An unhealthy gut might be the root cause of many health issues you might be facing. Whether it’s persistent bloating, never-ending fatigue, or even problems with your weight, you might find the culprit to be lurking in your gut. As explained by Dr. Anita Iroko, a general practitioner, understanding the symptoms of an unhealthy gut can help you take corrective action sooner rather than later.
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Common Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut
One of the first signs of an unhealthy gut is experiencing digestive problems. As Dr. Iroko puts it, “Your gut is like your body’s command center for your overall health.”
Your digestive system plays a decisive role in your body. It’s not just about breaking down food and eliminating waste. It’s also responsible for absorbing nutrients, balancing your body’s microbiome, and even communicating with your brain. When your gut is out of balance, you might experience:
- Excessive gas
While these symptoms might seem common, persistent and recurrent disturbances might indicate an underlying gut issue. It’s important to listen to your body and consult with your doctor if these problems persist.
Unintentional Weight Changes
Unintentional weight changes can be a key indicator of an unhealthy gut. This could be unexplained weight loss or weight gain, despite making no changes to your diet or exercise routine. Generally speaking, the gut plays a central role in absorbing nutrients and regulating blood sugar, and any disruption could lead to weight fluctuations.
You might be surprised to know that your gut health can affect your sleep quality. In fact, insomnia, poor sleep, and fatigue are all signs of an unhealthy gut. There’s a strong connection between the gut and the brain, commonly referred to as the gut-brain axis, which might explain why an imbalanced gut can lead to disturbed sleep.
Believe it or not, an unhealthy gut can even affect your skin. Common symptoms include:
- Unexplained rashes
Dr. Iroko emphasizes, “Many skin conditions are linked to gut health, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balanced gut microbiome.”
According to Dr. Iroko, a common sign of an unhealthy gut is food intolerance. This is often due to the poor quality of bacteria in the gut. The difficulty digesting certain foods leads to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and nausea.
Foods That Can Worsen Gut Health
Certain foods can worsen gut health and contribute to inflammation. This includes highly processed foods, sugars, certain oils, and alcohol. “A diet rich in these can disrupt your gut balance, leading to dysbiosis and health issues,” warns Dr. Iroko.
Symptoms in Children
Dr. Iroko explains that children can also exhibit signs of an unhealthy gut. Symptoms such as recurrent stomach aches, changes in mood or behavior, skin problems, or issues with weight could all point to an unhealthy gut in children. If these symptoms persist, it’s important to seek medical advice.
When to Consult a Healthcare Provider
While everyone experiences digestive issues from time to time, persistent symptoms are a sign you need to consult a healthcare provider. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should contact a healthcare provider immediately:
- Severe or persistent stomach pain
- Blood in your stool
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent or recurring heartburn
- Sleep disturbances that affect your daily functioning
- Skin conditions that don’t respond to usual treatments
Wrapping It Up
In essence, your gut health plays a pivotal role in your overall well-being. Digestive issues, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and skin irritations could all be indicators of an unhealthy gut. It’s important to listen to your body and seek medical advice if you notice any persistent or recurrent symptoms.
A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can go a long way in maintaining your gut health.