Many people pay no attention to their gut health as they aren’t aware about the repercussions of ignoring gut health. Studies done in the last two decades suggest that an unhealthy gut can lead to various health problems which are not limited to the gastrointestinal area. An unhealthy gut can lead to mood swings, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune conditions, and many more health issues.
What is the gut microbiome?
It’s essential to understand the “gut microbiome” to understand gut health. Numerous microscopic living organisms such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses exist in our intestines. They are called microbiome or microbes. Every human body has its own unique set of microbes. Microbes of around 1-2 kg exist in every individual.
These microbes consist of both good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria are essential for our health, whereas bad bacteria can be harmful. Simply put, as long as there are enough good bacteria to fight off the bad bacteria, you will be fine. If the bad bacteria are more than the good, it can upset the balance in your gut, resulting in gastrointestinal issues or other health problems.
Common Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
1. Gastric Problems
When you have a healthy gut, other body functions run smoothly, especially the digestive ones. Gas, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and other gastrointestinal problems are common indicators of an unhealthy gut. It’s best to consult a Gastroenterologist in Karachi as soon as possible if you have a gastric issue before it gets worse.
2. Unintentional Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Weight change without any significant reason can signal an issue with gut health. A damaged gut makes it difficult for your body to control blood sugar, store fat and absorb nutrients. It can lead to insulin resistance which results in weight gain. In some cases, it can also result in weight loss due to bacterial overgrowth in the intestines.
3. Problem Sleeping
Serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood and affects sleep, is produced in the gut. A gut imbalance can disturb sleep and, even lead to insomnia. This loss of sleep can impact your body’s ability to function and cause chronic fatigue.
4. Food Intolerance
The inability of the body to digest certain types of food is most likely due to leaky gut syndrome. The leaky gut syndrome occurs when partially digested food particles and proteins escape the gut and enter the bloodstream. The blood thinks of it as invaders and attacks them, causing food intolerance.
5. Skin Problems
Like food intolerance, skin problems are also a result of the leakage of proteins in the blood, as a result of leaky gut syndrome. It can lead to skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
6. Mood Imbalance
The fluctuation of serotonin levels due to gut imbalance can result in mood issues. It can affect your body’s response to stress. Research suggests that an unhealthy gut can cause depression or anxiety as well.
7. Craving sugar
Having lots of sugary meals or drinks in your diet can cause the good bacteria in your gut to decrease. It can lead to more sugar cravings and the vicious cycle continues. Stay away from food that is processed or high in sugar for your gut health.
Improving Gut Health
Taking a healthy diet is key to maintaining a healthy gut. Additionally, exercising, controlling stress triggers, and taking proper probiotics are also great for keeping your gut functioning smoothly. Nevertheless, before making any changes, consult a Gastroenterologist in Islamabad to confirm the cause of the symptoms and then plan accordingly with your doctor.