How will you know if you have an unhealthy gut environment brewing (microbiome) in there? There are a wide range of signs, such as:
Bloating, gas, or diarrhea – These occur mostly due to the number and diversity of the bacteria living in your gut, stomach, intestines, and colon. Gas is a particular sign that food is fermenting in your gut and you don’t have enough acid or there is an imbalance of bacteria to break down the food
Sugar cravings – Gut bacteria secrete proteins that are similar to leptin and ghrelin, which are hunger-regulating hormones. They also affect mood and food cravings. The bacteria try to trick you into eating the foods they thrive on so if you eat a lot of sugar, you feed the unhelpful bacteria and then they secrete proteins to make you crave more sugar. Vicious little buggers.
Bad breath – Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, comes from the microbes that live in between your teeth and gums and on your tongue and can also be caused by bacteria that are linked to gum disease.
Food allergies and sensitivities – Food intolerances to gluten or dairy are almost always due to “leaky gut.” The gut is a sealed passageway from mouth to colon and anything that goes in the mouth and isn’t digested gets passed out the colon. One of the most important jobs of the gut is to prevent foreign substances from entering the body and when the intestinal barrier is permeable, protein molecules can escape and enter the bloodstream. Your body will mount an attack on them and the immune response shows up as food intolerance.
Moodiness, anxiety, and depression – Most of your serotonin and roughly half of your dopamine is made in your gut so if you have a “leaky gut” your body may lose those. Your gut won’t be able to absorb the right nutrition or micronutrients if it’s all leaking out. Treating gut issues can be a critical part of managing mental health.
Skin issues like eczema – Food intolerance can be visible through the presence of eczema.
Diabetes – Russian researchers were able to link the level of glucose intolerance with the presence of three types of microbiota: Blautia, Serratia, and Akkermansia bacteria. All three are found in healthy people but people with diabetes have greatly increased numbers of them.
Autoimmune disease and suppressed immunity – some clinicians have seen a link between thyroid disease and a leaky gut and particularly an intolerance to gluten. For those people removing gluten helped heal their gut and reversed their disease. If you suffer from frequent illness and infections you may also have issues with your microbiome.