Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut And How To Improve Gut Health?

There is much debate as to how the word gut came to be. Gut and gut health are associated with several meanings. The gut can mean courage or wits when you lack the guts to do something, you get a strange feeling inside your belly.

The belly is the word to describe exterior body form, the interior form or what lies inside the belly essentially came to be termed as a gut.  According to the English dictionary, the gut as a body part means the tubes through which food passes after being eaten.

Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut And How To Improve Gut Health?

The stomach is not a tube. It is a sack, so it is alright to exclude it from being part of the gut. Food enters the stomach from the mouth through a long vertical tube, enters the stomach, and passes out of the stomach into tubes surrounding the stomach.  The food moves through the tubes and is digested by the body.  

Signs Of An Unhealthy Gut And How To Improve Gut Health?

When you are about to perform a witty action, and that strange feeling inside your belly is under control, you are said to have ‘guts.’ Yes, the gut can ‘sense,’ as it is richly supplied with nerves.

The gut and the GI tract

The gut being so complex, can be affected by several organs, hormones, neural transmissions. A sick gut can also affect other body parts. However, the direct interaction of the gut is with the lower and upper gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of the sick gut can be abdomen pain, gas, bloating, bad breath, constipation, and loose motion, which may be accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and headache. Whenever symptoms of gut sickness arise, first of all, the GI tract is checked for problems.

Gut health is complex, yet the most direct link to understanding gut health is the GI barrier and GI microbiota that lies adjacent to the GI barrier. Medical science advises good GI tract health for good gut health. If the GI tract is healthy common gut problems can be avoided.

Symptoms of unhealthy gut

The gut is the place where food is digested, and the blood takes up the digested food to carry absorbed nutrients to all body parts.

When the gut is able to carry out its functions properly it is said to be in good health. Symptoms of an unhealthy gut arise when the gut is not able to function properly. Medical science has categorized five major criteria for a healthy GI system. 

Healthy GI criteriaHealthy gut symptomsUnhealthy gut symptoms
Food is digested and absorbed wellThe transit time of food is normal. Bowel movement is regular, the stool is normal.Food takes long to digest or is not digested, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating
There is no GI illnessAbsence of GI illness symptomsCan be one or more of the following: Acid peptic disease gastroesophageal reflux Gastric inflammation enzymes deficiencies Carbohydrate intoleranceAbsence of IBD Coeliac disease Coeliac inflammation Colorectal cancer GI cancer
The intestinal microbiota is normal and stableThe gut microbiome is normal, and there is no loss of microbiome vitalitySymptoms of abnormal microbiota: Overgrowth of bacteria infections in the GI tract diarrhea associated with antibiotics
Robust immunityRobust GI immunity is indicated by: GI provides an effective barrier Mucus production is normal there is no increase in bacterial translocation IG. Levels are normal numbers and the activity of immune cells are normal
immune tolerance is the good absence of allergies or mucosal hypersensitivity.
Symptoms of weakened GI immunity: Loss in GI barrier effectiveness below or above normal mucus production increase in bacterial translocation IG. A levels are not normal numbers and activity of immune cells are not the normal presence of allergies or mucosal hypersensitivity
Overall well beingGood quality of life Positive ‘gut’ feeding serotonin production is balanced Enteric nervous system functions normally Sense of irritability, bad stomach weak gut feeling imbalanced serotonin production enteric nervous system does not function normally

How to improve gut health

You can take care of your gut by being mindful of your gut. The following practices can help in maintaining good gut health

  • Eating food slowly and chewing properly
  • Avoiding other activities while eating
  • Avoiding overeating
  • Controlling acidity
  • Consuming probiotics 
  • Drinking plentiful water
  • Eating healthy meals with sufficient fiber content
  • Avoid getting constipated
  • Being free of mental stress while eating

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