Many of us know how crucial it is to stay healthy, but we may neglect one critical aspect. Gut health refers to the balance and function of the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Currently, around 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from digestive issues. They may have anything from acid reflux to bloating and constipation. Some more severe problems could develop if left untreated. (1)
You want to keep your gut healthy because then you have bacteria and immune cells that fight off infections. When your gut is unhealthy, it leaves you more vulnerable to sickness and disease. Let’s look a little deeper into gut health, uncovering signs of an unhealthy gut and six ways to improve gut health and keep it healthy.
Everyone is susceptible to digestive problems at some point. You may have diarrhea, constipation, or sometimes nausea. Most of these will resolve in a day or two in some cases. Other times, it could be a sign of a more problematic issue.
If you are losing weight without trying or noticing blood in your stool, you need to get medical advice to make sure everything is okay. Likewise, if you have trouble swallowing or are having persistent vomiting, you need to get checked.
Most of the time, digestive or gut issues are not something to worry about but are the body’s way of signaling something is off. You can think of it as when a light goes off on your car’s dashboard. It may be nothing major, but you should look under the hood.
Skin issues can be another sign that you have poor gut health. Many people develop rashes or have allergic reactions.
Autoimmune problems can stem from gut issues. Diabetes and arthritis can develop and worsen when you have an unhealthy gut. (2)
If you crave sugar all the time, it may mean you have more bad bacteria than the good kind. The more sugar you eat, the more you want. Sugar causes inflammation in your body and can prevent you from getting the nutrients you need.
Glutamine is an amino acid that can support the gut microbiome. It also increases gut mucosal wall strength and modulates inflammatory responses. There is also a gut-brain connection. That happens by way of the enteric nervous system. The ENS is a collection of neurons embedded in the gastrointestinal wall, and they go all the way up to the esophagus. Poor gut health can change the neurotransmitter balance, which can cause various neuropsychiatric conditions. (3)
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and looks to help mitigate gut damage. It also increases gut health.
Although the amino acid is abundant, during stressful times, we need more. When you repair the lining of your gut, you heal from within. Taking care of gut health is one of the first steps to feeling better than ever.
Some people think of licorice as the candy nobody wants to eat. When we mention licorice, we are not referring to Twizzlers! Licorice is a root, and it is healthy for our bodies. It has gotten used for centuries for gut health. It helps modulate the immune system, and since 60 to 70% of our immune function happens in the gut, we need nutrients when trying to improve gut health.
Licorice can also fight H. pylori, a bacterium that gets inside the body and lives in the digestive tract. It can cause ulcers and sometimes lead to stomach cancer. (4)
Nutritional support is critical when fighting bacterial infections. You clear out the bad bacteria to heal the gut lining.
You may have used aloe vera in the past to soothe a sunburn. It has a long history of topical and oral use for healing wounds.
Aloe vera is effective in treating ulcers. It has anti-inflammatory mechanisms and can decrease gastric secretion. Aloe vera also fights H. pylori. If you have gotten a diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), you may find aloe vera beneficial. It can have a laxative effect and is most helpful when constipation is an issue. (5)
Aloe vera is beneficial for repairing the gut lining and healing leaky gut. It can soothe the intestinal tract and maintain stomach tissue.
Although you may not have heard of arabinogalactans, they have been part of a healthy diet for thousands of years. These polysaccharides are abundant in many plants and seeds. You can get them from veggies like carrots and radishes or fruits like pears.
In studies, people who used arabinogalactan had fewer viral infections than the control groups. It also showed trends in the reduction of viral lengths. If people taking the supplement did get sick, the illness was shorter in duration. (6)
The fermented fibers in arabinogalactan from the Larch tree stimulate the immune system. It also increases the number of good bacteria in the gut.
Diet can affect your health positively or negatively. Gut health is no exception. If you put garbage in your body, you will get less than stellar results.
Relating to diet, you want to eat whole foods that nourish the body. It is also helpful to include fermented foods that contain live probiotics. (7)
That can be pickled veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi. You can also eat yogurt but make sure it doesn’t have tons of sugar hidden inside. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. You may also want to supplement with a probiotic to help strengthen your gut microbiome.
You must avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners. These can wreak havoc on your gut health. A low carbohydrate diet reduces inflammation, which helps the gut microbiome.
Since bacteria love a wet environment, you should focus on staying hydrated. You want to drink plenty of water and take in more when you exercise.
For the past two years, most of us have dealt with more stress than ever. Research shows psychological stress and interrupted sleeping patterns can destroy your gut health. (8)
Finding different ways to limit stress can improve your gut microbiome. That may be unique for everyone, so finding what works for you could involve trial and error. Many people meditate or take walks outside. It could be getting more quality sleep. Try things to see what lowers your stress levels and practice those.
Some people are so desperate to get help with their gut issues that they try all kinds of solutions. The problem is that many supplements contain added ingredients that are not good for your gut. When using supplements, you need quality products without any irritating substances.
You want to get natural ingredients so your body can digest them without any issues. You can take a handful of different pills trying to find what works, or you could get a powder that has everything you need to start repairing your gut lining today. With GI-Repair, you get the best possible support for intestinal integrity by combining all the crucial ingredients into one supplement.
Let’s face it when we have gut issues, we don’t feel our best. The good news is that you don’t have to wait around to feel better. You can take steps to improve your gut health today and begin to feel amazing. Removing the things that damage the gut and replacing them with healing foods and supplements will rebalance and fix your gut microbiome. When you make positive changes, you can maintain a healthy intestinal tract for the rest of your life. True wellness starts on the inside, so begin improving your health today with these steps.