Your gut is floating with millions of bacteria and microorganisms. All of them make up the largest part of your body’s microbiome. A healthy gut is a way to a healthy mind, healthy body, and a healthy you. Way to a good gut health is possible by maintaining a balance between the good and bad bacteria in the microbiome. If your bowel is acting differently than regular, it could be unbalanced inside. Various health problems can occur when the gut is out of balance.
In this article we will discuss major causes of an imbalanced gut and ways to keep the proper balance.
Symptoms Your Gut Is Out Of Balance
1. Digestive Discomfort
A healthy digestive system makes it easier to process food and remove waste. If your bowel movement is disturbed, or experiencing constipation, bloating, gas, stomach cramps, acid reflux, or hear-burns, they are symptomatic of an unbalanced gut.
2. Unexpected Change in Weight/Body mass
If you gain or lose weight without changing your diet or exercise habits, it can be a direct sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can make it difficult to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar levels, communicate satiety, and store fat. A lack of diversity in the gut microbiota is a precursor to obesity and can lead to more serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
3. Food Intolerance
“Food intolerance” and “Food allergy” both are taken as similar whereas both are different from each other. When a certain type of food, like dairy or wheat, upsets your stomach doesn’t necessarily mean you actually have an allergy or an intolerance. Probably the reason could be that particular food is causing you stomach upset because of your microbiome is out of balance. Your gut may lack the good bacteria that it needs to break down certain foods effectively.
4. Mood Changes
The gut-brain axis theory says, how the gut and brain health are interlinked and interdependent. Gut is often referred to as your “second brain.” Research and several studies confirm things like anxiety, depression, mood swings, and emotional health are tied to the state of your gut. The presence of enough good bacteria in the gut supports the production and regulation of important hormones like dopamine and serotonin called happy hormones.
5. Fatigue and Dullness
Feeling tired even before you start your day can be a sign that your gut isn't working. Lack of gut microbial diversity is directly related to sleep disorders such as lack of energy, chronic fatigue, and insomnia and restless sleep. Serotonin, a hormone that affects sleep and mood, is produced in the gut. A malfunctioning gut can make it difficult to produce and regulate serotonin, which can negatively impact quality, restful sleep.
6. Skin Conditions
Gut health affects everything. It also affects your skin. Conditions such as eczema and acne are associated with intestinal inflammation caused by food allergies, an unbalanced diet, and a lack of good gut bacteria. When your gut is out of balance and you have more bad bacteria than good bacteria, it can wreak havoc on your skin, hence the gut-skin axis comes into consideration.
6 Things To Promote Gut Health
1. Check Your Diet
Diet has a huge impact on gut health and the balance of good and bad bacteria. Reducing the number of foods that are processed, high-sugar, and high-fat can lead to a healthier gut. Aim for a balanced diet that includes lots of plant-based foods, lean proteins, and fiber.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep contributes to gut health. Lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in beneficial bacteria in your gut. Second, a lack of beneficial bacteria in your gut can lead to further sleep disturbances. Check that your circadian rhythm is in order.
3. Avoid Unnecessary Medications
Allopathy medications are made with chemicals like antibiotics, pain killers etc. If you are not really sick like a cold allergy or infection let the body do its part rather than jumping to swallow some pills. Give your body's natural fighting ability to work for you. If the body condition is not getting better or bothering you too much you may then need to show up to a doctor for prescribed medication. Self-medication for any disease is never advisable.
Antibiotics can totally deplete the good bacteria in your gut while fighting off the bad bacteria hence often its advisable to take a probiotic supplementation while taking antibiotics. Medications like Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antacids, birth control, steroids can also harm your gut’s good bacteria. Adding more chemicals and medications to the gut will only exacerbate any issues you’re already having.
4. Supplement with Prebiotics and Probiotics
A great way to improve gut health is to add prebiotics and probiotics to your diet. Prebiotics easily added to your diet through food, its the fibre that you get from eating more foods such as bananas, garlic, onions, and leafy greens. Probiotics are found in yogurt and fermented foods such as home-made pickles, idli, dosa, dhokla, kombucha, Wonder-pro super probiotic supplement. Check the quality of the probiotic supplement to make sure you're taking a quality supplement that won't cause any further damage to your gut biome.
5. Increase Glasses of Water
One of the easiest ways to promote gut health is to drink more water. Increased water intake keeps your digestive tract moving and promotes a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Do not substitute caffeinated or alcoholic beverages for water as they can further irritate the intestines.
Stress is the underlying cause of almost all diseases. Chemical stress, metabolic stress, psychological and physiological stress. It’s not easy but it is possible to manage stress. Reduced stress can help balance your gut. Lifestyle changes like taking a walk, getting a massage, yoga, or something as simple as getting in a few laughs can reduce stress hormones allowing the gut to produce more serotonin and dopamine.