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Is Your Gut Trying to Tell You Something? 10 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

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In recent years, many studies have shed light on the importance of gut health for overall health and wellness, claiming that even the slightest changes in the gut may cause a chain of unfavorable reactions throughout the body. As the main pathway for essential nutrients and vitamins to fuel the body, looking after your gut is a must. Is your gut messed up? Here are the 10 signs of an unhealthy gut to watch out for.


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The Importance of Gut Health

The gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, plays a central role in overall health. It breaks down consumed foods into nutrients. Following this initial process, nutrients enter the bloodstream to give the body energy. Once the digestion is completed, the gut cleanses the body of toxins and harmful chemicals by eliminating undigested waste.

More than a mechanism behind adequate nutrient absorption, numerous studies have shown that the gut is the “second brain.” It shares a close connection with the brain. For instance, have you ever noticed that your stomach starts turning and churning when you are stressed? That’s how the brain communicates with the gut and vice versa.

This demonstrates the importance of gut health for general health and wellness because other vital functions and organs can be affected when the gut system is off balance. A healthy, balanced gut system is critical for healthy living, preventing malnutrition and staving off infections and diseases.


10 Signs of An Unhealthy Gut

Let’s unfold the 10 warning signs of poor gut health.




Bloating is a common condition when a person’s tummy is full of gas.

A stomach with extra gas is typically not a big concern because it can happen when a person overeats or has too much gas-inducing food like carbs.

While the symptom goes away with mild exercises like walking or OTC gas-relief medicine, some people may have longer bloating. That’s when unhealthy gut health is put into debate.

Why does bloating happen? When the gut doesn’t produce enough enzymes, it can lead to poor digestion, with undigested food chunks starting to ferment in the stomach, hence the gas.

Other than that, conditions related to the gut, such as irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and acid reflux, can be the reasons behind a bloated tummy.


Brain Fog

As the gut and the brain are interlinked, brain fog or fatigue could be an indicator of an unhealthy gut.

The gut is responsible for sending off essential nutrients throughout the body — from the top to the toe — to maintain numerous in-body biological processes. It means disruptions in the gut system can adversely affect the brain due to hindered nutrition absorption and neurotransmitter production.

Consequently, you might find yourself having little to no energy to carry on daily tasks. You might also have wandering thoughts, low concentration, and forgetfulness, much like when you are depleted of energy when hungry.


Bad Breath


Bad breath is not easy to live with as it can sabotage a person’s confidence.

Although cavities, gum diseases, dry mouth, and eating garlic can cause unpleasant odors, poor gut health can give rise to bad breath.

When the gut can no longer remove excess waste as effectively as it used to or bad gut microbiomes outnumber good ones, the buildup of harmful bacteria and toxins can create a foul smell, leading to chronic bad breath or halitosis when left untreated.


Constipation or Diarrhea

Although constipation or diarrhea isn’t necessarily harmful to health, irregular bowel movements are a sign to look out for.

As the most recognized sign of poor gut health, having fewer than three bowel movements per week or more than three a day indicates something is off to your gut system. So beware when you have infrequent trips to the bathroom or prolonged diarrhea.


Sleep Disturbance


Disturbance in sleep cycles is another sign that it may be time to pay attention to your gut.

Most of the time, poor sleep quality is associated with low production of serotonin in the gut, leading to insufficient secretion of melatonin — a sleep hormone. In the long term, low melatonin levels may cause you to toss and turn at night.


Mood Swings

When your gut is leaky, you are at higher risk of developing mood swings, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and other mental illnesses.

As your rampaging gut no longer supports the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, you will likely undergo episodes of moodiness and anxious thoughts.

Plus, mood and behavioral issues can result from nutrient deficiencies when your gut doesn’t absorb nutrients properly.


Sweet Cravings


Even if you have a sweet tooth, an extreme urge to reach for desserts and treats anytime could mean your gut is suffering.

This is because your gut contains an unhealthy amount of yeast, and these tiny gut colonizers survive on sugar.

The overgrowth of yeast in the gut can perpetually cut back on the optimal functioning of the gut system and exacerbate existing digestive issues like inflammation and Crohn’s disease.


Food Intolerance

Keep a close eye on your gut health if you suddenly have weird reactions to certain foods, even though you have never had problems with them before.

Increased food intolerance or sensitivity is a condition when your gut can’t function properly, making it more difficult to convert food and absorb nutrients. It leads to a multitude of digestive issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, bloating, and nausea, among other symptoms.


Weight Gain


Putting on extra weights is a sign that your gut is acting out.

The imbalanced activity of certain gut bacteria can make you fat by triggering the release of ghrelin. The hunger hormone may increase your appetite, leading to unintentional weight gain due to overeating.

In some cases, unhinged microbiomes may have a bad influence on the metabolism, making weight loss unachievable as the rate of energy expenditure is reduced.


Skin Breakouts

Some skin concerns like eczema, rosacea, and spots popping up on your skin may be a clear sign that your gut is dysfunctional.

Several studies have pointed out that an inflamed gut is tied to a flawed skin look. When the gut doesn’t remove excess waste, toxins, and bad bacteria sufficiently, these harmful substances can affect the gut and other bodily systems. In some cases, they pass through the gut and exit through the skin, causing an uneven skin look with acne breakouts and blackheads.

Another reason behind the rise of skin issues is nutrient deficiencies. The lack of nutrients may sabotage the production of skin-beneficial chemicals like collagen, making the skin saggy, dull, and dehydrated.

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