9 signs your digestive issues may indicate bigger bowel issues

If you have a few bizarre symptoms and aren’t able to pinpoint exactly what’s causing them, you might want to consider poor gut health as a possible contributing factor. Because while it seems like it should be responsible for digestion and digestion alone, your gut actually plays an important role in your overall health. And if it doesn’t work well, it can have quite a ripple effect.

“Everyone should be concerned about the health of their gut because it is the gateway to health,” naturopath Dr. Laura C. Stix, H.BSc, CCHt, ND, told Bustle. “Many health problems have their origin in the gut. This makes sense because 70 to 80% of our immune system is in the gut, it produces nutrients, absorbs nutrients, [and] its microbiome has an incredible genetic diversity exceeding ours by 100 to 1. “

If something is wrong, it can show up in your skin, affect the way you sleep, and even impact the way you feel emotionally. That is why one should always keep intestinal health in mind and strive to improve it as often as possible. This can include taking probiotics, drinking plenty of water, exercising, dealing with stress, eating fresh foods that improve gut health, as well as reporting any new symptoms to a doctor, especially if you notice it. one of the signs of bowel problems listed below.


You have bad breath that won’t go away

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If you’ve had bad breath, the kind that doesn’t go away even after brushing your teeth, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your intestines.

“While [you’ll] I want to rule out any oral health issues first, if there doesn’t seem to be a reason for the bad breath then it’s digestive in nature, ”Stix says. “A foul odor does not diagnose anything but is a clue that the microflora is disturbed,” or something else may not be right.

To improve the problem, Stix recommends taking digestive enzymes and / or probiotics, in order to equalize your gut bacteria and improve your breath. Going to your doctor is also always a good idea so that he can rule out any other potential causes, she says.


Your joints are hurting

Surprisingly, “certain bacteria in our digestive tract contribute to the deterioration of joints and tissues,” Dr. Josh Ax, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of Ancient Nutrition and author, told Bustle. And that means, in a way, that gut health and joint health are related.

In fact, “research shows that a healthier intestinal environment helps reduce the risk of joint pain, swelling, and difficulty moving in people with osteoarthritis and inflamed joints,” says Ax, which is all the more reason to do little things every day to improve yourself. intestinal health.


You experience mood swings

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There is a strong connection between gut health and your mental health, due to something called the gut-brain connection. So if something is wrong with your guts, it can really and really impact the way you feel mentally and emotionally.

“Your diet affects your microbiome and neurotransmitter activity, and therefore how you feel, your ability to deal with stress, and your energy level,” says Ax. “Poor gut health contributes to mood problems, and high levels of stress also damage your gut and hormonal balance.”

It may even be something to consider if you’ve been struggling with issues like anxiety, depression, or excessive stress, and it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor.


You feel uncomfortable and bloated

Although a small amount of bloating after eating is to be expected, it could be a sign of a problem if you are downright uncomfortable.

“Bloating is caused by the production of gas in the colon,” Dr. Bryan Tran, DO, doctor of osteopathic medicine and owner of DrFormulas told Bustle. “Poorly absorbed food and digested food will enter the colon and be fermented by gut bacteria.”

Gas can occur if you don’t digest food properly, have a food sensitivity that impacts your gut, or your microbiome is out of balance. So do not hesitate to consult a doctor for an evaluation.


You can’t sleep

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While you might not be thinking about gut health when you roll over and over at night, it could very well be the cause of your insomnia.

“Poor quality of sleep can be caused by an imbalanced gut microbiota, but an imbalanced gut microbiota can also cause sleep problems – because your gut and brain are connected by a two-way street called the vagus nerve,” Laura Kunces , PhD, RD, a dietitian and director of clinical research and medical affairs at Thorne, says Bustle.

By improving gut health, you may be able to sleep better. As Kunces says, “In the gut, tryptophan (the amino acid associated with sleep) can be converted to melatonin to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle when your gut biome is optimized.”


You are constipated

Constipation means that you do not have a bowel movement frequently enough – such as if you have less than three times a week – and / or that it is hard for you to go to the bathroom. And that can and should serve as a sign that your gut is not functioning to its full potential.

“The most common cause is insufficient fiber,” says Tran. “Fiber is non-digestible by the body. It stays in the stool and helps keep it soft and easier to pass.” To keep things going, Tran suggests eating more foods high in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, and choosing whole grains as often as possible.


You have diarrhea

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“Diarrhea is a great sign that something is wrong with your digestive system,” says Tran. So if this is something that you regularly struggle with, try not to ignore it.

There may be a quick explanation. For example, “if you’ve recently taken antibiotics, the most likely cause is antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD),” says Tran. “Antibiotics can kill your normal gut microbes which keep bad bacteria away.”

Taking a probiotic can help get things back on track, and “a more diverse formula will help restore the normally diverse microflora in your gut,” says Tran. But if these gut changes came out of nowhere and don’t go away, you might want to let your doctor know.


You fight acid reflux

If it looks like you can’t eat without acid reflux or indigestion, poor gut health may be to blame. “Indigestion is poor digestion that is best described as a food that is ‘stuck’ in the stomach,” says Tran. “Acid reflux is a condition that involves the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus.”

Since neither is fun to deal with, improving gut health should be a goal. “Things you can do to help digestion include: walking after eating, not lying down after eating, eating smaller meals more often, and chewing your food well,” says Tran. “Digestive enzyme supplements can also help.”


Your skin keeps breaking out

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Acne can come from many different sources, including hormonal changes and even lifestyle changes. But it may be worth taking your gut into account, especially if the acne doesn’t go away.

“There is a gut-skin axis – both of which act as barriers to protect your bloodstream, your tissues and organs, your gut lining and your skin communicate regularly,” says Kunces. “Research suggests that an altered gut microbiome is a direct contributor to acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.”

Many times, improving gut health can mean improving symptoms associated with these conditions. For example, “a diet aimed at reducing inflammation and providing pre- and probiotics can help minimize the negative effects of bacteria that have gotten out of hand,” says Kunces.

So always keep your interior in mind. If any of these things sound familiar to you, there’s a good chance poor gut health is playing a role. And by taking steps to improve it, you may be able to have fewer symptoms and feel better overall.

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