15 Signs Your Gut Is Out of Balance (and What to Do About It)

gut
Photo Credit: Trinette Reed

January 13, 2021

By Dr. Tiffany Lester

Hippocrates said that “All disease begins in the gut,” and that’s as true today as it was 2,000 years ago. When your digestive system isn’t working properly, it affects every single system in your body, from cardiovascular to immune. You could be eating the healthiest organic diet, exercising daily, and sleeping 8 hours a night — but if your gut is imbalanced, you can still feel unwell.

Gas and bloating on a regular basis are your body’s signal that something deeper is going on, and it’s important to address them as soon as possible. In addition, below are some other common symptoms of digestive dysfunction:

  • Acid reflux
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nasal congestion or allergies
  • Skin conditions (acne, eczema, dermatitis)
  • Food sensitivities
  • Joint pain and/or muscle aches
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Mood swings/irritability
  • Sugar cravings

The good news is that your digestive lining renews every 72 hours. So, with a little effort, you can heal your gut and improve your health. Here’s how.

1. Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.

Of course, hydrating is always a good idea but warm water with lemon is beneficial for your gut health for two reasons. First, warm water supports your digestive system, which is also warm. Second, lemon helps move things along your digestive tract (always a good thing) and it’s also anti-flammatory.

2. Take a probiotic on an empty stomach.

While your drinking your lemon water, take a probiotic. First thing in the morning, when you have an otherwise empty stomach, is the ideal time to take this gut-supporting supplement.

3. Add some fermented foods to your diet.

Adding kimchi, kefir, miso, kombucha and other fermented foods to your diet helps keep the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut high. Keep in mind, though, that more isn’t always better. A tablespoon of kimchi or six ounces of kombucha will do the trick. And, if you notice that these foods cause an increase in bloating or constipation, please seek professional medical advice. While they are an excellent source of healthy bacteria, they can worsen conditions like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Take digestive bitters before meals.

In the case of excessive belching or heartburn, digestive bitters before meals can help by supporting adequate enzyme levels. They now come in many flavors and even pocket-sized sprays to take with you anywhere.

5. Try intermittent fasting.

By giving your digestion a rest for an extended period of time, usually 14 to 16 hours, you allow your body to reset. While intermittent fasting is usually safe for most healthy individuals, it’s best to proceed with the guidance of a health coach or physician.

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