Gut Health

How Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Your Health?

The gut or intestinal lining is such an important aspect  to our overall health and  a topic of increasing research in the medical community.

There have been many links to the Gut including the:

  • the immune system
  • mental health
  • autoimmune diseases 
  • endocrine disorders
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • cancer 

A higher level of diversity in gut bacteria may be associated with improved health. While research is ongoing, it appears clear that your gut health plays a role in many areas of your health and well-being.

7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

Many parts of modern life can affect your gut microbiome, including:

  • high stress levels
  • too little sleep
  • eating a western diet  high in processed and high sugar foods
  • taking antibiotics

This in turn may affect other aspects of your health, such as:

  • immune function
  • hormone levels
  • weight
  • development of diseases


Prebiotics provide “food” meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria.

People who have a severe illness or weakened immune system should not take probiotics. Also, not all probiotic supplements are high quality or beneficial for your health.

It’s best to speak with a healthcare professional when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to help improve your health.

Things You Can Do to Improve Your Gut Health

You may be able to improve your gut health through lifestyle and diet changes. Consider trying one or more of the following:

1. Lower your stress levels

Chronic high levels of stress are hard on your whole body, including your gut. A few ways to lower your stress  include:

  • meditation
  • walking or exercise 
  • relaxation through massage
  • spending time with friends or family
  • yoga, tai chi, or similar things 

2. Get enough sleep

Not getting enough or sufficient quality of sleep may have serious impacts on your gut health, which can in turn contribute to more sleep issues.

Try to prioritize getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep

4. Stay hydrated

Drinking  water and staying away from artificial sweeteners may be linked to increased diversity of bacteria in the gut.

5. Take a prebiotic or probiotic

 Adding a prebiotic or probiotic  supplement to your diet may help improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide “food” meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria.

6. Check for food intolerances

You may have a food intolerance if you have symptoms such as:

  • bloating
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea 
  • nausea
  • fatigue 
  • acid reflux

Eliminate trigger foods to see if your symptoms improve. If you’re able to identify and avoid food or foods that are contributing to your symptoms, you may see a positive change in your digestive health.

7. Change your diet

Reducing the amount of processed, high sugar, and high fat foods that you eat may lead to better gut health.

 You may also positively impact your gut by eating foods high in micronutrients called polyphenols, like:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • tea
  • some red wines


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