A troubled gut is a common problem. 4 in 10 people suffer digestion issues and 2 in 10 people suffer IBS. Our gut is responsible for the digestion and absorption of nutrients, which are the building block for almost everything in our body, from our stools to our sleep, concentration, skin health and much more.
Here we explain the common signs of poor gut health.
6 signs of bad gut health
1. Gas and bloating
Gas and bloating can occur for a few reasons. Low stomach acid and enzyme production can inhibit the breakdown of foods, fibres, sugar, fats or protein and allows bacterial fermentation which creates gas.
Low FODMAP foods are low in FODMAP fibres which can otherwise be difficult to digest for some people. FODMAP foods are short-chain carbohydrates and sugars that are poorly digested by your body. Great low FODMAP foods include carrots, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, bananas, quinoa, and there are many more!
Too much candida yeast in the gut can also cause gas and bloating. This can occur after taking antibiotics, during stress and in high-sugar diets. Candida triggers gas, pain and bloating. The best way to deal with candida is to avoid refined carbohydrates. You may enjoy our blog '7 best foods to help you debloat'.
Constipation is an obvious sign of an unhealthy digestive system. Constipation can be caused by a lack of probiotics which provide most of the weight of faecal matter.
Constipation is also a common cause of bloating. Infrequent bowel movements allow bacteria to ferment food particles, leading to gas. Constipation also makes the exit of gas more difficult, leading to painful bloating.
Low fibre in your diet can also cause constipation. Fibre holds onto water and promotes healthy stools, and fibre provides food for the friendly bacteria to thrive.
Diarrhoea occurs when the gut is irritated due to parasites, detrimental bacteria, poorly digested foods or food sensitivities.
4. Poor Concentration
70% of the chemicals in your brain originate from the gut - this is known as 'The Gut-Brain Axis'. These chemicals are created from amino acids and transported into the brain.
The chemicals needed for concentration are acetylcholine, dopamine and noradrenaline, and they're produced in the gut by probiotics. Disruptions to probiotic numbers will decrease these chemicals and in turn your ability to concentrate and focus.
5. Skin conditions
The gut is a great detoxifier! Frequent and healthy bowel movements sweep toxins out of the body, and proper elimination is part of natural detoxification. If natural detoxification doesn't occur, toxins will be reabsorbed through the gut, and the body has to push them out through the skin, causing inflammation, redness and acne. Discover the best foods and vitamins for glowing skin.
Good sleep requires the hormone melatonin, which initiates the onset of sleep and is converted from another hormone - serotonin. Serotonin is produced in the gut and requires the amino acid l-tryptophan and probiotics for its creation. A healthy gut can improve your ability to get to sleep and also your quality of sleep.
You might enjoy our nutritionists' blog: How to look after your gut through your diet.
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