The world of science and medicine is only just beginning to uncover the full extent of the gut microbiome’s effect on overall health and wellness, which makes it an exciting time in the sphere of gut-mediated wellness. Father of modern medicine Hippocrates claimed over 2000 years ago that ‘all diseases begin in the gut’ and while we know this is an oversimplification, modern scientific research has shown that the gut microbiome is a lot more pivotal to overall wellbeing than first thought.
The gut microbiome is a delicate eco-system comprising trillions of microbiota that need to be kept in balance. A key part of this is the diversity of microbiota. When the balance isn’t quite right, the digestive tract suffers, along with other areas of the body. Gut health problems such as bloating, wind and diarrhoea are well documented, but there are clearer signs to watch out for too. Maintaining gut health in today’s on-the-go world has a number of challenges, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. The key is building more empathy with your gut microbiome and identifying the signs that your digestive health needs improvement, as well as knowing the most appropriate steps to take.
Signs of an unhealthy gut
Irregular Sleeping Patterns
There are a number of key signs that your gut microbiota needs to be rebalanced and owing to the close relationship of the digestive system to the other body functions, some of the signs may be unexpected.
If you’re finding it more difficult to get a restful night’s sleep, the solution could lie in your digestive tract. Irregular sleeping patterns have been linked to gut health, which means that insomnia or poor sleeping habits – along with the fatigue that comes with them – could be signs that the gut bacterial alignment isn’t quite right. The inverse is also true, insufficient sleep is also understood to have a negative impact on gut health, which marks the importance of maintaining a good bacterial balance.
While the exact nature of the relationship between gastrointestinal health and sleeping patterns are still being researched, there is considerable evidence that the gut-brain axis, a recently discovered relationship, impacts the circadian rhythm, the body’s internal process for regulating a predictable sleep-wake cycle. The rhythmic fluctuations in the gut microbiome’s structure, and subsequent misalignment in circadian rhythm, is directly correlative to sleep deprivation.
A symptom of poor gut health that you may not have expected can be a significant sugar craving. Research demonstrates that gut microbes secrete proteins that function in a similar way to hunger-regulating hormones, which affect not only our food cravings, but also our mood. This means that in essence, the bacteria within the gut generate cravings for the substances they thrive on. Consuming large amounts of sugar feeds the bacteria that flourish with it, in turn creating more protein. This protein then generates more host cravings for sugar, creating a vicious cycle. This means that heightened appetite for sugar can be a clear sign that gut health needs to be balanced, with the bacterial diversity needing a helping hand.
The health and wellbeing of our skin is one of the clearest signs of gut health. Without microbial balance, conditions such as acne, rosacea or inflammation can develop. The main connector is food intolerance; a healthy balanced gut is able to effectively process foods and absorb nutrients required for cell regeneration and growth, a gut in poor condition cannot do this effectively.
This process is why skin, hair and nails are often the first place we notice changes following a change in diet. In a poorly managed gut, fewer nutrients are absorbed, and so the body directs them to the vital organs instead. Eczema can be another sign of gut disharmony, noted to be more prevalent in people that do not actively manage their gut flora.
The good news for consumers is that the health and wellness world has developed at an extremely rapid pace over recent years, galvanized by a renewed public interest in the science behind contemporary nutrition.
Consider GoFigure containing SlimBiome
This development is one of the drivers behind GoFigure, a unique suite of weight management products that contain the award-winning functional ingredient SlimBiome. Designed to enable sustainable weight loss, GoFigure achieves this through a number of gut modulation methods, including supporting biodiversity within the gut microbiome and promoting the feeling of fullness.
Independent studies have shown that SlimBiome has a positive impact on the gut microbiome composition, which in combination with a recommended diet plan, demonstrates significant reductions in weight and body fat, as well as lowering systolic blood pressure and improving the users’ mood.
Comprising a selection of flapjacks, mueslis and meal replacement shakes, the GoFigure range is a great choice for those aiming to sustainably lose weight through focussed gut health maintenance and is the ideal partner to a proactive nutrition and exercise routine.
Maintaining gut health can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on holistic wellness, and the true extent of the benefits are being better understood with each additional research study. Understanding how the body works and the warning signs of poor gut health makes it simple to identify opportunities to improve microbial diversity.