The 5 Signs You Need to Address Your Gut Health
Gut health is a term we've been hearing a lot recently that's been linked to our overall health and wellbeing. Trending drinks like kombucha and kefir are replacing soft drinks and even coffee as people try to keep their bodies and minds in balance, starting with their gut. With more and more research taking place to decipher the causes of poor gut health and what it can do to our bodies (and minds), now's the time to check in with your own body to see if you might need to address your gut health to get you back to feeling optimal. It can be hard to decipher what symptoms just mean we're tired or dehydrated and which ones we need to investigate further, so we've put together the top five signs that your gut might need some attention.
1. You're feeling down
This Harvard study linking the poor gut health to depression is just one of several investigations that prove that your gut is an extremely powerful part of your body and has the power to affect other areas of your life if neglected for too long. When coupled with physical symptoms of abdominal discomfort, poor gut health can start to hack away at your sleep routine, making it harder to fall asleep and therefore leaving you feeling fatigued (and grumpy).
2. You're bloated
This is probably the most obvious side effect of a disrupted gut that we have all experienced in our life. When it's a recurring theme, it's a sign that there might be more going on inside your body. Dr Michelle Woolhouse, General Practitioner, Medical Director & Founder of Whole Medicine explains that if bloating persists, you need to pay a visit to your doctor to rule out things like food intolerances or whether excessive stress could be a factor.
3. You've got a foggy brain
Did you know that the foggy feeling that's keeping you from focusing on the task at hand could be linked to your gut health? Because our physical and mental health is intrinsically linked, uncomfortable symptoms from the gut can play a part in how our brain operates. The next time you find yourself wading through a sea of brain fog, turn your attention to your gut and recognise if there's anything out of the ordinary happening that could be the reason for your loss in concentration.
4. You're breaking out
When gut flora becomes imbalanced it can affect many areas of the body, including your skin. Gut issues have been linked to eczema flare-ups, inflammation and rosacea in some people, while some specific food groups are known to exacerbate skin issues in others. If you begin to think of your wellness from a holistic perspective (and consult a professional), you'll be able to make more sense of the changes in your body and start to recognise where they might be stemming from.
5. Your cravings are sweet
Do you struggle to make it through the day without treating yourself to a sweet treat or drink? It might be down to the balance of good and bad bacteria within your gut. When you indulge in too much sugar or processed carbs for too long, bad bacteria is able to overgrow in your gut and—you guessed it—leave you craving more of the sweet stuff.
If you're experiencing gut issues, you should start with a visit to your local GP where they will be able to rule out any serious illnesses and provide the best treatment plan going forward for you.
To combat stress and boost your mood, these are the 6 adaptogens to try.