Poor gut health is a sign of poor overall health. More correctly, if you have poor gut health, your overall health is suffering as a result. You have more bacteria cells in your gut than you have human cells in your entire body. If your gut is unhealthy, those bacteria are unhealthy, and you’re unhealthy by default.
Poor gut health isn’t caused only by unhealthy bacteria — there are a number of factors — but unhealthy bacteria are a major cause. Many autoimmune issues and irritable bowel syndrome are also linked to an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria.
Since your calories and nutrients pass through your gut before they become available for your body to use, the health of your gut influences the health of every part of your body.
These issues are all related to poor gut health:
1. Addiction to simple carbohydrates. You already know this, but ‘ll say it again: sugar is bad for your body. Eating simple sugars helps the bad bacteria in your gut to grow. And, what do those bacteria like to eat? That’s right, more sugar. If you have regular cravings for foods with a high sugar content, it might be a sign of poor gut health.
2. Difficulty concentrating. A reduced ability to concentrate is a common complaint among those with poor gut health. It’s believed that the inflammation caused by poor gut health affects the brain’s ability to focus and block out excess stimuli.
3. Gastrointestinal distress. Diarrhea, bloating, constipation, gas, heartburn, or other gastrointestinal discomfort can be a sign of poor gut health. A healthy gut is able to process and eliminate waste with minimal difficulties. Regular gastrointestinal distress can be a sign of a serious issue.
- People buy a boatload of medications — both over the counter and by prescription — to help minimize gastrointestinal distress. It’s one category of medication that gets advertised over and over during television prime time. And while many of those commercials are funny and cute, they’re designed to mask a particular problem, not solve it. Whenever I see one of those commercials I yell at the TV screen, “Change what you’re eating and you won’t need all those pills!”
4. Fatigue. Fatigue is another common symptom found in those suffering from poor gut health. If you’re frequently tired without explanation, your gut may be to blame.
- If you frequently suffer from fatigue, consider how much sleep you’ve been getting. If you’re getting plenty of sleep and you’re still tired, you might want to consider the possibility that your gut is to blame.
5. Unexplained changes in weight. It’s possible that poor gut health can lead to either weight gain or weight loss. If your diet and exercise are unchanged and your weight is changing significantly, you might have an issue in your gut. Gut issues can affect your body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. (Rapid weight gain can also be a sign that you are retaining water which could be an indicator of a significant heart problem.)
6. Autoimmune disorders. There are numerous autoimmune disorders that can either be caused by, or exacerbated by, poor gut health. The bad bacteria in your gut are able to travel around the body and create inflammation in various tissues and organs.
- This inflammation is a major cause of many diseases. Some medical experts believe this type of inflammation might possibly be responsible for nearly all diseases.
7. Skin ailments. Skin difficulties, such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, and rosacea can all be caused by gut-related issues. Enhancing your gut health can often eliminate these annoying conditions.
8. Poor sleep. Between the gastrointestinal distress, inflammation, skin issues, and autoimmune disorders, it’s no wonder that sleep quality can become an issue. It’s odd to think that an issue in your gut could be disrupting your sleep, but it happens. Just think about when you eat a heavy meal in the evening. That can cause you to lose sleep because the body is working too hard to digest that food.
Gut health is a serious issue. You can’t be healthy if your gut is unhealthy. If you consistently have symptoms of poor gut health, it’s time to see your doctor. When you ensure that your gut is healthy, you’re greatly increasing the odds that the rest of your body will be healthy, too. Treat your gut properly, and you’ll be well rewarded.
One of the big things I work on with my clients is to come up with an individualized eating plan that helps them have a healthier gut, gives them more energy and helps them to lose weight in the process. I’d be happy to chat with you to find out if you could benefit from what I offer. Schedule a no-obligation, no-pressure chat here: Time With Marty