Gut health is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing. It has been linked to the immune system, our mood and mental health, skin conditions and a range of autoimmune diseases.
The truth is that each one of us has unique gut microbiome. Disturb the delicate balance of flora in your gut and you could end up suffering from a range of uncomfortable symptoms and conditions.
The gut is influenced by a range of factors – from stress levels, to the food you feed it, medication and lifestyle choices. We need to take good care of our gut by eating a diverse range of healthy foods, minimising stress, moving our body and prioritising sleep. Yet, sometimes we still may find that our gut is unhealthy. So what are the signs to look out for?
1. Bloating, gas, burping, cramping and a change in your stools (frequency and formation) are clear signs that your gut is struggling.
2. Food and chemical sensitivities, including skin disorders such as eczema could also indicate that your microbiome may be out of whack. Food intolerances can cause inflammation and irritate the skin.
3. Moodiness. It’s important to note that 90 per cent of serotonin receptors are located in the gut which influences mood. If your gut is unhealthy, it’s likely to affect your mental processes, including the state of your mood.
4. Sleep disturbances and/or fatigue. If you’re experiencing insomnia or poor sleep, it may be connected to your gut. Not having enough serotonin can impair your body’s ability to sleep well, leading to fatigue throughout the day.
5. Brain fog. The gut is often referred to as the second brain and consuming a highly-processed, sugary diet full of convenience foods and alcohol can lead to an unhealthy gut and, in turn, problems with concentration or lack of mental clarity.