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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Have you been taking your gut health for granted?

Bacteria, fungi and viruses — collectively called microbiome — in the gastrointestinal tract perform many important functions in the body.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 21, 2019 6:55:32 pm
gut, gut bacteria, gut health, healthy gut, indian express, indian express news Diarrhea, constipation, excessive bloating, etc., are signs of gut health problems. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

For a body to function properly, it must maintain the right balance of bacteria in the gut. You may not be aware, but there exist bacteria, fungi and even viruses — collectively called microbiome — in the gastrointestinal tract. They perform many important functions in the body, but most importantly, they keep the immune system strong. When this balance goes for a toss, you tend to feel sick. Here are some signs to look out for, especially if you have been neglecting your gut health.

Food cravings

Occasional craving is not always alarming, but if you have been obsessively thinking about biting into sugar and sugary food items, there might be something wrong in your body. Experts believe that this might be caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the system, which might happen when you go through an antibiotics course. Eat healthy, instead and allow your body to gain back its strength.

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Discomfort in the stomach

You will know when your stomach just does not feel right. Diarrhea, constipation, excessive bloating, etc., are signs of gut health problems. The discomfort can happen because of poor digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Additionally, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome are also associated with gut imbalance.

Feeling anxious, not sleeping well

These are related. A majority of serotonin — that affects mood, sleep, appetite, and even libido — is produced in the gut. When less of it is produced as a result of microbiome imbalance, it can trigger anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms and insomnia.

Skin conditions

When the gut is not healthy, the skin starts acting up, as if to warn you. Rashes and eczema can be the two classic signs of poor gut health.

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Build a healthier gut

The only thing you can do, before it is too late, is to start eating healthy. Feed your gut with all the goodness of good bacteria. Vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts can help make a difference. Besides, you must remember to never self-medicate, or consume antibiotics unnecessarily. They are known to wipe out all kinds of bacteria — good, bad alike.

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