The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the gut, is of vital importance as it plays a significant role in carrying food from the mouth, digesting it in the stomach, converting the food particles to nutrients for functioning of the body and expelling waste out of the body. These processes are of primary importance to human health.
In recent years, extensive research has been carried out on this topic and studies show that a healthy gastrointestinal tract has far greater importance for the human body than previously thought. Gut health is also linked to the immune system and anxiety disorders. Some studies indicate that poor gut health may have serious consequences such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. Recently, anxiety and depression have also been suggested to be related to poor gut health.
MICROORGANISMS IN THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT:
Trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes reside in our gut. They are primarily responsible for digesting food and expelling waste. However, they are also linked to the overall health of the human body.
An imbalance in the level of microbes in the gut deteriorates overall health. It is believed that an increase in bacteria harms the effective functioning of the gut. Taking a quality Pre/Probiotic can help with ensuring proper balance of good bacteria needed in the gut.
Inflammation is one of the main issues of the gut. A healthy gut has two types of bacteria: one fights inflammation and the other type stimulates it. An imbalance between these two types of bacteria causes inflammation to pass on to other parts of the body.
WHAT AFFECTS GUT HEALTH?
This question has led many scientists to carry out extensive research. The following factors contribute to the bacterial makeup of the gut:
As it is often said, we are what we eat. The food we consume has a direct impact on our health. That is why our meals should consist of a variety of healthy food items.
- Method of delivery at birth
Good gut health is more common in children who are born naturally as compared to those delivered via c-section. The microbes present in the birth canal assist in improving gut health.
- Breastfeeding or formula feeding
In addition to the many benefits of breastfeeding, babies who are breastfed tend to develop a better variety of microbes in their gut, providing them lifelong benefits.
- External surroundings
Environments that are excessively cleaned can be detrimental to the human body. Children should be encouraged to play outside and encounter various bacteria in the surroundings to develop immunity.
- Stress and anxiety
Microbes in the gut have a direct impact on the mental state of a person. If there is an imbalance, they can impact the neurotransmitters in the brain and affect one’s mood.
- Use of antibiotics
Antibiotics kill the infection-causing (“bad”) bacteria in the body. However, during the process, they also wipe out many of the beneficial (“good”) bacteria in the gut.
- Sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle causes various problems for human health. It increases the chances of obesity and metabolic syndrome and also reduces gut health.
HEALTH PROBLEMS INDICATING POOR GUT HEALTH:
So, how will a person be able to distinguish an issue related to gut health? The following symptoms are commonly linked to poor gut health:
- Stomach pain;
Always make sure you take care of your gut health and, in case of persistence of the symptoms mentioned above, make sure you consult a general physician or a gastroenterologist for timely treatment of the problem.