Is your gut healthy? A properly functioning gut microbiome is one of the keys to maintaining good health. This article will discuss the top signs of an unhealthy gut, the surprising health issues linked to poor gut health, and the foods and supplements to consume.
Why is Gut Health Important?
The gut is home to billions of beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract. These include fungi, bacteria, and viruses that help break down food and convert it into nutrients that fuel the body. These are all “good” microorganisms, but if the gut is overrun with “bad” microorganisms, a person could experience a variety of unhealthy symptoms:
Note: These symptoms are quite broad and could be caused by a variety of issues. For example, constipation is a potential sign of dehydration or lack of fiber in the diet. Many medications are available to help ease these symptoms, but they don’t get to the root cause of why they are occurring. Instead of taking medication to feel better, getting to the root cause of the issue is key to maintaining good health.
Health Issues Linked to Poor Gut Health
Poor gut health can affect the body in many ways. Here are some surprising health issues linked to the gut microbiome:
Urea is the main component of urine. It is produced through the urea cycle, a process the body uses to eliminate waste. Urea is created in the liver and travels to the kidneys, where it is removed from the body as urine. Studies indicate higher urea concentrations during chronic kidney disease increases the risk of changes in the intestinal flora. These changes increase the production of toxins in the gut, which could accelerate the damage caused by chronic kidney disease. 
Poor gut health has been linked to anxiety, depression, and major depressive disorder. The “gut-brain axis” signifies the communication system between the gut and brain, accomplished via several neural pathways. Gut microbiota has been linked to gut inflammation, causing several mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety. Probiotics have been shown to restore the gut to normal microbial levels, having a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression. 
The gut microbiome can directly impact the hormones leptin and ghrelin: leptin suppresses food intake and helps induce weight loss. Ghrelin is also known as the “hunger hormone,” which increases the desire to eat. An imbalance in these hormones may cause the brain to confuse feelings of hunger or fullness. This could cause a person to overeat, increasing the risk of obesity. The problem is magnified if unhealthy foods are consumed.
Communication between the central nervous system and gastrointestinal (GI) tract helps to control eating habits. The growth of gut bacteria has been linked to disruptions in appetite regulation, which is controlled by hormones in the hypothalamus.  The hypothalamus controls hunger, thirst, mood, sense of fullness, and other key functions in the brain.
Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition where the pancreas makes little insulin. Negative changes in gut microbiota have been shown to increase gut permeability, small intestinal inflammation, and reduced tolerance to food antigens. This is important because these health issues are common symptoms of type 1 diabetes. 
Type 2 diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs when the body has difficulty regulating and using sugar as energy or as fuel. Common problems include insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and lack of insulin. Studies indicate type 2 diabetic patients experience changes in gut microbiota composition, changes in specific bacteria, clusters of bacterial, or bacterial functions. Each of these changes is associated with the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD is a chronic intestine and small colon inflammation. Examples of IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Certain bacteria in the gut are associated with inflammatory molecules that increase the risk of inflammation in various body tissues, including inflammatory bowel disease. IBD has been associated with metabolic changes in the gut microbiota. 
Diet and Gut Health
Diet plays a key role in gut health. The gut wall (intestinal barrier) helps maintain gut health and overall health by decreasing the risk of disease development, tissue injury, and infection from pathogens. Studies indicate the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics can beneficially impact gut health and overall well-being. 
Prebiotics are foods that provide nourishment for good bacteria in the gut (probiotics).
Top prebiotics and probiotics include the following:
The following spices are beneficial for gut health as well:
- Cayenne pepper
Supplements For Gut Health
Supplements are an excellent way to ensure your body maintains gut health. Here are the top all-natural supplements for gut health:
ION For Gut Health It is a supplement that contains Terrahydrite®, a mineral that comes from the soil. This product is specifically designed to help boost the brain and strengthen the gut. It has been shown to protect the gut wall from toxins in studies.
In addition to protecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract against common toxins, ION For Gut Health provides protection from the following:
- Allergenic foods such as gluten
- Antibiotics (those taken directly via medication or indirectly through factory-raised cattle)
- Pesticides and herbicides in the food supply
Unlike other supplements, ION For Gut Health doesn’t try treat or ease symptoms of any specific illness or disease: it focuses primarily on healing the gut. This is important because a healthy gut and strong gut lining prevent harmful bacteria and toxins from entering the bloodstream, helping to strengthen the immune system and decrease the risk of infection, illness and disease.
Total Gut Restoration Kit is a 3-month protocol program specifically designed to restore and support gut health. This product consists of three unique and powerful supplements that work together to support a healthy gut:
- Helping to maintain a healthy microbial system
- Helps strengthen and protect the gut barrier
- Provide key healthy bacteria that support balanced immune and digestive function
By working to strengthen not one aspect of gut health but three, this product can help support and maintain a healthy immune system.
Studies indicate intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and many gastrointestinal (GI) disorders could be linked to low levels of healthy gut bacteria. Proflora 4R is a powerful probiotic that helps replace these beneficial florae with just one daily capsule. Key benefits of this supplement include the following:
- Assists in the development of gut-associated lymphoid tissue
- Promotes the production of anti-inflammatory activity, helping to heal damaged intestinal mucosa
- Stimulates healthy digestion and improved absorption of nutrients
- Helps reduce numbers of harmful bacteria in the gut
- Reaches the intestines 100% of the time, compared to 1-3% of popular probiotics
Proflora 4R is all-natural and contains two key ingredients:
Quercetin. A key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps improve intestinal barrier function.
Marshmallow root. Used for its medicinal use for centuries, this botanical provides soluble fiber, moistens the mucous membranes, and helps relieve constipation via bowel motility.
Other ingredients include aloe vera extract, Bacillus coagulants, Bacillus clausii, and Bacillus subtilis.
A healthy gut is key to maintaining good health. Unfortunately, the symptoms of an unhealthy gut could be misdiagnosed, or the focus could be placed on alleviating the symptom instead of finding the root cause. Make gut health a top priority by consuming foods and supplements that strengthen and heal the gut on a consistent basis. Your body will thank you.
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