Why Gut Health Is Important
“Gut health” relates to the function and balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Optimally, organs like the esophagus, stomach, and intestines all work together to allow us to eat and digest food without feeling any discomfort.
However, there are more and more people struggling with digestive diseases.
The food we consume is broken down in our guts, where it is turned into nutrients, ready to enter our bloodstream.
Yet, this isn’t effective if we have an unhealthy digestive system.
A healthy gut contains immune cells and healthy bacteria that fight infectious “pests”, such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria that are commonly ingested.
Having a healthy gut is extremely important for our general health and well-being because it communicates with the brain with the help of nerves and hormones.
But how do you know if you have an unhealthy gut?
Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut
Sleep Deprivation and Persistent Fatigue
An unhealthy gut is a guarantee for sleep disturbances.
Poor sleep and insomnia potentially lead to chronic fatigue and a decrease in our productivity.
Serotonin, one of the hormones of happiness, is actually produced in the gut.
For this reason, having an unhealthy digestive system leads to producing less serotonin, which makes our life miserable or “less happy”.
When we have difficulty digesting certain types of food (dairy or gluten for example), we experience food intolerance, which is completely different from a food allergy (which is caused by a reaction of the immune system).
Accidental Weight Change
Caloric consumption is the primary reason why people lose or gain weight, however, unintentional weight change could occur for another reason.
When we have an unhealthy gut, it harms our body in a way that it has a problem absorbing nutrients.
Furthermore, our body’s ability to store fat or regulate blood sugar is also impeded.
Having decreased nutrient absorption increases our appetite and urges us to overeat.
An unhealthy gut does not only harm us from the inside but externally as well.
Inflamed gut leads to “leaked” proteins from the gut and into the body, which can surface on the skin causing irritation and itching.
A bad digestive system could potentially lead to skin disorders such as eczema.
The impact of the gut on the immune system has been tested many times in the past.
Researchers have found that an irritated gut is related to systemic inflammation, which changes the proper function of our immune system.
This can lead to or worsen symptoms caused by autoimmune diseases where the body doesn’t protect itself versus harmful “enemies”, but it rather attacks itself.
Some autoimmune conditions are:
- Celiac Disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Crohn’s disease
Other signs of an unhealthy gut are:
Influence Of Gut Health On Our Bodies
The microbiome within the gut is created from trillions of bacteria, other microbes, and fungi.
It plays a major role in our general welfare because it helps control digestion and benefits our immune system.
A disproportion of healthy and unhealthy microbes within the intestines might lead to obesity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other disorders.
We suggest eating a wide range of fruits and veggies to help support the growth of healthy microbes in your gut.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article, we’ll give you actionable tips to implement in your daily life and make your gut happy!