Gut health may be one of the most misunderstood and under-stated factors in human wellness. It’s so important that Dr. Steven Lamm calls it ‘the surrogate brain’. Your gut health plays a key role in immune function, your mood, mental health, skin condition and potentially some very ominous diseases.
You definitely, definitely need to pay attention to your gut health!
So how does that work? You can start by looking for signs your gut may be struggling. We’ll get to those later in this article. Also, you may want to think about certain kinds of natural digestion supplements, like Intensive Colon Cleanse by Digestive Science, which essentially ‘restarts’ the gut with a 10 day cleanse. We’ll talk about that too.
Your Surrogate Brain
Your gut ranks way up there with your brain for its impact on your health and wellness. Gone are the days when the health community simply passed the gut off as a tube in which food goes in and waste goes out. We now know that gut health plays a much more influential role in your wellness that we previously realized.
You may have heard the term ‘gut microbiome’ in recent years. This refers to the 300 to 500 different kinds of gut bacteria you have in your body. Some of those bacteria have nefarious intentions, but most of them are good, and in fact, necessary to functioning of your body.
Evidence suggests that your gut benefits by having a large variety of healthy microbiomes Among other things, they may help your immune system, reduce depression, assist with weight loss and other health benefits we have yet to realize.
7 Warning Signs Your Gut is in Trouble
Proper gut health helps your body function as it should. Yet the gut has not fully adapted to the stresses or many aspects of modern living. A variety of factors can throw your gut off, like high stress, lack of sleep, processed and high-sugar foods and antibiotics.
That can have a ripple effect, throughout the body, that affect your brain, heart, skin, hormones, nutrient absorption and other areas that are clearly red flags.
In particular, the following 7 signs suggest your gut health needs attention:
1 – Upset Stomach
Here’s an obvious sign your gut health needs work. Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn suggest your gut’s not working as it should, with ‘working as it should’ including, but not limited to, the ability to process your food and get rid of waste.
2 – High Sugar Diet
You’ve heard it said “30 seconds on the lips, 30 years on the hips”, yes? While it is indeed tasty, a high sugar diet can alter your gut’s balance of good vs unhealthy bacteria. This can also lead to higher sugar cravings, which can further reduce your gut health.
In addition, high quantities of refined sugar are linked to inflammation, which can accelerate your body’s aging process and can lead to some of the most common chronic diseases that lead to early demise.
3 – Unintentional Weight Changes
It’s very common for people to gain weight as they get older. However, gaining or losing weight without making significant changes to your diet or exercise might be a sign your gut is struggling. Poor gut health can affect your body’s ability to process the nutrients in your die, regulate blood sugar and store fat cells.
You may experience weight loss from overproduction of bacteria in the small intestine, while you might gain excess weight from insulin resistance or the desire to overeat because of poor nutrient absorption.
4 – Lack of Sleep or Constant Fatigue
Poor gut health may be linked to those sleeping problems you’ve had of late. That’s because most of the body’s serotonin – a hormone linked to sleep and mood – comes from your gut. When your gut health isn’t all there, you may be more likely to struggle for quality shut-eye.
5 – Skin Problems
You may be more likely to have skin irritations like eczema when your gut health isn’t all there. This appears to be linked to ‘leaky gut syndrome’, when gut inflammation, caused by poor diet or bad nutrient absorption, leaks protein from the body, the result of which you may see on your skin.
We can also help if you’re suffering from rosacea. Take a look at our post, “How To Combat Rosacea Without Going To The Doctor.”
6 – Autoimmune Issues
It’s very clear at this point that the gut is inextricably linked to the immune system. Among other things, bad gut health appears to be a risk factor for chronic inflammation and reduce the immune system’s ability to do its job. That may increase your risk of autoimmune conditions, in which your body attacks itself instead of the harmful invaders that would do it harm.
7 – Food Intolerances
You might develop food intolerances if your gut’s not working as it should. When you have a food intolerance, your body has difficulty digesting certain foods. This may be caused by limited variety of gut bacteria and can lead to bloating, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain and nausea.
Note that food intolerances are an inability or difficulty to digest ‘trigger foods’. These are different than food allergies, which are an immune system reaction to foods it doesn’t seem to like. With that said, there is some evidence to suggest food allergies are linked to poor gut health as well.
How to Help Gut Health
Those are warning signs your gut is struggling. Now, what can you do for better gut health and to help your tummy work as it should?
1 – Lower Stress
High levels of ongoing stress are known to cause poor gut health. OK, now you’re even more stressed out! Try this: learn to meditate. You can also walk more, spend more time with friends and family, drink less caffeine, get a pet, do yoga, or heck, laugh more.
If you’re open to it, a few episodes of South Park will have you in stitches. Google the ‘South Park Russell Crowe’ episode to see what we mean.
2 – Get Enough Sleep
Aim to get between seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Poor quality rest is linked to bad gut health (among other things, like reduced memory and lower immune function). Speak with your doctor if you have trouble sleeping, and read up and practice the basics of good sleep hygiene.
3 – Eat Slower
Here’s a tip for better gut health that may also help you hit your target weight: eat slower. Literally, chew your food slowly. By doing so, you promote better digestion and allow your body a chance to digest the nutrients from your diet. This may reduce indigestion as well.
4 – Drink Enough Water
Adequate water intake appears to help the intestinal lining. It may also help your gut establish balance of good versus harmful bacteria. It’s a simple way to help with better gut health and wellness.
5 – Take a Prebiotic or Probiotic Supplement
Prebiotics are the food that helps develop gut bacteria. Probiotics are the actual live, ‘good’ bacteria. While people with SIBO (intestinal bacteria overgrowth), you may find that a probiotic supplement like Maximum Digestion Support reduces digestion problems and starts to improve your overall gut health and the factors linked to it.
6 – Look For a Food Intolerance
If you regularly have symptoms of bad digestion – bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, rashes, fatigue and acid reflux – you may have a food intolerance. In this case, it’s time to pull out your detective hat and examine the foods you eat.
Start by eliminating common trigger foods from your diet. These can include dairy, gluten, FODMAPS and caffeine, among many others.
Did that make a difference? Create a food journal and note any changes or improves with your digestive symptoms. If you’re still suffering, keep looking. If your symptoms improve, you can slowly start adding the suspected trigger foods one by one to your diet until they act up again. You’re trying to isolate the problem and eliminate it from your diet.
7 – Modify Your Diet
This is related to the previous point, but it’s worth mentioning if you want better gut health. You may need to modify your diet, with less high-sugar and fewer processed foods. You may also want to add more plant-based foods and lean protein to your diet.
Also, think about eating more fiber. It’s shown to help establish a healthy balance of gut microflora.
3 Gut Health Supplements to Think About
While you’re at it, if you’re really struggling with poor gut health, it might be a good idea to think about digestive supplements. At Leading Edge Health, we’ve found that three in particular help customers establish better gut wellness – and they tend to fix other things, seemingly unrelated as well.
As we’ve discussed, the gut is a ‘surrogate brain’ that affects most, if not all of the body. When your gut health is good, you’ll see it in your skin, hair, immune function, energy levels and just about every aspect of your life.
Digestive Enzyme Renewal – For Better Digestion
Here’s something to chew on – and yes, we get the pun. Many folks over 40 don’t have enough hydrochloric acid to digest their food. That’s because cooking kills much, if not most of the enzymes in your food. Without enough enzymes to pre-digest your food, your stomach makes more hydrochloric acid to get the job done.
But you can’t make more stomach acid forever. At some point, you may lose your ability to make enough hydrochloric acid to digest your food.
You get poor digestion as a result.
Why customers like Digestive Enzyme Renewal: Digestive Enzyme Renewal helps naturally supplement the gut with naturally occurring digestive enzymes, which you may lose when your cook your food. In doing so, you give your gut the enzymes it helps need to do its part in the digestion process.
You may find it helps:
- Reduce Painful Chest Burning
- Sore Throat
- Burping and Hiccups
- Less Stomach Pain
- Less Wheezing and Dry Coughs
As well, if you’ve got poor gut health, you may also find Digestive Enzyme Renewal reduces night time disturbances – and you may sleep better as a result.
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Maximum Digestion Probiotic – For Your Skin, Health and Immune Function
Wait, a probiotics supplement can give me better health? Possibly, and here’s why. As we’ve discussed, your gut is home to anywhere from 300 to over 500 species of bacteria. Most of them are beneficial, however, some are not – and can even be dangerous.
Many factors can throw off your balance of good and harmful bacteria, from high stress to low sleep, poor diet and the other factors we’ve covered in this article.
You may find lifestyle changes help re-establish that balance. But you can also help it with a probiotics supplement, like Maximum Digestion Supplement, which is 10 strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium – the ‘good’ bacteria that help support the GI tract.
It may help:
- Better Nutrient Absorption
- Fewer Digestion Problems Like Gas and Constipation
- Support Immune Function
- Easier Weight Loss
- Healthier Skin and Hair
Maximum Digestion Probiotic packs a lot of punch in an organism less than a billionth your size. And they’re always looking out for your health and well-being.
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Intensive Colon Cleanse – To ‘Restart’ Your Body
We’ve covered a lot of ground here. You know that gut health is far more important that previous generations realized and influence most, if not all of your body in some capacity.
We’ve also known for years that intermittent fasting appears to help weight loss and stimulates white blood cells within the immune system.
The point we’re getting at? Sometimes, it appears the body may benefit from a ‘restart’ – and that’s where Intensive Colon Cleanse comes in.
Here’s why you may want to think about Intensive Colon Cleanse. It’s a slow, gentle, 10 cleanse of the GI tract, made with herbals that provide essential nutrients to the GI tract, relieve digestion problems and optimize the gut for better wellness.
Think about Intensive Colon Cleanse to:
- Detoxify the GI tract
- Relieve Constipation, Gas and Bloating
- Re-invigorate The Immune System
- Assist With Weight Management
- Restart the Body
To summarize, Intensive Colon Cleanse helps renew the body and gives gut health a chance to reset. You’ll feel this – and see it too. For someone who wants better gut health, it’s time and energy well-spent.
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Are you also dealing with urinary incontinence? Find out more in our blog post, “Fighting Urinary Incontinence: 10 Tips For Better Bladder Control.”