A healthy gut has a huge impact on your overall health. In addition to contributing to effective digestion, it can make for improved mood, a strong immune system, healthy sleep, heart and brain health, and more. There is an entire community of microorganisms living in your body, with the majority of them being in your digestive system.
READ MORE: 5 Things Your Gut is Trying to Tell You
Both good and bad bacteria live in your digestive tract, known as gut microbiota. By having good bacteria, you are limiting the bad bacteria that can grow and cause disease. A healthy amount of good bacteria leads to good health, while a large amount of bad bacteria can throw everything out of whack. So, how do you know if you have too much bad bacteria?
Upset stomach is a major sign of an unhealthy gut. Included are symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, gas, constipation, and heartburn. Sometimes, your stomach just doesn’t feel quite right. When you get the right balance of bacteria in your gut, your upset stomach and related symptoms should subside.
When certain types of bacteria colonize in your small intestine, it can interfere with the absorption of fat, vitamins, and minerals. This can lead to unintentional weight loss and gain. This is a condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. Your gut flora helps to regulate metabolism, which can also lead to losing or gaining weight.
A food intolerance is when you have trouble digesting certain foods. A food intolerance can result in gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Recently, food intolerances have been linked to an abundance of bad bacteria in the gut. It is also thought that there is a link between poor gut health and food allergies.
When there is an imbalance in gut bacteria, skin irritation can occur. Common inflammatory skin conditions include eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and rashes. Food allergies or poor diet can lead to your gut being inflamed. This is turn can lead to leaky gut syndrome, which can cause skin conditions.
Serotonin is a hormone that is mostly produced in your gut, thus affecting your mood & energy. If you have an unhealthy gut, that can affect serotonin production, thus affecting your sleep. This can include insomnia and poor sleep in general, which can then turn into chronic fatigue.
When the gut is inflamed, those inflammatory cells leak out of the gut into the bloodstream and cause inflammation in all parts of the body, including our joints which we perceive as pain.
If you are experiencing symptoms of an unhealthy gut, call Riverside Village Clinic in Nashville for an appointment. We take a deeper look at your gut microbiome and nutritional deficiencies. We will work with you to get your gut health where it needs to be. The healthier the gut, the healthier the body.
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