No matter if you’ve been living a healthy lifestyle for years or are just now starting to get into it, you’ve probably heard the term “gut heath” here and there. This term seems pretty explanatory — it’s the health of your digestive system, aka your gut. However, there are so many aspects that go into this and learning about them can really help you live a healthier lifestyle. In this blog post, we are going to be discussing what the term “gut health” means and some signs your body may be giving you to let you know you should pay more attention to your gut.
Let’s start by defining what gut health is. Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Just like anything, you want to have the perfect balance of these microorganisms. This balance helps maintain your physical and mental health and boosts your immunity. Your gut affects the entirety of your body, especially because it’s what is breaking down the food that you eat. The parts of the body are made to work in tandem with each other, so if one aspect of your body is problematic, it can throw everything off. Think of your body as an assembly line, if one step gets missed, the final product (your health) isn’t going to be as productive.
Food intolerances are different from food allergies. Food intolerances have to do with the way that your body digests certain foods, whereas an allergy is caused by an immune reaction. Food intolerances can come in a variety of types but some of the most common are diary, gluten, soy, corn, and wheat. It can be difficult to spot if you have a food tolerance but paying attention to the way that you feel after eating one of these types of foods can say a lot. When your body is having trouble digesting food you may notice that you’re bloated, lethargic, and uncomfortable. You may also be experiencing nausea, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Food intolerances can be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut or other issues.
I always say, “the gut isn’t something you should be feeling!” If you’re experiencing stomach or gut aches frequently, you have some kind of underlying imbalance that needs to be figured out. . An upset stomach can be caused by gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and even heartburn. If you’re experiencing these frequently, you should speak with your practitioner as this shouldn’t be a common occurrence.
An unhealthy gut can also lead to various sleep disturbances or feelings of constant fatigue, which can then lead to chronic fatigue. While there are reasons you may be tired, experiencing constant fatigue isn’t healthy. The majority of the body’s serotonin, which is a hormone that can affect mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So, if your gut is unhealthy, this may also be damaging your ability to sleep and wake up with enough energy to go about your daily life.
Certain skin conditions like eczema have been correlated to an unhealthy gut. Inflammation in the gut tends to be caused by poor diet, which can be linked to food tolerances as well. This causes certain proteins to be leaked into the body, which then can turn on inflammation and irritate the surface of the skin causing conditions like eczema.
Frequent Weight Changes
Gaining or losing weight without making specific or intentional changes in your diet and exercise habits can also be a sign of an unhealthy gut. If your gut is imbalanced, it impairs your ability to absorb various nutrients coming from the food you consume. It also impairs your body’s ability to regulate sugar and store fat. Weight loss can also be caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria in the small intestine versus weight gain, which can be caused by insulin resistance in the gut. Either way, if you’re noticing your body size is fluctuating in unusual ways, your gut imbalances may be the root cause of the problem.
These are just a few of the signs that your body may be experiencing an imbalance of bacteria in your gut. Gut health is so important to the rest of your body’s wellbeing and can truly make a huge difference in your health and quality of life. At Tree of Life Naturopathics, we specialize in gut health and are here to help you find a natural way to correct these imbalances. We help create personalized plans to give you an effective program that is sustainable and maintainable. You deserve to live a healthy and happy life, and that all starts in your gut!