Medical Community Raising Awareness about the Importance of Gut Health

Ever since the COVID-19 health crisis, the medical community has been raising people’s awareness about the importance of giving attention to their gut health. Giving proper attention to the components of our digestive system should be foremost in our health objectives. As it is, recent medical researches revealed that most complaints of digestive discomforts, from something as simple as stomach upset, gas pains, to the more serious acid reflux and heartburns, could be indicative of serious medical problems

In California, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Associate Chief of Gastroenterology Dr. Robert Lerrigo, said medical professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the gut microbiome’s significant impact on multiple bodily organs. Previously, digestive disorders were generally considered as affecting only the gastrointestinal tract.

Registered Dietitian Kalee Eichelberger of Orlando Health Regional Medical Center in Florida, explained that gut health relates to the optimal functioning of all components of the digestive or gastrointestinal tract. Gut health is about the ability of the gut microbiomes in the mouth, the salivary glands, the esophagus, the stomach and the small intestines, to work in synergy with the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. Their collaboration helps the body digest and absorb the different dietary nutrients, vitamins and mineral, down to the processing and excretion of wastes in the anus.

As it turned out, the gut microbiome, which refers to the millions of microorganisms that help in the processing of the food passing through the digestive system, are also implicated in the development of several digestive disorders posing as symptoms to more serious diseases.

This usually happens when the body’s gut health is unable to support an optimally functioning immune system in fighting off bad bacteria invading the gastrointestinal tract. Some representative examples of bad bacteria include Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus and Clostridium perfringens.

Nevertheless, health professionals and medical practitioners recommend dietary intakes rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables, fermented foods and probiotic beverages like Megaspore biotic . The latter is highly recommended because when consumed, the food releases biotic spores that can add large amounts of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract; all for the purpose of reinforcing the gut microbiome balance to help strengthen the immune system.

Examples of Common Digestive Tract Disorders Linked to Impaired Gut Health

Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD, which is characterized by inflammation in the digestive system manifested by symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating or abdominal gas pain.

SIBO or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is a gastrointestinal tract disorder in which bacteria that should thrive and grow only in the small intestines flourish in other parts of the digestive tract. This is a serious disorder because the misplaced bacteria can cause either diarrhea or malnutrition as the SIBO competes in the absorption of nutrients before they reach other body parts.

Mental Health – Scientists are finding evidences that link between the gut health and the brain. It has become apparent in some studies that an imbalance in the gut microbiome could affect the body’s ability to respond to hormones, which could also be related to feelings of depression, anxiety and if involving older people, dementia particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

Altered Hormone Sensitivity – Altered or imbalances in gut microbiome combined with other endocrine disorders can lead to the body’s impaired ability to respond to hormones, particularly insulin.

Obesity – Recent studies have gathered evidence supporting the presumption that gut microbiome in some people, promotes the development of obesity.

Know The Indications Of An Unhealthy Gut And Restore Gut Health

The Gut Microbiome is a collective term that is used to refer to the varied collection of microorganisms populating our small and large intestines. When it comes to our gut health, its regulation, the uptake and production of nutrients, neurotransmitters, as well as our immune health, these microorganisms are directly involved. When changes happen in the quality and diversity of gut microbiome, this could lead to dysbiosis, a condition that could bring about numerous health issues. It is then important that you maintain a good overall gut health.

How Does One Restore Gut Health?

Our digestive system alone has about 100 trillion bacteria and it may appear you need much work to change them. Fortunately, our microbiome could change quickly. According to studies, eating right for two to four days can change our gut microbiome and restore gut health. There are also simple ways that one can do to better our overall health by improving gut health. Here are a few:

  • WATCH YOUR DIET: Reduce or avoid high-fat, high-sugar, and highly processed food as this will considerably improve gut health. Have adequate plant-based foods, lean protein, and high fiber food. Additionally, fermented foods like kimchi are also excellent sources of probiotics.
  • HYDRATE YOURSELF: Drinking sufficient amounts of water benefits the intestines’ mucosal lining and in balancing the good bacteria found in the gut. So, always stay hydrated.
  • EAT UNHURRIEDLY: By eating meals unhurriedly and chewing food thoroughly, you could promote complete digestion food as well as better nutrient absorption. Moreover, this can also lessen discomfort in the digestive system and maintain the health of your gut.
  • TAKE PROBIOTIC OR PREBIOTIC: Adding probiotic or prebiotic supplements into your diet may be an excellent way to better your gut health. However, not all of this kind of supplements are of high-quality so it is crucial you ask advise from your healthcare provider for the best probiotic or prebiotic supplements.

Common Indications Of An Unhealthy Gut

To know if you need to restore gut health, you should be able to determine how an unhealthy gut may manifest itself in your body. Here are the most common signs:

  • UPSET STOMACH: Disturbance in the stomach such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, as well as heartburn could be indications of an unhealthy gut. A healthy balanced gut should be able to process food and eliminate waste without difficulty.
  • INADVERTENT WEIGHT CHANGES: If you’re losing or gaining weight without you making any changes in your exercise routine or diet, this may indicate that your gut is unhealthy. Having an imbalanced gut could impair or mess up the ability of your body to absorb nutrients, store fat, as well regulate blood sugar levels. In terms of weight loss, this may be because of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, whereas weight gain may be due to insulin resistance, where one has the urge to eat too much because of decreased absorption of nutrients.
  • HIGH-SUGAR DIET: The quantity of good bacteria found in your gut could drop if your diet is high in added sugars, artificial sweeteners and processed food. Because of the imbalance, your cravings for sugar is increased, further damaging your gut. Additionally, this could also increase inflammation in the body.
  • SKIN IRRITATION: Skin conditions such as eczema may be associated to an unhealthy gut. When there is inflammation in the gut because of food allergies or poor diet, this may increase “leaking” of specific proteins, irritating the skin.
  • FOOD INTOLERANCES: This is where people have difficulty digesting specific foods. This may be because of poor quality bacteria found in the gut, which leads to trouble digesting trigger foods as well as unpleasant symptoms like gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain.