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4 Signs Your Gut May Be the Root of Your Health Issues

By HERWriter
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4 Signs Your Gut is the Root of Your Health Issues liza5450/Fotolia

Your microbiome is a bacterial ecosystem that lives in your gut. It makes up most of your body and your immune system, according to Mindbodygreen.com.

The bacteria in your body actually outnumbers your own cells times ten. According to the U.S. News website, there are about 1,000 unique species in your intestines.

Your bacteria have a symbiotic relationship with you. You house and feed them, and they digest your food, manufacture some nutrients, defend you from toxins, and help to maintain your immune system.

1) Your Microbiome

If it sounds like your microbiome is in the driver seat as your puppet master — it is. Microbes manufacture, manage and manipulate how you feel, how you look, what you think, and what you do to an amazing extent.

The physical effects of the microbiome can also cause mental and emotional problems like depression and anxiety.

Your microbiome is also affected by your mental, emotional and physical health. It is, for instance, affected by leaky gut syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth known as SIBO, a compromised immune system and stress.

2) Leaky Gut Syndrome

A leaky gut could literally be the cause of some serious and unpleasant health problems but unfortunately it also can't be confirmed by a particular lab test. Getting a diagnosis can be tricky, as the specific causes of gut problems are not always clear cut.

Perhaps the symptoms don't seem to be related or don't fit the profile of a particular illness. Maybe more than one health problem is present.

Intestinal permeability, or worse yet, hyperpermeability, may be allowing substances in the digestive tract to enter into the bloodstream. This happens, for instance, to people who have Crohn's disease and celiac disease.

For many conditions, trial and error is needed to determine what foods if any are causing problems.

2) Immune System

The health of your gut microbiome is closely tied with the health of your immune system. An unhealthy microbiome can also make for a compromised immune system.

The number of autoimmune conditions have increased in the last century, according to Mindbodygreen.com. Autoimmune conditions include Addison's disease, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

3) Digestive Issues

Your stomach and your intestines have more nerve cells than your spinal cord. Your digestive system is also known as your mini brain. And a network of nerves interconnects your brain and your digestive system, with messages being sent in both directions.

Your digestive system, rather than your brain, is where 95 percent of the mood-controlling hormone serotonin is found.

Digestive issues like acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, GERD and SIBO are, perhaps unsurprisingly, linked to the microbiome. Problems can range from mild nausea, heartburn or stomach aches, to stronger reactions like bloating, constipation, cramps, diarrhea or irritable bowel sydrome.

4) Stress Hormones

Living with chronic stress may contribute to gut issues. Hormones are released during times of stress, and your digestive system pays the price. Your appetite may disappear as a result — or you may suddenly be tearing the kitchen apart looking for comfort foods to ease your anxiety.

When you're under stress, your colon contracts causing pain.

You may experience indigestion. Ulcers, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease are not caused by stress, but they can flare up when you are under stress.

Deal with stress, not by rolling up into a ball of panic, but by learning how to get a grip. Calming your mind can also lead to calming your digestive system. Learning to relax, to meditate can be beneficial. You may find some relief by incorporating moderate regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and a healthy diet that avoids foods that trigger unpleasant symptoms.


Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It? Webmd.com. Retrieved Jan. 26, 2016.

Could Leaky Gut Be What’s Troubling You? Doctoroz.com. Retrieved Jan. 27, 2016.

Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It? Webmd.com. Retrieved Jan. 26, 2016.

11 Health Problems That Can Start In Your Gut. Mindbodygreen.com. Retrieved Jan. 26, 2016.

Stress and the Digestive System. Healthday.com. Retrieved Jan. 26, 2016.

All About Flora: How Important Gut Health Really Is. Usnews.com. Retrieved Jan. 26, 2016.

Visit Jody's website at http://www.ncubator.ca

Reviewed January 27, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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