The gut microbiome is a population of microbes – bacteria, yeasts and parasites living in your gut. Incredibly, there are 10 times the amount of these microbes as there are cells in your body. These microbes play a key role in digesting the food that you eat but they are involved in processes that are much broader than that including metabolism, body weight, and immune system regulation, as well as your brain functions and mental well being.
Signs of Poor Gut Health
The wrong mix of bugs in your gut can lead to many problems. An undergrowth or overgrowth of good bacteria is known as gut dysbiosis. Common problems related to gut dysbiosis are listed below.
Leaky gut syndrome is a digestive condition that occurs when our gut flora is out of balance and the protection that gut bugs provide is compromised, the lining of the intestinal wall develops gaps. These gaps in the intestinal wall allow bacteria and toxins to slip into your bloodstream, wreaking havoc. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, constipation, or bloating, fatigue, headaches, confusion, skin problems, joint pain and inflammation.
Gut bacteria have been found to affect blood sugar levels, appetite regulation and fat storage. Studies have shown that long-term weight gain in humans is related to low microbial diversity within the gut Research from Washington University found that an over abundance of a bacteria called firmicutes could contribute to weight gain.
Unhealthy gut bacteria has been linked to heart disease. Certain strains of bacteria produce a chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide which has been attributed to blocked arteries.
Inflammation, a known risk with regards for heart disease has also been linked to poor gut health.
Declining Mental Health
Inflammation and a weakened immune system has been linked to mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
Chronic Inflammatory Diseases
Growing evidence is linking poor gut health with chronic inflammatory diseases. Including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac Disease, Allergies, Asthma, Crohn’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
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