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Watch out please! These signs can tell if you have an unhealthy gut

Published on:11 September 2021, 10:00am IST
When your gut is not working healthy properly, there are several signs and symptoms that your body shows. Here are some signs of an unhealthy gut you need to watch out for.
Aayushi Gupta
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Signs of unhealthy gut
A healthy gut plays an important role in the overall functioning of the human body. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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How many of us are guilty about gorging something and then thinking about what is going to happen to the gut? Perhaps most of us, or maybe all of us! Although your eating habits have the biggest impact on your gut, there are many other factors ranging from high-stress levels to too little sleep, that can play havoc with your gut health.

Your gut health is a direct reflection of your overall health because whatever you eat goes directly to your stomach. And if your gut is unhealthy, it can take a toll on your entire body. But how would you find if your gut is healthy or unhealthy? To give you a clear insight, we spoke to Dr. Roy Patankar, a gastroenterologist at Zen Multispeciality Hospital. 

There are a number of signs that reveal that your gut health is not on track. Here are certain signs of unhealthy gut, according to Dr Patankar:
1. Abdominal distress

If your gut is balanced, you will face less or no difficulty processing food and eliminating waste. But if there’s any issue, then experiencing stomach discomfort is common. Dr Patankar says, “If you notice symptoms like bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhoea, and constipation then there may be some problem with the gut. These are the classic symptoms of an unhealthy gut.” Do not ignore these. Instead, address the issue as soon as possible. 

2. Bad breath

Chronic bad breath is called halitosis. But are you aware that it can also be caused by bacteria linked to gum disease? “Gut imbalance can lead to certain types of H. pylori bacteria residing in the GI tract. You will be shocked to know that these bacteria can invite stomach ulcers, and bad breath,” Dr Patankar says. 

Take this quiz: Azadi from constipation: Reveal your pooping habits and we’ll tell you how healthy your gut is

3. Fatigue

A study published in April 2017 in the journal Microbiome found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome may have imbalances in the gut microbiome, which consists of the bacteria, microorganisms, fungi, and viruses present in the gastrointestinal tract. 

signs of unhealthy gut
You may experience fatigue due to unhealthy gut. Image courtesy: Shuttertsock
4. Skin problems

Are you experiencing flare-ups? If yes, then you should know that some skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis may be related to gut issues. Dr Patankar says, “If there is an unbalanced microbiome in the gut then your skin will become sensitive and you may encounter skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis.” 

Here’s why maintaining gut health is important?

A healthy gut is a key to our vitality. This may seem obvious because our gut is the gatekeeper for the food and water that fuels our organic existence. Dr Patankar says, “Maintaining good gut health is the need of the hour. Gut health signifies the balance of microorganisms present in the digestive tract. Did you know? Bacteria- yeasts and viruses can also be termed as gut microbiome or gut flora. Thus, it is imperative for you to strike the right balance of these microorganisms to stay healthy.”

But guess what, a sedentary lifestyle can give a tough time to your overall well-being. Yes, you read it right! Dr Patankar says, “Various factors such as stressful life, insufficient sleep, indulging in processed and sugar-laden foods, and unmonitored use of antibiotics can damage the gut microbiome. Moreover, your gut can also affect other parts of the body like the heart, brain, immune system, weight, hormone levels, and even the capacity to absorb nutrients.” All in all, maintaining gut health should be of the utmost importance.

signs of unhealthy gut
Healthy gut means healthy you! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Follow these tips to maintain a healthy gut
  • Stress can ruin your gut health so try to calm yourself down by doing yoga, meditation, and other activities that you love to such as dancing, listening to music, gardening, painting, and maybe photography.
  • You need to include probiotics and fermented foods that are beneficial for the gut and lower inflammation.
  • Drink enough water to make you and your gut healthy.
  • Various studies have revealed that eating sugar and fats negatively impacts one’s gut microbiome. So avoid excess consumption of sugar. 
  • Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per day to ensure that your gut is healthy.
  • Don’t forget to opt for fibre-rich vegetables and fruits, sprouts, and legumes in the diet.
  • Try to cut down on smoking and alcohol that can disturb the balance of the gut.
  • Say NO to junk food, ketchups, processed, oily, and canned food as they can invite problems like bloating and acidity.

Aren’t these tips really simple to follow? Well, that’s the least you can do for your gut health, isn’t it?

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.