4 Lesser-Known Symptoms of Poor Digestive Health to Know Of
Our bodily functions are made possible because of the different systems that work together to keep us healthy. No exception to this is the digestive system, which is responsible for processing and breaking down the food we eat into the nutrients our body needs. For this reason, taking care of the digestive system is essential, but one can only do so much until gut health issues start to occur.
Many believe that digestive issues are nothing more than stomach problems. While accurate in some instances, this is not always the case because poor gut health can lead to various health issues affecting the entire body. For this reason, one must know the most common symptoms of poor gut health, such as abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, and acid reflux. There are also many lesser-known symptoms of poor gut health, including the following:
#1 - Food Intolerance
Food intolerance is a common symptom of poor gut health, often caused by an imbalance in the gut microbiota. This occurs when the good bacteria in the gut are outnumbered by harmful bacteria, leading to an inability to digest certain foods properly. Symptoms of food intolerance include bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after eating, you must speak to your doctor to determine if food intolerance is the cause. This is in contract to true food allergies, which are not related to gut health at all.
If food intolerance is the cause of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend a change in diet, such as avoiding certain foods or taking a probiotic supplement. Additionally, it may be beneficial to supplement your diet with pre- and probiotics, which can help to restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut.
#2 - Skin Issues
It may seem like there is no connection between gut health and the skin, but they are closely linked. Poor gut health can lead to various skin issues, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. This is because the gut is home to many bacteria and other microorganisms responsible for maintaining healthy levels of inflammation and immunity. When the balance of good and bad bacteria is off, the body cannot regulate its levels of inflammation, leading to skin issues.
You must make dietary changes to improve your gut health and skin issues. This includes avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks and increasing your fiber intake. Additionally, increasing your intake of probiotics, such as yogurt and kefir, can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
#3 - Sleep Disturbance
Poor gut health affects sleep, particularly sleep quality. When the digestive system is not functioning correctly, it can cause inflammation and discomfort, leading to difficulty sleeping. In addition, poor gut health can disrupt the body's natural sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Poor gut health can also lead to decreased melatonin production, the hormone responsible for controlling the body's circadian rhythm. When the body does not produce enough melatonin, it can cause difficulty sleeping and daytime fatigue.
You should create a healthy sleep environment to improve your gut health and sleep. This includes avoiding caffeine late in the day and ensuring your bedroom is cool and comfortable. Additionally, you should eat smaller meals, especially during dinner, to reduce digestive discomfort and make it easier to fall asleep. It is recommended to allow a minimum of 2 hours before bed from the last meal, to allow for all the food to leave the stomach before lying down for sleep. This will help reduce the incidence of reflux occurring at night.
#4 - Mood Disorders
Poor gut health can affect mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. When the gut microbiome is unbalanced, it can decrease serotonin levels, resulting in mood disorders.
In addition, poor gut health can also lead to increased levels of inflammation in the body, contributing to depression and anxiety. Inflammation can cause physical discomfort and fatigue, further worsening the mood.
Poor gut health harms overall health, so you must maintain a healthy gut. It will not be easy, but preventing further health issues and improving circulation is necessary. This way, you can look forward to improved mental and physical health.
If you are looking for gastroenterologists in Dallas, Stuart Akerman, MD, can help! Dr. Akerman is a board-certified gastroenterologist who can help you diagnose and treat digestive problems. Call us today at (972) 867-0019 to schedule an appointment!
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog is intended for Informational Use only and is not intended to replace personal evaluation and treatment by a medical provider. The information provided on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor for any information related to your personal care.