Trusting your gut has become a matter of great concern in the medical community and rightly so. Numerous studies have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.
And here we thought that our digestive system was “simple” with one long tube for our food to pass through, be absorbed, and then excreted.
Over 70% of our immune system is located in our Gut! A person has about 100 trillion microorganisms i.e. 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. These bugs aren’t just hanging out in your belly for fun – they have a range of jobs that help to keep us healthy including digesting fiber and producing vitamins and other useful molecules. While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body.
Think of the Gut Bacteria as Gate Keepers, they help our immune system in keeping away entities which can cause harm to your digestive system.
When our gut is impacted by bacteria stripping factors like Surgeries, Infections, High stress levels, Poor sleep, processed and high-sugar foods, Antibiotics, these can all damage our gut and thus lowering our immunity. Read about Eating Right when recovering from infections – Keep Away the Dehydration, Appetite Loss, Fatigue.
Difficulty digesting certain foods (this is different than a food allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods). It’s thought that food intolerances may be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut. This can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and nausea. There is some evidence that food allergies may also be related to gut health.
Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased “leaking” of certain proteins out into the body, which can in turn irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.
Unintentional Weight changes
Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.
Weight loss may be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), while weight gain may be caused by insulin resistance or the urge to overeat due to decreased nutrient absorption.
Today, maintaining a healthy gut is probably much more important, support your immune defences or those of an elderly relative or friend:
Some Quick Tips after an Infection
While You are Here, read some of our other posts from our experts!