Do you have persistent diarrhea or abdominal pain?
Do you often feel bloated and "out of sorts"?
It's more common than you think and something many of the people in our Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Weight loss Program have been dealing with sometimes for decades.
Our gut health is something that many people don't really understand is crucial to our overall health & wellness especially as we get older.
A variety of organisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and other microbes reside inside a human body’s gastrointestinal tract, also known as the ‘gut’. The majority of these live inside the large intestine and are responsible for the effective functioning of the immune system.
While it may sound "icky" to some of you the fact is without those friendly little critters our health and ability to fight off disease is severely compromised.
Here's a few of the most commonly made mistakes that can hurt your gut health:
Anxiety and Stress
Too much stress and anxiety have a direct impact on the hormone ‘cortisol’. This hormone is responsible for the ‘flight or fight’ mechanism in the human body. An increased release of this hormone disrupts the gut functioning as the stomach releases fewer secretions for the digestion of food.
Doctors frequently emphasize the need to keep yourself well-hydrated. The human body is made up of 60 to 80 percent water. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is critical for the proper functioning of the gut. When a person is dehydrated, the mucosal lining of the gut starts deteriorating.
Inadequate sleep disturbs the balance of microbes in the gut as well as the body’s internal clock. This leads to the release of cortisol hormone. Fewer hours of sleep causes a reduction of the ‘good’ gut bacteria. Experts recommend 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night. A disturbed bacterial genome in the gut enhances the cravings for high sugar content food like junk food.
Strenuous and Prolonged Exercise Sessions
Exercise is beneficial for the overall health of a person. However, too much high-intensity exercise can lead to the disruption of hormonal levels. Intense exercise sessions cause ‘leaky gut’ and secretion of cortisol. A high level of the cortisol hormone disrupts the digestion process and leads to diarrhea, bloating and acid reflux.
Little Exposure to Sunlight
As we all know, sunlight is essential for vitamin D production in the human body. In addition to vitamin D, recent studies indicate that exposure to sunlight promotes the diversity of microbes in the gut region. Our busy schedules deprive us of outdoor time like taking a stroll in the park or enjoying time in the sunlight. This causes a deficiency of essential vitamins in our body.
High Consumption of NSAIDs
Usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) disrupts the balance of microbes in the gut region and may cause gas, bloating and diarrhea.
The mistakes mentioned above can damage the gut region and lead to stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea and bloating.
One should adopt measures, such as incorporating microbiome friendly foods like Greek Yogurt, Kefir & Bananas into our diet as well as doing our best to avoid these mistakes.
In the case of persistent symptoms consult a general physician or gastroenterologist for treatment.