Gut health is critical to overall health. Research into the complexity and power of the gut, as well as its importance to our health, is ever increasing in the medical community.
In functional medicine, it is believed that every system in the body is connected. The digestive and hormonal systems depend on one another. At the center of our health is a properly functioning digestive system and a healthy gut.
The term “gut microbiome” refers to the microorganisms living in your intestines. A person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. Some microorganisms are harmful to our health, but many are beneficial and necessary. Having a wide variety of these good bacteria in your gut can enhance your immune system function, improve symptoms of depression, help combat obesity, and provide numerous other benefits.
An unhealthy gut can lead to health issues including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune conditions, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. How can one pinpoint an unhealthy gut? Here are common signs and sypmtons :
Signs of an Unhealthy Gut:
1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea
2. Food allergies or sensitivities
3. Sleep disturbances or fatigue
4. Anxiety and/ or depression
5. Mood swings, irritability
6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea
8. Autoimmune disease
9. Frequent Infections
10. Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD
Today's modern life can lead to an unhealthy gut. Factors such as a high stress and fast lifestyle, ,demanding jobs, abundance of high- fat and high-sugar foods, and constant medication can leave ones gut debilitated. This is why it is crucial to practice self-love and self-care.
Quick tips to Improve Gut Health:
1.Reduce stress levels via meditation, massages, family time, watching a comedy, yoga, etc.
2.Decrease intake of caffeine and alcohol.
3.Sleep a minimum of 7- 8 hours a night.
4. Eat a nutrient dense, low- sugar and low-fat diet
5.Aim to chew food thoroughly, eat around the same times daily and sit down to enjoy meals.
6.Eat plenty of plant-based foods, lean protein and fiber
8.Take a prebiotic or probiotic supplement. Prebiotics provide “food” meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria.
9. Check for food intolerances. Symptoms of intolerances are cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rashes, nausea, fatigue, and acid reflux.