Your digestive system, also known as the gut, contains up to 500 different kinds of bacteria that regulate its health. The study of gut health and the role of bacteria in the gut have become more popular research topics as doctors begin to understand the complexity of the digestive tract. This collection of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the gut is known as the “gut microbiome,” which lives primarily in the large intestine.
The more diverse your diet, the more diverse the microbes are within the gut microbiome. According to Healthline, the microbiome can help regulate the nervous system, control your immune system, and help the digestion of various foods. Keeping your gut healthy can have far-reaching effects on the rest of your bodily health, including mental health.
Watch out for the following signs of an unhealthy gut:
- Heartburn, diarrhea, constipation. If you are experiencing stomach discomfort on a daily or weekly basis, it could be a sign of an underlying problem. This could be an indication that your gut has difficulty processing and digesting food, which can be addressed by a doctor.
- Sugar cravings. If you regularly consume a diet high in sugar, this could affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut microbiome. Sugars like high fructose corn syrup are linked to inflammation, which could cause further damage to your system.
- Uncontrolled weight change. If your weight increases or decreases without any intentional change to your diet or exercise routine, an imbalanced gut could be the culprit. The gut’s ability to absorb nutrients and store fat could be affected based on what microbes are growing or diminishing.
- Poor sleep habits. Serotonin is a hormone that affects sleep and is predominantly produced in the gut. If, for some reason, your gut cannot produce enough serotonin, you may experience insomnia or disturbed sleep.
Make an Appointment With Gastro Care LI
If you are experiencing signs of an unhealthy gut, it may be time to get in touch with the team at Gastro Care LI. We treat a range of conditions such as bloating, constipation, IBS, and acid reflux. Call our office at (516) 265-7049 or fill out a contact form online.