I always thought that ‘gut health’ (actually, I never really ever thought about gut health) but IF I HAD ever thought about gut health, I would have assumed that it only referred to proper digestion and elimination, and that as long as things seemed to be moving along in a relatively timely fashion, everything must be okay!
Digestion and elimination are definitely important factors, but there is a lot that seems to happen during that process….things I’m just starting to even consider.
Some of the symptoms of poor gut health, would be those that you would expect, things directly related to digestion/elimination like bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation etc.
But then there were other things that I often personally chalked up to aging; things like joint pain, muscle soreness, slowing metabolism, weight gain, poor memory, brain fog…
Apparently, and not surprisingly when you think about it, gut health significantly impacts our overall health, even systems and symptoms that aren’t obviously correlated.
I was surprised that gut health can be a contributing factor to autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, celiac, etc.
Our immunity is also supported by gut health and it seems that many of our attempts to protect ourselves from germs and bacteria, are actually lowering our natural resistance and rendering us increasingly defenceless.
Should you be concerned?
10 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut:
1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea
2. Food allergies or sensitivities
5. Mood swings, irritability
6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea
8. Autoimmune disease
9. Frequent Infections
10. Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD
There are many quizzes you can take online to determine whether or not you are experiencing a healthy gut. I would have to say, that I doubt many, if any, of us who haven’t been making intentional improvements, have a healthy, balanced digestion system. Our diets and lifestyles are our biggest enemies, and also the things we have the best opportunity to control and change.
The medical field seems to be catching on to the correlation between bacteria in our gut and autoimmune disease, and I have read articles where they are researching vaccines to destroy some of the bacteria causing problems. While this may be crucial for some, in my opinion, there are many other lifestyle and diet changes that most of us would do well to explore, especially if we are not yet experiencing serious, debilitating diseases.
So that’s where I am going…. What can I do to increase my overall health, beginning with my gut, and prevent some of the more serious consequences.