Within the confines of your gut reside almost a hundred trillion bacteria, viruses, and yeasts. Not to be confused with the microorganisms that can make you sick, the ones in your gut are not just there to digest your food.
As a collective, these good microorganisms in your GI tract are known as the gut flora. Their numbers and condition can determine your body’s health (both physical and mental), immunity, and more. An imbalance within this realm is what causes diarrhea when you’re traveling, for instance.
Working like the mayor of this massive city, keeping the almost 500 species of microorganisms healthy and content may seem like a daunting challenge, but it is your ticket to ensuring that all the other parts of your body stay in tip-top shape. Join the specialists in producing diarrhea medicine in the UAE as they discuss more about this often misunderstood world inside your body and how you can keep the microbes happy.
Signs of an unhealthy gut
Recent studies show that the condition of the microorganisms in your gut can affect how you function. The following are a few signs of an unhealthy gut that you may not have realized before:
1. Stomach issues
Do you feel gassy or bloated? Do you often experience diarrhea or heartburn? Frequently experiencing these issues could be a sign of an unhealthy gut.
An unhealthy gut will have difficulty processing food efficiently. As a result, you may strain while your body is eliminating waste, produce watery stools, or experience general discomfort.
2. Mysterious weight changes
Did you gain or lose weight, but you don’t remember making any lifestyle or dietary changes? This could be a sign that there is something wrong with your gut and the microbes inside it.
The microorganisms in your GI tract are responsible for digesting food and absorbing the nutrients from it. They also work in controlling your blood sugar levels and storing fat. Changes in your weight are an indication of issues with the population of gut flora.
For instance, weight loss is a possible sign of an overgrowth of bacteria in your intestine. On the other hand, overeating shows that there is an issue with how efficiently your body absorbs nutrients in food. Hunger pangs tell the body that it is not getting the right amount or quality of nutrients.
3. Autoimmune diseases
Recent studies indicate that imbalances in the gut can also affect how the immune system functions. In some individuals, this can lead to increased inflammation or the development of autoimmune diseases.
The body has its own security system to protect itself from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. In healthy individuals, the body produces antibodies to protect the cells from these invaders. However, if the person develops an autoimmune disease, his own antibodies end up attacking the healthy cells in the body.
Experts say there are over 80 types of autoimmune diseases known medically. Some of the more common ones are:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Addison’s disease
4. Sleep issues
Constant fatigue, insomnia, and other sleep issues are also possible symptoms of a gut that needs some help. The body needs serotonin to sleep well. This particular hormone also regulates a person’s mood.
As the gut produces this hormone, any imbalances can also affect the production and flow of serotonin in the body. If you haven’t been sleeping well recently, you may want to look into your gut health.
Ways to help your gut
There are many potential indications that you have an unhealthy gut, with the ones listed here being a few of them. Now that you know what the possible signs are, here are a few ways to get your gut back on track.
1. Sleep more
Putting in enough hours of sleep at night and chasing after sleep that won’t come is a never-ending cycle. On the one hand, not sleeping enough hours or experiencing sleeping problems are ways for your gut to tell you that something is wrong. At the same time, getting adequate and uninterrupted snooze time is also a potential solution for making the gut issues go away.
As much as possible, aim to get between seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Consult a doctor if you have trouble sleeping to ensure that other underlying issues do not cause them. Your doctor can also provide you with recommendations, or medications, if needed, to help you sleep longer and better.
2. Take your probiotics
Include probiotics in your diet to help boost the populations of good bacteria in your body. There are several options for getting some probiotics into your system. The easiest is to take supplements.
Probiotic supplements are readily available in many pharmacies and health stores online and in physical shops. Ask your doctor for recommendations on brands to take and dosages.
A better alternative is to eat more foods rich in probiotics. Fermented vegetables, miso, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are a few examples. By consuming these dishes regularly, you can keep the numbers of good bacteria in your GI tract at the recommended level.
3. Don’t forget the prebiotics
They may sound similar, but prebiotics are not at all the same as probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria, while prebiotics are the stuff that they eat.
Much like other living organisms, the bacteria on your body need to feed to survive and thrive. In the case of probiotics, prebiotics also make them hardier. Prebiotics can make the bacteria more resistant to temperature and pH changes, among other environmental conditions.
Food for the good bacteria comes in the form of nondigestible carbs. You can keep your bacterial constituents happy by consuming more foods rich in prebiotics such as:
- Whole grains
You may not see the bacteria working inside your body, but you can feel it when they are not functioning well. Make a few lifestyle changes and follow the tips we have provided. Over time, you will see positive changes in your health and overall well-being.