6 signs your gut health is out of balance
You're farting. A lot.
Gut health is currently one of the hottest topics in nutrition. And with good reason too. The job of the gut microbiome is an area of intensive research. But the gut microbiome is a fast emerging and young field, and there are many features of the microbiome that are not yet well understood. However, what we do know is that things can go awry when our guts are out whack.
Here are some signs that things are out of balance…
1. You get sick frequently
Along with our immune system, gut microbiota are our first internal line of defence against pathogens protecting the body against disease. They produce antimicrobial compounds and in doing so, suppress pathogens. So the theory goes that if you have low immunity, it might just be stemming from an imbalance in your digestive system.
2. You struggle to shift the kilos
It is still unknown whether our gut microbiota can predispose us to carrying a few extra pounds. Research shows distinct differences in the diversity of bacteria in obese individuals compared to those of a healthy weight. Meanwhile, the good news is that bacteria in our guts can be altered. One study found that diet and exercise changed the microbiota of obese participants to look more like the bacteria found in lean individuals. That’s a pretty good reason to start moving and eating better!
3. You often get the runs
If the balance is distorted whereby you have more bad bacteria than good bacteria, you may be more susceptible to diarrhoea. This is because bad bacteria can fuel the growth of toxins and inflammation that can lead you to rush to the loo a little too often.
4. You feel like you have butterflies in the tummy
There is a strong relationship between our brain and our gut. Some researchers claim that we have a second brain in our stomach. And some have even concluded that people suffering depression and anxiety have altered gut bacteria.
5. Your bowels are a bit blocked up
Suffering from constipation? Struggling to pass a motion? It’s well known that Brit’s don’t consume nearly enough fibre. The equation is simple – if you don’t get enough fibre in your diet, you’ll be likely to have issues with elimination. Roughage from plant-based foods can get things working in a more regular fashion...
6. You’re a one-man/woman orchestra
Farting can be a common side effect of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). More research is needed to identify the main causes of IBS. However, what we now know is that some short-chain carbohydrates (also known as FODMAPs), can bypass the normal digestive processes and find themselves in the large bowel, resulting in excess gas, amongst other things.
So, what can you do to improve the health of your gut?
At the moment the evidence shows that eating a healthy diet is vital. So, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean meats, oily fish and small amounts of dairy products. Also, add high-quality digestive enzymes and probiotics into your daily routine.
There’s no need to resort to herbal tonics just yet. And there's absolutely no reason to fall for the lure of detox diets. If you need specialised dietary advice, contact a Dietitian and consult with your doctor if you are concerned about gut problems.
We hope this helps, nobody should live in discomfort!