggers the pain and uneasiness.
- Skin problems
Dry, flaky or acne prone skin can also be a result of compromised gut health too. Skin problems such as eczema can also be caused by the same culprit. The gut-brain-skin axis is what strings the link between gut health and skin-related issues. The gut’s imbalanced microbiome affect the skin due to uncontrolled inflammation.
- Adamant weight
Are you having a whole lot of trouble trying to shed off stubborn pounds? The imbalance in your gut microflora may be the cause. It must be noted that obese individuals have a different balance of microbiome than those who have a healthy weight. Since the health risks of being overweight are vast, you must bring your gut microflora to an optimal level to encourage weight loss.
- Low energy
If you are unable to muster up energy even after sleeping well, your gut health could be to blame. This is because improper gut health keeps your body from absorbing nutrients for energy. It also makes your intestinal walls permeable and hence, lets toxins inside. These two reasons cause your energy markers to dip.
- Sugar cravings
Excess sugar intake can cause many ailments. The bugs in your gut can be responsible for tapping the sugar-hunger drums. The gut secretes a load of ghrelin and leptin, two proteins that act as appetite-stabilizing hormones. These two have the ability to influence your eating habits and can form a special liking for sugary foods.
Research shows the connection between poor gut health and type 2 diabetes. Certain gut bacteria cause an immune response that can cause inflammation. This inflammation reaches the liver and fat cells and impacts metabolism as well as liver sensitivity. In the same manner, your gut health also speaks for pre-diabetes.
The cons of having an unhealthy gut are vast. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can cause mood disorders such as anxiety and depression and make it difficult for one to lose weight. It can also lower one’s immunity and energy levels along with causing skin and digestive problems. Food allergies, diabetes and bad breath can also be indicators of poor gut health.