There are an estimated 70 million people in the United States that have digestive diseases.
While we all know that digestive disorders are incredibly uncomfortable, it’s less commonly known how important your gut health is for the rest of your overall health and well-being.
Whether you are experiencing symptoms of an unhealthy gut or are simply interested in improving your overall health, it’s a good idea to learn more about how to improve gut health.
One of the ways you can do this is through supplementation. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about gut health and the best supplements for gut health.
What Is Meant By The Term “Gut Health”?
You’ve probably heard people talking about the importance of gut health. What do they even mean when they use that phrase?
Gut health is a term that describes the balance and function of the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. In an ideal situation, your digestive organs such as your stomach, intestines, and esophagus, all work as a team in order to help you eat and digest food without causing any discomfort.
All of the food that we eat gets broken down in the gut into a more simple form that can then be delivered throughout our bodies as nutrients through the bloodstream. While many people think of bacteria as a bad thing, our guts actually contain a bunch of healthy bacteria and immune cells that help to fight against infectious agents such as viruses, unhealthy bacteria, and fungi.
Why Is Gut Health Important?
Your body has what is called a microbiome. This is made up of trillions of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
While this might sound like a bad thing, the proper balance of healthy bacteria in your gut is vitally important to the functioning of your heart and immune system, as well as other aspects of your health such as your weight.
There are a number of different types of microbes that inhabit your body. However, the most studied type of microbe in your body is by far bacteria.
Believe it or not, your body has more bacterial cells and human cells. There are only 30 trillion human cells in your body father actually about 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body. Technically, this means that we are all less human than we are bacteria.
In the human gut microbiome, there can be as many as up to 1000 different species of bacteria. They all play different roles in the health and functioning of your body.
You can think of the microbes in your body as essentially another organ that is contributing to your health. When you hear the term “gut microbiome,” what is being referred to is all of the microbes that are in your intestines.
You are affected by the microbiome beginning at your very first moment of life. When you pass through the birth canal of your mother, you are exposed to microbes. It’s also possible that you come into contact with microbes while inhabiting the womb.
Over time, a healthy individual’s gut microbiome starts to diversify. It is considered good for your health you have a higher microbiome diversity.
Your gut microbiome can help you digest fiber, control your immune system, and control your brain health. If your gut microbiome has too many unhealthy microbes, it can lead to the development of diseases.
Some studies have also pointed to the fact that having an unhealthy gut plays a role in weight gain. Developing a healthier microbiome can help people lose weight.
Having an unhealthy gut can also lead to digestive diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Some studies have found that the microbes in your gut can also affect the health of your heart. If you’re wondering how to improve cholesterol, improving your gut biome might be a part of the answer.
Your gut microbiota is also responsible for helping to control your blood sugar levels. This means it can help to lower your risk of developing diabetes.
It might be hard to believe, but the health of the bacterial and microbic balance in your gut can also affect the health of your brain. Your gut is connected to the brain physically through millions of different nerves. This means that your gut might be responsible for partially controlling the messages that your brain is sent.
It is also known that chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters can be helped in their production by certain bacteria species.
As you can see, the health and balance of your gut microbiome has an impact on nearly all aspects of your health. For this reason it is important to have a healthy gut.
What Are the Symptoms of Gut Health Problems?
The signs that you have an unhealthy gut indicate that you need to balance the bacteria and other microbes in your gut. The symptoms can be very uncomfortable, as they are your body’s way of telling you that something is not quite right. Some of the symptoms of gut health problems include:
- Bloating and gas
- Poor concentration
- Mood disorders
- Acne and skin inflammation
- Sugar cravings
- Obesity and weight gain
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune diseases
Gut health issues can be caused by a number of different factors. One of the biggest causes of gut health issues is a poor diet. This is because yeast and bacteria thrive on sugar and processed foods, all good bacteria thrive in an environment with plant foods and fiber.
Some other causes of gut health issues other than the poor diet include:
- Chronic stress
- Poor sleep