More research is showing that when the gut is out of balance, the entire body is out of balance. Considered to be the body’s “second brain”, the gut impacts everything from your moods, digestion, brain function, and your immune system.
The good news is, there are some main signs that indicate that the gut’s microbiome is out of “whack”, and the even better news is that there are natural ways to heal your gut that can be done on your own and with the help of a gut health doctor.
Let’s take a look at a few common indicators that the gut is out of balance.
Your Stomach Doesn’t Feel Right
Constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea are all classic signs that something is up with your gut. All of these symptoms have been linked to an imbalance in the microbiome of the gut. So, if after you chow down on a meal, especially one that is rich in carbohydrates, your stomach feels upset or you’re racing to the bathroom, chances are your gut is not able to digest your meal properly.
You Are Turning Into The Cookie Monster
Food cravings especially cravings for sweet and sugary foods point to an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Sugar is highly addictive because when we consume too much sugar the bacteria that feeds off of that sugar want more. To fight off this imbalance your Oak Brook gut health doctor may suggest adding probiotics to your diet while reducing sugar intake to balance the microbiome of your gut.
Food Allergies & Food Sensitivity
If you have become sensitive to foods that you used to enjoy, especially dairy or gluten, this is almost always a sure sign of leaky gut. Leaky gut is when the gut barrier (the gatekeeper that keeps the good in and the bad out) has become compromised, thus allowing foreign objects to enter the bloodstream. This article explains it best, “When the intestinal barrier becomes permeable i.e. leaky gut syndrome, large protein molecules escape into the bloodstream. Since these proteins don’t belong outside of the gut, the body mounts an immune response and attacks them. This immune response shows up as food intolerances”. A gut health doctor will run tests to see which foods are causing these issues and eliminate them from your diet to improve the functionality of your gut.
Skin Inflammation & Acne
If you experience inflammation of the skin in the form of eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, or acne, there is a high chance that an unhealthy gut is the cause of this “topical” issue. Just like the gut, the skin has a microbiome of its own that is in direct contact with the gut. Therefore, if the gut is imbalanced it can cause inflammation and imbalance in your skin.
Feeling Depressed, Stressed or Anxious
When a person is feeling depressed, stressed or anxious they often also experience symptoms like upset stomach, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. And while in previous years it was suggested that these moods caused the gut issues, we now know that gut issues can actually come first. In fact, “Researchers are learning that it can come the other way around and that the gut issues may also be causing those emotional feelings.”. To put it plainly, our gut influences the way we feel and think. And when our gut is imbalanced, it stands to reason that our moods will be as well.
Around 70-80% of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. There are also certain cells located in your gut that excrete illness fighting antibodies into the body. So, if you have been getting sicker more often, your immune system may not be working properly, which in most cases would indicate that your gut is unhealthy, too. If you want to start building a strong immune system, you must start with your gut.
Start Improving Your Gut Health Today
As functional medicine providers, we help our patients find the root cause of the symptoms or conditions they may be experiencing and we know that for many of our patients, this starts with gut health. We work with you to create a tailored treatment program and experience to start improving your gut health through holistic treatment programs that work with your diet and your lifestyle including exercising and mindfulness techniques.
Our experienced providers can help you get started on your journey towards health and wellness and bring balance back into your life. We invite you to learn more about our practice to get started with healing your gut (and overall health) today.