Revealed: The THREE little-known signs your gut isn’t healthy
- Bloating, fatigue, and weight change can all be signs of an unhealthy gut
- Experts say poor gut health can also be linked to cancer and should be monitored
Your gut can reveal a lot about your health, especially signs that something isn’t quite right internally.
But it’s not just diarrhea and stomach cramps that you should be aware of.
Here, MailOnline reveals some of the other lesser-known signs of poor gut health.
Problems with bacteria in the gut can result from food intolerances and cause poor digestion, bloating, gas and stomach pain
The average person breaks wind up to 40 times a day, according to the charity Guts UK.
But if you get gas after eating certain foods, it could be a sign that your intestines aren’t breaking down food as it should.
“A little gas and bloating is actually normal and a good sign that someone’s microbiota is working hard digesting dietary fiber that we don’t have the enzymes to break down, so the microbiota does it for us,” says Anna Pettit, gut specialist and dietitian at the gut health clinic.
“However, persistent severe abdominal bloating and excessive flatulence, often accompanied by other troublesome bowel symptoms such as loose stools and/or an urge to go, may be a sign of malabsorption.”
According to Ms. Pettit, this can be caused by food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance.
It occurs when people lack adequate amounts of an enzyme called lactase, which helps digest lactose — a sugar found in dairy products.
Mrs Pettit said: ‘Sometimes these malabsorptive symptoms are caused by the pancreas not producing enough enzymes to properly digest food.
“The stool may also be orange or pale in color with bits of undigested food along with bloating and excessive wind.”
If you experience persistent bloating or if it is accompanied by sudden weight loss, abdominal pain or diarrhoea, you should see a GP as this could be a symptom of a more serious bowel condition, according to Guts UK.
A healthy gut can also mean a healthy mind, according to experts.
‘Our digestive and mental health are linked through the gut-brain axis – directional communication between the brain and gut,’ says Ms Pettit.
“Any disturbance along the gut-brain axis can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.”
Disruption is caused by an imbalance between microorganisms in the gut, which are responsible for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
When too many “bad” bacteria grow in the gut, it can lead to mental problems, as well as physical problems, studies suggest.
Experts say this may be because the gut supplies about 95 percent of the body’s serotonin — the hormone that influences mood and emotion.
Some foods can cause you to get pimples.
Refined sugar and saturated fat can often be the culprits of bad skin, as they can cause an imbalance of gut bacteria – known as dysbiosis.
This can contribute to skin problems such as acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and even dandruff.
Just like the gut-brain axis, there is also a gut-skin axis.
Intestinal microbes are not provided with the right microbes in those who eat unhealthy.
This can lead to dysbiosis, which the immune system compensates to activate the inflammatory response.
Ms Pettit said: ‘Many skin conditions are caused by the dysbiosis of the gut microbiota. Gut dysbiosis can lead to rashes, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis and others because they are all caused by inflammation.”