The human body exists in a symbiotic and commensal relationship with several species of bacteria. These bacterial organisms exist on nearly every square inch of your external body, mouth, and most importantly, your gut. Gut health has an impact on several important aspects of your daily functioning like sleep, mental health, energy levels, nutrition, and digestion. Having an unhealthy gut can lead to a variety of problems and hamper these vital functions, creating a cascade of issues.
Not knowing how to heal your gut can lead to poor gut health, which is in turn associated with several chronic diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Lucky for us, our gut has a way of telling us when it’s not feeling too good. If it feels funny, or if you’ve had trouble with digesting food lately, or are just having a queasy feeling in your gut, it might be time to learn how to reset your gut microbiome. Since the microbiome is extremely adaptable to changes, it endures a variety of trials and errors before it settles with conditions that are the most suitable. Read on as we discuss the intricacies of your gut's microbiome, the signs of an unhealthy gut, and how to heal your gut.
The Gut Microbiome
- Several trillions of bacteria call your gut their home. They help with a variety of processes that include digestion, the production of vitamins, immunity, dealing with generalized inflammation, and are also linked to the circadian rhythm and mental health.
- There exist nearly 500 species of bacteria in the gut, and are affected by changes in diet, medication, exercise, lifestyle, and sleep patterns.
- Each individual has a unique footprint of their microbiome. The types of bacteria inhabiting an average person are determined by their genetics for the most part.
- Most of these bacterial species come in contact with the individual during birth when they pass through the birth canal.
- A considerable transfer also happens while breastfeeding. The microbiome changes over time and this is because different environmental and dietary factors influence the bacterial growth in your gut as you age.
- The average gut microbiome has both helpful and harmful bacteria, however, the good bacteria keep the harmful ones in check. A loss of balance can result in a variety of conditions including infections.
- By understanding how to reset your gut, you can ensure the balance is maintained so you can lead a healthy life.
- To know the kind of bacteria present in your gut, you can take tests like a stool culture to understand the gut's microbiome better.
The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut
Before you can understand how to clean your stomach and intestines naturally, you must know the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut. Several symptoms indicate that your gut microbiome isn’t functioning the way it should, some of them include:
- Frequent Stomach Upsets
- Symptoms that involve recurrent indigestion, acid reflux & heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation are indicative of an unhealthy gut.
- An imbalance in the gut microbiome can cause these symptoms, and it’s important to check your diet and your routine to determine what might be the source of the problem.
- Diets that involve high concentrations of processed food and added sugar can lead to an imbalance in the gut. Frequent imbalances can cause dysbiosis, and lead to a variety of long-term illnesses.
- Persistent Fatigue & Insomnia
- Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that is involved in the mechanism of sleep. It is produced majorly in the gut. Any disturbance to the equilibrium there can affect the synthesis of serotonin.
- This in turn can lead to sleep issues like poor quality sleep or even insomnia.
- A lack of good sleep can make you feel fatigued, cause a lack of concentration, and can even lead to serious conditions such as hypertension.
- Food Intolerance
- Food intolerance is the inability to digest certain foods and leads to unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, stomach discomfort, nausea, and diarrhea.
- The condition is thought to be influenced by the type of bacteria in your gut microbiome.
- Intolerance to a variety of foods indicates a potentially unhealthy gut. If you’ve suffered from a fair deal of this condition maybe it’s time for you to learn how to cleanse your gut.
- Allergies & Skin Rashes
- Poor gut health is linked to a variety of allergies. Skin rashes can either arise from the resultant allergies, or due to poor gut health. Increased generalized body inflammation is the prime cause of these conditions.
- Skin conditions such as eczema are linked to gut health or the lack of it.
- Autoimmune Conditions
- These conditions are some of the more serious consequences of poor gut health, as the microbiome in your intestine has a great impact on your immunity.
- Not maintaining a perfectly balanced microbiome is known to result in an increased risk of autoimmune diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus erythematosus.
- Knowing how to heal your gut and reset the microbiome can help you lower the risk of these painful conditions arising from increased levels of inflammation in the body.
How to Heal Your Gut & Reset Your Gut Biome
It’s fairly simple to get started on healing your gut. So how long does it take to heal your gut? Just about 3 to 4 days. That’s all it takes. Given that the microbiome is relatively resilient, it’s fairly simple to heal your gut. Here’s how to reset your gut biome for better physical and mental health:
- Get Sufficient Sleep
- The first step in learning how to reset your gut biome involves sleeping for sufficiently long periods.
- Ensure you get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. Since the gut microbiome follows a circadian rhythm just like your body, this should help with the first step of its reset.
- Don’t forget to get in touch with your doctor if you have insomnia or have had subpar sleep quality.
- Drink Enough Water
- Hydration improves the health of tissues in your body and has a positive impact on the functioning of your digestive tract.
- A healthy intestine promotes a balanced microbiome and helps you heal your gut.
- Incorporate Probiotics & Prebiotics in Your Diet
- While probiotics are food or supplements with live good bacteria in them, prebiotics include elements that provide food that can promote the growth of bacteria in the gut.
- But how do you heal your gut naturally? And, how can you heal your stomach and intestines naturally? Pro and prebiotics are the answers.
- Yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and pickles are good sources of natural probiotics.
- On the other hand, fresh green vegetables, onions, garlic, fruits, whole grains, and foods high in natural fiber are great prebiotics.
- Ditch Processed Food & Added Sugars
- Processed food harms gut health and the microbiome.
- If you’re trying to improve your health and reset your gut, it might be time to reduce the amount of processed food in your diet.
- You can instead rely on naturally present sugars such as those present in fruit.
- Avoid Allergens & Food Intolerance Triggers
- It’s important to note that when you’re trying to heal your gut and reset its biome, you need to make every effort to eliminate allergens and food that don't suit your diet.
- This helps you in reducing your bodily inflammation levels, enabling your gut bacteria to restore balance.
Gut health impacts your body’s day-to-day mechanisms to a great extent. This makes it important for you to maintain its integrity so you can remain in good health. To know more about how to reset your gut, and for help in maintaining a perfect gut biome, be sure to contact your healthcare provider and a nutritionist to help you with the best diet suited to your needs.