Better gut health helps a person maintain a happier life. As gut health becomes destroyed by different reasons, it is necessary to heal your gut. To heal your gut you will have to maintain several simple techniques.
A healthy gut represents a better balance of gut bacteria. A human gut comprises trillion of various bacteria that affect the body functioning. For example, gut bacteria help your body obtain better gut health by breaking down food particles, absorbing nutrients, breaking down some medications and by inhibiting the growth of some infectious bacteria. These gut bacteria also affect the human brain. It is said that “human gut microbiota is the second brain in the human body”.
The total number of bacterial cells in your gut is 10 times higher than in the whole human body. Everyone has a unique gut bacterial composition. This is just like a human fingerprint that doesn’t matches with others. This unique composition of intestinal bacteria come from mother during birth, or it is partly determined by lifestyle, diet and the environment the person lives in.
Gut health refers to the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Gut consists of all organs involved indigestion. The organs include the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, gall bladder, liver, and pancreas.
12 signs of poor gut health:
1. Sinus infection, hay fever, and headache:
Gut bacteria degrade the non-digestible food particle to help the body uptake vitamins and minerals. Thus it causes the improvement of the immune system. Balance in the gut flora causes the body to function properly and enhances the defensive mechanism of the immune system. But imbalance causes various serious complications. Imbalanced intestinal flora or lack of bacterial diversity in the gut allows the bad bacteria to dominate over the good bacteria. Therefore the immune system can’t work properly. This imbalance causes inflammation of the mucous membrane of sinus, causing blockage of fluid and airflow in the sinus. This situation resulted from inflammation is called sinusitis. This infection leads to sinus headache.
2. Food sensitivities or allergies:
A leaky gut causes sensitivity or intolerance to food. Any food particle passes through our esophagus and remains undigested will go through the other end. The gastrointestinal system functions to avoid foreign or unusual substances from entering our bodies. Because of losing permeability in the leaky gut, a large number of molecular substances such as proteins disperse in the bloodstream. Our body provokes an immune response against these molecules considering these molecules as foreign substances. This immune response makes you sensitive to foods.
3. Cravings for sugar or carbs:
Cravings for sugar or carbs indicates that the gut isn’t healthy, it is not in the balance of bacteria. The higher number of undesired bacteria give us a signal to take much amount of sugar in order to feed them. Researchers have found that these bacteria produce hunger-stimulating hormones such as ghrelin that increase your hunger for sugar.
4. Digestive problem- gas bloating chronic diarrhea and constipation:
Excessive production of gas in the intestine causes bloating in the rumen. This gas bloating results from a struggle of digesting our foods (proteins, carbohydrates) we consume. Digestion causes fermentation and gas production. An imbalance of intestinal bacteria is responsible for this bloating. They cause an excessive fermentation of carbohydrates and thereby produces a huge amount of gases.
5. Weight gain:
Overweight comes from an unhealthy gut. Normally gut microbiota release a certain hormone called FIAF (fasting-induced adipose factor) which helps the body to breakdown fat. They inhibit the body to store fat or help in controlling the level of blood glucose.
If the balance of stomach bacteria become disturbed, they will allow the body to store fat.
6. Skin problem –acne eczema and rosacea:
Skin problems such as acne eczema and rosacea results from a leaky gut. When the gut becomes permeable to the large molecules as well as bacteria and virus, these molecules enter the bloodstream and causes inflammation of the skin.
7. Excessive fatigue:
An imbalance of stomach bacteria are responsible for an excessive fermentation of carbohydrates and thereby produces a huge amount of gases such as hydrogen sulfite. This gas hampers the functionalities of mitochondria which produces energy through ATP production. Thus our unhealthy gut causes us fatigued.
Production of melatonin and serotonin directly affects our sleep. Imbalance of microorganisms in the gut causes a disturbance in the production of these two hormones. A leaky gut comprises a very low level of melatonin. Thus an unhealthy gut interferes with sleep negatively.
9. Autoimmune disorder:
Our gastrointestinal tract comprises a large amount of our immune system. An autoimmune disorder such as ulcerative colitis and coeliac disease starts with a leaky gut which permits the food particles and other large particles to enter the bloodstream. Thus the body stimulates an immune response against these food particles. Joint pain or arthritis is also another autoimmune disorder that results from a leaky gut.
10. Poor immunity and frequent sickness:
A healthy gut has a balance of intestinal microorganisms which causes the production of healthy mucus. Healthy mucus suppresses harmful microbes to grow and eliminate them from the body. Healthy mucus also supports the body to uptake the nutrients such as minerals and vitamins properly and this proper uptake of nutrients boosts immune response in the body.
If the immune responses become poor and the body is affected with microbial diseases, then the body may have an ill gut, imbalance of stomach bacteria and not a fresh mucus.
11. Energy loss:
An unhealthy gut that has an imbalance of gut microbiota and a leaky gut, can’t uptake nutrients, minerals, and vitamins properly. And thus it makes a person less energetic.
12. Depression, anxiety and concentration deficiency:
A number of neurons in your gut can communicate with your brain. Intestinal bacteria produce hormone or neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, GABA and serotonin) to make you feel good. If your gut flora is in imbalance, they may produce less or more hormones. Overproduction or less production of neurotransmitters may cause you mentally abnormal. For example, less production of dopamine kills your concentration in a work or study. So your abnormal mood indicates that your gut isn’t going properly.
How to increase good bacteria in gut naturally:
1. Take probiotics:
Probiotics are useful bacteria that reside in the intestine to suppress undesired bacteria. They secrete anti-inflammatory substances in the gut and thus protect from inflammation. These substances also reduce stress and depression. Probiotic supplement combined with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains provides effective treatment against psychological distress.
2. Take more prebiotic-rich food:
Prebiotics are the non-digestive fiber part of foods. They remain are not degraded in the small bowel and are fermented in the large colon. The products of this fermentation process support the good bacteria to grow and thereby increasing the number of desired bacteria in your intestine. Prebiotin – a prebiotic supplement – suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and allow the proliferation of useful bacteria in the gut. Prebiotin is known as “fertilizer for the useful bacteria”.
3. Eliminate sugar and carbs:
A higher concentration of sugar in the gut causes the release of insulin. The release of more insulin causes inflammation. Avoiding foods and drinks containing a higher level of sugar helps the body heal your gut.
4. Take fermented food:
Fermented food improves our gut health by increasing the number of lactic acid bacteria i.e. lactobacillus acidophilus. Fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. The lactic acid bacteria help in keeping the balance of intestinal bacteria. The proper balance of stomach bacteria means a better condition of the gut.
5. Eat vegetable:
Vegetables contain antioxidants and several plant substances that remove free radicals and reduce inflammation respectively.
6. Avoid alcohol:
Alcohol causes irritation of the gut and makes it leaky or permeable. A leaky gut allows the larger molecule to enter the bloodstream and thereby causes an immune response to them. So many adverse health consequences occur such autoimmunity disorders
7. Avoid junk food:
Junk food contains a lower amount of nutrients and a higher amount of sugar and fats. Higher fat brings a change in the diversity of intestinal bacteria causing a worse condition for the gut. High fat containing junk food support the detrimental bacteria to proliferate and cause an imbalance of stomach bacteria. This results in inducing an inflammation and immune response to the various cells and even the cartilage of joints and thereby causing joint pain. Researcher says only a five days regular consumption of junk food reduces the ability of our body muscle to convert sugar into energy.
8. Avoid gluten:
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is responsible for inflammation and autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease.
When you eat gluten-based food, they reach your small intestine. Your intestine releases an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase (tTG) to degrade the gluten into gliadin and glutenin.
But you know, gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) shows an immune response to the toxic biomolecule. If you have the sensitivity to gluten, your GALT consider this gliadin as harmful component and release immune substances or antibodies to block it. These lead to inflammation and damages in the gut.
Gluten also stimulates the gut to produce zonulin that degrades the permeability of the gut. And a leaky gut permits the large molecules to enter the bloodstream that induces the body to cause an immune response. This immunity results in autoimmunity, allergy, and inflammation and skin problem.
The researcher showed that there is a strong link between exercise and human gut microbiota. Exercise can enrich the diversity of intestinal bacteria and keep the balance of stomach bacteria in an optimal condition. Enriched bacterial diversity causes better gut health. For example, an enriched diversity of Firmicutes helps the gut to maintain a better metabolic function.
Researchers showed that cardiorespiratory fitness increases the ability of gut flora to butyrate which is an important short-chain fatty acid for improving gut health.
In addition to enriching the diversity of intestinal bacteria, exercise also maintains the ratio of Bacteridetes-Firmicutes. Exercise also increases the number of gut flora which increases mucosal immunity and reduces obesity and metabolic diseases.
10. Manage stress:
During depression or feeling stressed your body releases adrenaline and steroids and your body makes an immune response against them by producing inflammatory cytokines. If the stress occurs all the time, your body continuously sends inflammatory signals to your gut as well as other parts of the body. Therefore, this results in the reduction of good bacteria.
Generally, the gut bacteria work together with your lymphoid cells to fight against foreign particles. If the body releases the aforementioned neurotransmitters and thereby triggers inflammation-reducing useful bacteria in the gut, your gut becomes unhealthy day by day due to the chronic immune response.
11. Get more sleep:
Research says that circadian rhythm strongly affects your gut microbiota. A disrupted circadian rhythm is responsible for an unhealthy gut. That is, it reduces the number of good bacteria. So take adequate sleep that will maintain better circadian rhythm thereby helping you heal your gut.
12. Avoid unnecessary antibiotics:
Very often you take unnecessary antibiotics that kill your good bacteria. This over-consumption of antibiotics causes the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Sometimes it takes a long time to restore gut health or to restore the balance of intestinal bacteria. Several pieces of research say that these antibiotics cause a life-long change to the diversity of gut flora and thereby gives a life-long negative effect to the gut.