Between sixty and seventy million Americans alone have been affected by gastrointestinal issues, a sign of an inflamed and unhealthy gut. Many people suffer from different forms of gut-related issues including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease that can hugely impact people’s lives, however, some side effects of unhealthy gut bacteria can even go unnoticed, resulting in symptoms that have nothing to do with the digestive system.
While there are genetic predispositions to experiencing gut health-related issues, certain factors like diet, stress, and quality of sleep can potentially heal an unhealthy gut. There are many symptoms of an unhealthy gut that we would be familiar with such as abdominal pain, but there are also signs that we wouldn’t think are related to the health of our guts. If you’re unsure whether your gut health is playing a role in your mental and physical health, keep reading to identify the key signs of an unhealthy gut, some of which may surprise you.
Poor Sleep and Chronic Fatigue
Gut issues can result in insomnia, chronic fatigue, and poor quality sleep. Absorption of nutrients occurs in the gut. If the gut is not working properly, it can lead to a malabsorption issue of key vitamins and nutrients supplied by your food intake.
Through this malabsorption, the body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to function, resulting in increased tiredness.
On the other side of things, because serotonin is produced in the gut, if your gut is not producing it, you may get a lack quality sleep. Serotonin acts as a precursor to melatonin. Melatonin is the main hormone affecting sleep length, cycle, and quality.
With an unbalanced gut microbiome, you may have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep throughout the night. The symptoms of getting low-quality sleep then translate into your daily life, making you moodier and prone to chronic fatigue.
Bloating and Sugar Cravings
Bloating is one of the most common side effects of an unhealthy gut. Bloating could be a natural reaction to eating something that doesn’t sit right with your body or from food intolerance or lactose intolerance. But, chronic bloating issues state a bigger problem within the gut and gastrointestinal tract.
Bacteria live in the gut. Most people have a combination of unhealthy and healthy gut bacteria. Unhealthy gut bacteria tend to persist as candida festers in the body.
Candida is a fungal infection, which grows with increased sugar intake. The bacteria feed off of yeast and sugar. This makes gluten products and sugary processed foods bad to consume.
Since candida survives off of the smallest quantities of sugar, it can create changes in your tastebuds and increase sugar cravings. More natural foods, such as grapefruit, taste bitter. Sweet desserts, like cake, may not taste as sweet to someone with a balanced quality of bacteria in the gut.
Products like wheatgrass juice can help combat these sugar cravings. Wheatgrass also reduces symptoms of bloating, gas, and an upset stomach, and therefore can reduce abdominal pain and relieve negative digestive symptoms.
Wheatgrass has key enzymes needed to break down nutrients, gaining the most nutrition from your food as possible. With this enhanced nutrient absorption, the body begins to use missing vitamins in the diet. It distributes them where the body needs them.
Both constipation and diarrhea mean the body is having a difficult time processing and eliminating food. Diarrhoea can be detrimental to your gut health, as it could get rid of the beneficial bacteria needed in your body.
An unhealthy gut is harmful to digestive health. A lower level of good gut bacteria is present in cases of both constipation and diarrhoea.
Fermented foods offer relief to those experiencing imbalanced gut microbiomes. Apple cider vinegar is just one fermented food among many that have become a superfood for people with gut issues. This creates symbiosis within the gut again.
Since people with poor gut health lack those necessary bacteria, taking something like apple cider vinegar reintroduces good bacteria back into the body. This provides much relief for digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhoea. It neutralizes stomach acids by fighting harmful bacteria in the gut and can reduce these unpleasant symptoms.
Buddalife’s apple cider vinegar, launching soon, is a great option to include in your diet in order to help improve your gut health.
Mental Health Issues
The gut has been referred to as the body’s second brain for quite some time. It’s gained this reputation due to the enteric nervous system being located in the gut. The enteric nervous system is comprised of neurons and neurotransmitters, which communicate with the central nervous system to regulate many processes within the body.
As serotonin, GABA, and dopamine are produced in the gut, having an unhealthy gut can lead to serious mental health issues. These are three key neurotransmitters that influence people’s likelihood of experiencing mental disorders.
Serotonin is responsible for mood stabilization and happiness. GABA responds to neural excitability, acting as a stress-reliever. Correct dopamine levels help regulate impulse control and influence pleasure and motivation centres of the brain.
So, an unhealthy gut may result in the destabilization of the production of these hormones. With poor production of these neurotransmitters, mood irritability and chances of mental illness increase. Anxiety, depression, and even addiction disorders could potentially result from not improving your gut health.
High-stress levels can also have a negative reaction on your gut, as many of us will have experienced upset stomachs whilst we are in stressful situations. Learning different methods to cope with stress can help to ease this stress on your gut.
Since poor gut health results in the malabsorption of nutrients and vitamins throughout the body, skin quality tends to be a detriment. Skin problems such as psoriasis, acne, rashes, and eczema manifest from this. People with rosacea are ten times more likely to have small bacterial intestinal overgrowth.
The gut is a barrier between the rest of your body and your digestive tract. Irritation on your gut lining results in irritation throughout the rest of the body. When this happens, due to a reaction from consuming anything inflammatory, the body enters stress mode.
When the body enters stress mode, the skin’s role in acting as a protective agent becomes affected. Less antimicrobial peptides are able to be produced by the skin when under stress. So, keeping the skin smooth and clear becomes a decreased priority of the body, resulting in various skin inflammatory issues.
By supplementing zinc, you can increase the likelihood of retaining this vital element’s many beneficial effects. It is known to decrease redness and irritation within skin conditions. Those with scarring also find relief from zinc, as it targets these wounds.
Zinc is supportive of the immune system too, which weakens as a result of a gut not working properly. Buddahealth offers a Zinc and Vitamin C daily capsule that can easily be integrated into your diet and can help to boost the immune system.
Those with frequent headaches and migraines tend to have poorer quality of their gut health. This is especially true in cases where migraines lead to nausea and vomiting.
Frequent headaches are linked to a predisposition for gastrointestinal problems. Alternatively, people experiencing gastrointestinal irritations also experience more frequent headaches and migraines.
Supplements such as the Buddahealth Gut Friendly Probiotic and the Buddahealth Zinc with Vitamin C are known for improving gut health by helping to relieve the discomfort of stomach issues while decreasing the frequency of headaches. You can view the Buddahealth vitamin range here!
Heartburn is a tell-tale sign of an unhealthy gut. Acid reflux occurs in the upper part of the GI tract. It could be a sign of an overall inflamed gut or that certain foods are irritating your gut lining.
No matter what your symptoms are, they are your body’s way of reacting to let you know that something internally is wrong. Heartburn, especially, could be an immediate clue on which foods trigger inflammation in your body. Listen to what your body is telling you to identify problematic foods in your diet.
Balancing an Unhealthy Gut
Fortunately, there are many ways to fix an unbalanced gut microbiome. Probiotics in foods help reintroduce healthy bacteria in your gut. Examples include fermented miso, kimchi, kefir, apple cider vinegar, and more. You can also try probiotic capsules such as the Buddahealth gut-friendly probiotics that are full of gut-friendly bacteria!
It’s also important to completely drop processed foods, sugar, and gluten products when healing your gut health too. Bad bacteria feed off of sugars and foods that simulate glucose spikes. These foods have no place in your current diet. Until you see a complete reduction in symptoms, cut out these foods.
You’ll also want to cut out any other inflammatory sources in your lifestyle. Lack of sleep, smoking, and drinking can all be sources of inflammation.
Try to reduce your screen time, maintain an exercise routine, and develop a holistic lifestyle. Solving the problem holistically means you’ll have a greater chance of being successful in your new routine. It can be hard to completely develop a new lifestyle, so take your time, but stay disciplined at the same time.
As we can see, the body is one connected system. An unhealthy gut leads to an unhealthy body, mind, and life. There are many ways in which the body manifests unhealthy gut symptoms throughout the body.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consider a change in routine and lifestyle. Buddalife offers exclusive deals for people taking their life seriously. You can be in control of how you feel.