Gut Health

When I have a symptom that’s out of the ordinary for me, I always try to pinpoint what exactly is going on with my body. I don’t ever think that my overall health is out of whack. I just assume that I can find something to make that symptom go away and make myself feel better on the surface… and I don’t ever take the extra time to look further into it.

Did you know that the way that you feel can have a lot to do with what’s going on with your gut? I didn’t know this until recently! I’ve been doing some research and wanted to share my findings!

Let’s look at what exactly your “gut” is made up of!

Your gut is made up of bacteria along with yeast and viruses that live among this bacteria. Together, these microbes are called your gut microbiome

A gastroenterologist and internationally recognized gut health expert has said

“you are one-of-a-kind with a gut microbiome as unique as a fingerprint.”

Will Bulsiewicz, M.D.,

Therefore, everyone has a different gut! Everyone’s gut isn’t the same.

When everything in your gut is in balance, the rest of your body will feel balanced too. However, it’s possible for things to get unbalanced. Especially with unhealthy habits. That’s when the bad bacteria are able to take over the good and it can lead to an unhealthy gut (also called gut dysbiosis), which negatively affects the rest of your body.

Factors that contribute to an unhealthy gut:

A poor diet is probably the highest cause of an unhealthy gut. Especially if it’s full of sugary and processed food! Bad bacteria and yeast feed off of the sugar and processed food. Good flora and green foods that are rich in fiber and vitamins, help feed the good bacteria. If there’s more of the bad bacteria, it can overtake the good bacteria and create an imbalance.

Other common factors that can contribute to poor gut health include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Frequent antibiotic use
  • Medications
  • Travel
  • Food intolerances
  • Poor sleep
  • Alcohol

7 signs of an unhealthy gut:

  • Upset Stomach and/or food allergies – Stomach issues like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less problems with processing food and eliminating waste.

  • Unintentional Weight Changes – What! Maybe paying attention to weight isn’t such a bad thing for a first thought… Changes in that number on the scale 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. According to Healthline,

    “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.”

  • Sleep Disturbances and Fatigue – The majority of the body’s hormones that affects mood and sleep, also known as serotonin, is produced in the gut. So gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well. Which therefore can lead to insomnia and/or chronic fatigue. Check out this study on how gut health has a lot to do with altering your sleeping habits and leading to fatigue.

  • Irritated Skin – Eczema, eczema, eczema! Everyone looks at eczema like it’s normal, when really it isn’t! It’s usually a sign that there’s something going on deeper on the inside. Your skin also has a microbiome of its own, and the bacteria in your gut directly influence the balance of bacteria on your skin. An imbalance in your gut can cause an imbalance in your skin that results in things like acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Click here for a study on this info!

  • Sugar Cravings – If your gut contains too much yeast it can lead to massive sugar cravings that can ultimately begin the unhealthy gut cycle. Yeast loves sugar! Also, some sources of sugar like high fructose corn syrup can cause inflammation in your gut and can be the cause of many different diseases.

  • Poor Concentration – Your gut produces chemicals that are directly connected to mood, thoughts, and other cognitive abilities, like concentration. Research shows that gut imbalance can negatively affect learning and memory and contribute to inflammatory reactions in the brain.

  • Mood Swings and/or anxiety – Your microbiome plays an important role in your mental health. It also affects the way that you respond to stress or mental pressure. Although the exact systems aren’t totally clear, there’s evidence that certain hormones that are made in the gut control the signaling between your gut and brain (and vice versa). If this hormonal balance is thrown off, it can contribute to anxiety, and other mood disorders.

These signs seem to be very common to our every day ailments. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if what we’re experiencing has anything to do with the other. That’s why, in order to heal better, it’s best to start in one spot. Since all of these can tie into the gut health, it’s best to start there.

How can you heal your gut?

  • Take a natural detox. A lot of people will tell you that detoxing isn’t good for you. Actually, it can be if it’s done correctly. If you take one of the fast detoxes and not give your body enough time to adjust, you can actually hurt it. The kind of gut detox that I use has very few ingredients and is all natural, herbal, and super easy to use!
    Check it out, it’s called Gut Health Oil from Earthley Wellness!

  • Clean up your diet. Simple as that. Eat better!! I’ve always heard the phrase, “Eat the colors of the rainbow.” I fully agree!

  • Lower your stress levels. Take the time to step away from your responsibilities and have some time for yourself. Relax! I usually have to pray, then go outside and put my feet to the ground in order to lower my stress levels. I also write in my journal, stretch, and do some reading. I also have some CBD oil that helps me calm down.

  • Get enough sleep. Again, relax! If I have a hard time getting to sleep, I like to do everything above to relax first. Sometimes even a long shower. There’s also an herbal lotion called Good Night Lotion that helps me calm down enough! Plus, it’s full of magnesium that promotes good sleep over time as well.

  • Eat slowly. This one is self explanatory, but it’s proven that if you eat mindfully, your gut health will improve.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink more water! We all know that hydration is important for our health. And especially our gut health!!

  • Probiotics. Probiotics and prebiotics are amazing for improving the gut! Especially after a gut detox, because the detox gets rid of the bad bacteria and the prebiotics and probiotics help fill the gut with good bacteria.

    The best kind of probiotics comes from fermented food! You know, the foods that we put up in jars. Such as, Milk kefir, Water kefir, Yogurt, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Fermented pickles, and more! Our favorite is yogurt!

    Stay away from probiotic supplements! They’re usually full of synthetic fillers and our bodies don’t absorb them the same.

  • Check for food intolerances. Sometimes your stomach issues may just be from a reaction to what you’re eating. If you are already eating healthy and doing the things above and STILL having gut issues, you may just have an intolerance to something you’re eating. It could be beneficial to get those checked out!

Overall, there are things that we can do to improve our gut health and in turn improve our overall health. If we’re able to start with the gut, then we’ll be able to move to the other things without worrying if maybe it’s just the imbalance of things in our gut.

I love this resource called the Gut Health Support Packet from Earthley Wellness! It is free, full of very helpful info, and has recipes that can help you with improving your gut health! This packet is an instant download, so you can grab it immediately.  Enjoy the fun colors and photographs as you start supporting your gut and lymphatic system — and learn a little more about why you should.

You can also join my Facebook community called Nickles Naturally to get more insight!

I hope you are able to take something from this and improve your gut health! Let me know what you think!