Gut health is rapidly becoming a much-talked-about topic in the wellness world... and with good reason! New research is showing that our gut microbiome is responsible for about 70% of our immune response, has huge impacts on anxiety and depression, and can be a factor in causing autoimmune diseases, cancer, and various skin conditions such as psoriasis.
When we speak about the gut, we are talking about the large and small intestines where the majority of the microorganisms resposible for nutrient uptake reside. Things like stress, diet, and sleep can impact the variety and number of microorganisms in the gut, and whether they fall into the "good" or "bad" category. If we don't have enough "good" bacteria in our system, it can negatively impact our brain, heart, hormones, and nutrient absorption.
So how to you know if your gut microbiome needs some love? Without submitting a stool sample to your doctor and getting your poop analyzed, there is no way to know exactly what is going on. But... here are 5 of the most common signs that it might be time to focus on your gut health.
You are not "regular". One of the most common things people notice when their gut health is off is constipation or diarrhea. Bloating, frequent gas or heartburn, abdominal pain, and hemorrhoids can also be sign that things are not working as well as they should be. One way to tell if your gut is healthy and functioning properly is if you have one or two bowel movements per day, and they are easy to pass.
Diet high in sugar or sugar cravings. Our body likes predictability and routine, so when we eat a lot of sugar, our body starts to crave more sugar. Sugar feeds the "bad" bacteria in the gut, and those bacteria then send signs back to the brain to keep feeding them with more sugar. It's a never-ending feedback loop. One of the things we do in the Mind-Body Reset is practice how to use mindfulness to resist unhealthy cravings, like that 4pm cookie habit. Sugar has been linked to inflammation in the body, which can cause diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders.
Fatigue and insomnia. When our gut health is off, many of the nutrients we need to keep the brain focused during the day and ready for sleep at night are not absorbed like they should be. This can cause a combination of insomnia and fatigue, which create more insomnia and fatigue. One of the best supplements to help with sleep is good old fashioned Magnesium. This is why an epsom salt bath can be great for relaxing the body and supporting healthy sleep habits.
Mood issues or mood disorders. Serotonin and other neurotransmitters that impact mood are produced in the gut. In several studies, it was found that people who took probiotics saw a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression. I can speak from personal experience that once my daughter started taking supplements to support her gut health, her anxiety and emotional reactivity decreased... and our house became much more peaceful!
Allergies, food intolerances, skin disorders, and autoimmune disease. While it may seem odd that I lumped these together, all 4 of these can indicate that the immune system is not working properly. Since we know that about 70% of our immune system is in the gut, it makes sense that our immune response would be impacted if our gut microbiome was off.
What to do about it?
Decreasing stress, changing your diet, and drinking enough water can all help keep the "good" bugs in our belly happy. If you are ready to make a change, join me for the FREE or VIP Mind-Body Reset starting Tuesday October 20. This is a virtual even that you can join from anywhere, and you can do the activities and watch the tutorials on your own time. We will destress, create healthy habits, and VIP ticket holders will get nutrition support to get your gut microbiome back on track.