When you hear the word “gut” you probably first assume that people are talking about your gastrointestinal tract, also known as your GI tract. The GI tract includes includes the esophagus, mouth, colon, rectum, pancreas, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, and stomach. In a nutshell, it consist of the organs that involve food intake and output. However, what people are referring to when talking about gut health is the bacteria in your microbiome.
Think of the microbiome as a community in your large intestine. Within this community are trillions of different microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. Some of the microorganisms in your microbiome are good, but there are also some harmful ones. Fortunately, a healthy gut is able to maintain a good balance of both without causing any issues. However, if there are too many harmful microbes, then it could cause disease.
Conditions Possibly Caused by Poor Gut Health
When your gut health is functioning at its best, it can keep infectious agents away from healthy bacteria and immune cells. But when the bacteria in your gut is unable to maintain homeostasis (a state of balance), your gut wall could become compromised. When this occurs, pathogens may enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation. Inflammation is an immune response used to attack harmful bacteria or heal damaged tissue, but too much of it leads to poor health.
Consider inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer. All are tied to intestinal inflammation. The inflammation is a response to how one’s gut health affects their immune system. However, it’s not just the GI tract we have to be concerned about. Inflammation may also cause allergies, Alzheimer’s, neuropathy, and more. Fortunately, all is not lost, and there’s something you can do about it!
6 Ways to Improve Gut Health
If you want to give your gut the best chance of warding off harmful bacteria, you may need to implement a new personal care routine and adjust your lifestyle. So here are six ways you can improve your gut health to ensure it’s functioning properly.
- Did you know that 55% of people across the world are stressed during the day? We’re surrounded by many stressors daily, but finding ways to lower our stress levels is important. Why? Well, it turns out that chronic stress levels can cause or worsen many serious health problems. The nerves in your gut may become more sensitive and cause changes in your gut microbiota, impacting how it communicates with your brain. Something like stress may cause a leaky gut because it’s easier for harmful bacteria to make their way around and seep into your blood circulation. The result is inflammation. So try and relax more, try meditation, go for walks, cut out caffeine.
- Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep at night may impact your gut health. A lack of sleep causes stress, and we know from what was described above that stress causes inflammation.
- Eat Slowly
You’ve probably never thought about this, but are you eating too fast? Many of us rush through eating when we should really be taking our time. Eating too quickly causes you to swallow more air, which leads to bloating and gas. However, that’s not all that’s occurring. Fast eating may also interrupt your gut hormones. Specifically, the ones that regulate your appetite and tell you when you’re hungry or not. Be sure to chew your food thoroughly to promote complete digestion and absorption of nutrients. This simple technique may assist in lowering digestive discomfort and preserving a healthy gut.
- Stay Hydrated
It’s estimated that at least 75% of the world population are chronically dehydrated, which means it’s time to make efforts to push more fluids. We need water to keep things moving around and to promote a healthy gut. In fact, it’s believed that drinking a lot of water is helpful to the mucosal lining of the intestines.
- Check Your Food Intolerances
Many people walk around with food intolerances and don’t even know about them. They may assume that symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and acid reflux are normal, but it could mean your body doesn’t tolerate this food well. If you’re interested in finding out what foods don’t agree with you, start keeping a food journal. Begin taking notes when you notice undesirable symptoms after eating certain foods, and then try eliminating those items. Then your gut shouldn’t be as inflamed once you remove those triggers.
- Change Your Diet
It’s no secret that some foods as tasty to eat, but they aren’t so great for your health. For example, sugary treats like cakes, cookies, ice-cream, and pies may eliminate the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which isn’t good. In addition, processed foods that are very common in the Standard Diet are linked to chronic conditions that may be completely preventable.
Signs Of an Unhealthy Gut
If you’re struggling with stomach issues, Experiencing persistent gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn. High-sugar diet, like sweets, fizzy sweet drinks, cakes, ice-creams. If you have constant weight changes, Skin irritation such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and then Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, MS and a like are caused by a unhealthy diet and when your gut can no longer function properly.
See you in 2 weeks!