What Is Gut Health?
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Gut Health - Signs and Maintenance of Unhealthy Gut

Published on Dec 21, 2022   -  4 min read


The status of digestion and nutrient absorption is known as gut health. The factors which affect and improve gut health are discussed.


Gut health is the condition of our digestive organs, such as the stomach, the small intestine, and the large intestine. The main alterations in gut health are seen due to changes in stomach acid, gut immunity, and gastrointestinal flora changes. Good gut health prevents many diseases and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is important to maintain good gut health for proper absorption of nutrients and a healthy body and brain. Many factors are responsible for maintaining gut health, including food intake, diet plans, physical activity, and immunity in the body.

What Are the Signs of an Unhealthy Gut?

There are several indications for bad gut health, easily observed as discomforts or diseases in the body.

Some of them are:

  • A High-Sugar Diet: A diet with highly processed foods and added sugars can decrease the gut microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract. This difference in the gut microbiome can create more sugar cravings, further damaging gut health. Inflammation is noticed in the gut due to highly refined sugar-containing food items such as corn syrup. This inflammation can cause gut diseases, such as peritonitis, colitis, and many more.

  • Upset Stomach: Stomach discomforts such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and heartburn are signs of an unhealthy gut that alter digestion and nutrient absorption.

  • Constant Fatigue or Sleep Disturbances: Due to an unhealthy gut, there can be signs of insomnia or poor sleep in an individual. This may lead to consistent tiredness and chronic fatigue. Serotonin is a hormone that affects the sleep and mood of an individual and is secreted mostly in the gut. Thus any alterations in gut health may affect serotonin secretion. `

  • Unplanned Weight Changes: Changes in weight, either losing or gaining, without changes in diet plan or food habits can be a chance of any underlying disease or unhealthiness. An unhealthy gut can impair nutrient absorption, leading to severe deficiencies. Weight loss can be due to overgrowth in the small intestinal bacteria, and weight gain can be due to insulin resistance in the body or overeating due to compromised nutrient absorption.

  • Autoimmune Conditions: Many studies are going on to see the impact of gut health on the immunity system of an individual. It is believed that an unhealthy gut can potentially increase systemic inflammation and affect the function of the immune system. This can lead to several autoimmune diseases in which the body's immune system attacks the organs and causes diseases.

  • Food Intolerances: Food intolerance is known when the digestive system cannot digest some food items. It is very different from food allergy as it involves the immune system, whereas intolerance does not. Poor gut health can trigger food intolerance or even worsen it. One of the conditions of food intolerance is celiac disease, in which the body is intolerant to gluten-containing food such as wheat or barley. This can lead to inflammation, nausea, or vomiting.

  • Skin Reactions: Some skin diseases, such as eczema, are related to bad gut health. Disorders or inflammation of the gut can cause poor diet or food allergies which can cause the leaking out of some proteins from the body through the skin leading to skin irritations.

What Are the Things That Should Be Followed for Good Gut Health?

  • Decreased Stress Levels: It is very important to decrease stress as it affects every body system, including the gut. Some simple ways to lower stress are decreasing caffeine intake, meditation, walking or any physical activity, spending time with close ones and family, or diffusing essential oils.

  • Eating Slowly: Proper chewing of food is a very important step for digestion as it accelerates nutrient absorption. This also reduces the digestive system's stress and helps maintain a healthy gut.

  • Proper Sleep Cycle: Insufficient sleep impacts gut health. It is important to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours uninterrupted every night.

  • Staying Hydrated: Consumption of plenty of water shows a beneficial effect on the process of digestion. It helps keep the intestine's mucosal lining healthy and the gut microbiome healthy. Hydration is one of the simplest ways to promote a healthy gut.

  • Consumption of Prebiotics: Adding prebiotic supplements to the diet is a great way to maintain gut health. It stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut microbiome and prevents the proliferation of bad microorganisms. It is important to consult a doctor before taking prebiotics, as in cases of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), its consumption is not advised.

  • Checking and Avoiding Food Intolerance: If there are symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, rashes on the skin, acid reflux, or fatigue, it is important to check for any food intolerance. If there is any such intolerance, it is necessary to avoid the trigger factors or the food items. This prevents digestive issues and maintains good gut health.

  • Changes in Diet Plans: It is important to follow a healthy diet to have a healthy gut. Highly processed food or high sugar-containing foods should be avoided, and instead, a fibrous and vitamins and minerals-rich diet should be followed. A diet with high fiber content has shown a tremendous improvement in the gut microbiome.

  • Physical Activities and Exercises: Along with a good diet, it is important to do physical activities or exercises to maintain a healthy digestive system. Exercise helps maintain glucose levels in the body and improves digestion and bowel movements, which finally contribute to a healthy gut.


Gut health is important to maintain the integrity of the body as it affects the digestion and nutrition absorption on which all other organs and their functions are dependent. Several signs are visible when gut health is compromised, such as sleep irregularities, improper digestion, fatigue, or stress. These signs should not be ignored, and proper measures should be taken to maintain gut health.

Frequently Asked Questions


How to Improve My Gut Health?

Gut health can be improved by eating healthy and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Eating probiotics, reducing sugar intake, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking are some of the best options to improve gut health.


What Are the Signs of Poor Gut Health?

Poor gut health occurs due to unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles. Some of the common signs of poor gut health are;
- Bloating.
- Diarrhea.
- Nausea.
- Constipation.
- Abdominal pain.
- Skin irritation.
- Sleep disturbances.


What Exactly Is Gut Health?

Gut health refers to the ability of the gastrointestinal tract to carry out digestion without any complications or symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, or upset stomach. Gut microbiota plays an important role in maintaining many digestive functions like absorption of nutrients, synthesizing vitamins, excreting waste products, etc.


How to Clean My Gut?

The following methods can clean the gut;
- Intermittent fasting.
- Intake of prebiotic and probiotic foods.
- Intake of foods rich in polyphenols.
- Reducing stress.


What Can Be Done to Empty My Gut Naturally?

Natural ways of emptying the gut include;
- Drinking plenty of water, especially lukewarm water.
- Salt water flush.
- Intake of food rich in fiber.
- Drinking juices and smoothies.


How to Check Gut Health?

The following methods check gut health;
- Visual examination of poop.
- The beet test.
- Lactose breath test.


What Are the 3 Signs of a Healthy Gut?

Following are the three positive signs that indicate that your gut is healthy;
- The morning routine involves regular bowel movements.
- Getting gurgles.
- Feeling energized and clear-headed.


How to Improve Gut Bacteria According to Ayurveda?

Following Ayurvedic practices helps to improve the health of gut bacteria;
- Drinking warm water by sipping helps in improving digestion and increases metabolism.
- Chew the food slowly. 
- Traditional spices such as fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander, cardamom, and ginger help improve digestion.
- Exercise and walking can improve digestion as well as overall health.


Can Exercise Improve Gut Health?

Regular exercise can improve the health of gut bacteria. Studies revealed that exercise can change the composition of the gut microbiome.


How Quickly Does Gut Health Improve?

Studies showed that the time to improve gut health may range between two to twelve weeks. This range is for people without autoimmune diseases, food sensitivities, or other inflammatory conditions.


Are Bananas Good for Gut Health?

Bananas can nourish the gut bacteria in the large intestine. Bananas are fiber-rich and have many benefits, like preventing constipation and bloating.


Why Am I So Gassy?

Passing gas 5-15 times a day is considered normal. Excessive flatulence may indicate a problem with the gastrointestinal tract;
- Lactose intolerance.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder.
- Peptic ulcers.


What Helps Digestion at Night?

- Drink some ginger tea, or just nosh on some ginger before bed.
- Light yoga before sleeping helps relax your mind and is also good for digestion.
- Eating prunes or dried plums improves sleep and aids in digestion.
- Avoid watching the news or other things that cause stress just before sleep. It is important to reduce stress for better digestion.

Last reviewed at:
21 Dec 2022  -  4 min read




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