Your gut is a major system in your body in charge of not only processing and digesting the foods we eat, but also converting it into the right nutrients to fuel the rest of your body. It also houses good and bad bacteria and works to help regulate hormone production. It may not be so easy to tell when something is wrong, but there are some things to keep an eye out for that may be signs of something wrong happening in your gut.
Irregular Bowel Movements:
According to healthline.com food generally takes between 24-72 hours to move through your digestive tract. Once the food enters your large intestine, it takes another 6-8 hours for the waste to reach your colon, where it’s stored until you pass a bowel movement. While the times differ between people, there is generally a pattern that can be seen. Paying attention to the times you visit the restroom to dispose of digestive waste can help you get an idea of your general gut health.
Eating a lot of gluten:
Evidence has been found that many individuals may experience leaky gut syndrome if they consume high amounts of gluten regularly, even if they do not have celiac disease. This leads to tears in the lining of your gut, which then allow food to pass through into your bloodstream causing inflammation. You would then experience symptoms of food intolerance. In this case, it’s possible that you may not be intolerant to gluten, but instead that you are simply consuming more than what your body can process at a given time.
Feeling Under the Weather:
As we mentioned, your gut not only controls your digestion but also has a say in many other bodily processes. Serotonin, 95% of which is produced in the gut, can become scarce as gut inflammation reduces its production. This chemical has been linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. So, if you are feeling down regularly, it’s possible that your gut may be having some problems.
Are you always in a rush? Eating at a slow pace helps you chew food more, which breaks it down into smaller pieces and allows your body to signal your digestive system to prepare for digestion. When you eat quickly, you don’t allow enough time for the signals to arrive, and your gut then needs extra time to process the food. Along with that, you are also generally swallowing large pieces of food, which take longer to break down.
It’s important to be mindful of these areas of your life and listen to your body. If something feels off, it probably is. If you experience any kind of symptom that is uncommon, pay close attention to the possible causes and seek professional assistance when necessary. Gut health is important for nutrition, mental health, and general day to day productivity. So, take care of your gut and it will take care of you!