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Gut Flora Imbalance: Signs of Unhealthy Gut
Updated on August 16, 2022
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Microbiome
Gut Flora Imbalance: Signs of Unhealthy Gut

Your gut flora includes both good and bad bacteria. An imbalance favoring bad bacteria results in an unhealthy gut. 

Many different things trigger gut flora imbalance. Some examples include medications, illness, and eating foods that are bad for your gut. This can trigger a variety of symptoms. 

Many of them are digestive, but you can also experience symptoms unrelated to digestive health.

Gut Flora Imbalance: Signs of Unhealthy Gut 2

The Importance of Gut Health

 The gut is important for many reasons. Your body relies on your digestive tract to:1

  • Break down food for easy digestion
  • Ensure the absorption of nutrients
  • Support healthy immunity and disease resistance
  • Regulate your mood
  • Promote hormonal balance
  • Maintain your overall health

A healthy gut will shown signs and be able to function properly.

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Understanding Gut Bacteria Imbalance

Gut imbalance can develop when there's too little good bacteria or too many bad bacteria in your gut

Some of the factors that cause this imbalance are out of your control. For instance, you can’t change how old you are or if you need to take an antibiotic for an infection.

Other factors that affect your gut flora are within your control. For example, eating gut-healthy foods helps to maintain a healthy gut and the balance of bacteria.

10 Unhealthy Gut Symptoms — Signs You Have Gut Imbalance

Here are 10 signs that your gut flora is imbalanced:

1. Stomach discomfort after eating

Do you experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn after eating? It could be a sign your gut is out of balance and that it’s struggling to process and eliminate the food you’re eating.

You should to your doctor about any pain or discomfort, especially when they arise after eating certain foods. But in many cases, you can relieve your symptoms by restoring your gut flora.

2. You feel tired often

Scientists discovered a link between your gut and energy levels. People with chronic fatigue had an imbalanced gut microbiome. They were also likely to experience leaky gut syndrome.2

Prebiotics and probiotics are believed to be a component of a healthy gut flora. They produce short-chain fatty acids which are vital for energy production.

You can take prebiotic and probiotic supplements to help with correct any imbalance.

3. Food intolerances

Many common food intolerances are linked to gut flora imbalance.3 If you have issues with certain foods, it’s best to avoid them.

In some cases, balancing your gut allows you to re-introduce problem foods into your diet without triggering any negative symptoms. 

If you’re not sure, you can take at-home tests that check for food intolerances.

4. You experience food cravings

Food cravings aren’t always caused by emotional eating. It may be a symptom of a gut flora imbalance. 

In many cases, eating too much sugar and artificial sweeteners causes bad bacteria to develop in the gut. An altered gut microbiome can affect the type of foods you want to eat.4

5. Skin problems are common

Gut bacteria imbalances and digestive issues are known to cause skin problems, such as:5

  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)

Conditions that cause them include small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s, and celiac disease. Studies show that treating them either reduces your skin problems or completely reverses them.

An altered gut microbiome also can also increase your risk for infections and gut irritation. Both can trigger stress and immune response, leading to poor skin health.6

6. You have signs of autoimmune illness

Over the past decade, researchers have linked gut bacteria to autoimmune conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid problems, and lupus.7

If you have an autoimmune disorder, you are more like to have an unhealthy gut.

Signs that you may have an autoimmune disease include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Recurring fevers
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Joint pain and swelling

7. Sudden changes in weight

Unexplainable weight fluctuations may be a symptom of gut dysbiosis. When your gut is imbalanced, your body will struggle to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar.8

This can cause you to gain or lose weight.

Try using a food tracking app to watch the foods you eat. The best food trackers we recommend suggest healthy foods that are also good for your gut.

They can provide nutritional information, such as the amount of calories and types of nutrients they contain.

8. Trouble sleeping

Serotonin, a hormone that plays a role in sleep quality, is mostly produced in your gut. When your gut isn’t healthy enough to produce enough serotonin, this can affect your sleep.9

9. Frequent headaches

Headaches have been linked to poor gut health. Research shows that people who frequently experience digestive issues like nausea, diarrhea, reflux, and constipation also get more headaches than those who don’t have them.

Digestive conditions such as IDB and celiac disease have also been linked to migraines. If you have them, treatment can help reduce your headaches.10

10. Mood changes

It’s difficult to have a positive attitude when you don’t feel your best. This is true when you’re dealing with gut flora imbalances. Mood disorders like anxiety may be caused by gut problems as well.11

Take A Gut Health Test At Home

Your gut is important because it affects so many aspects of your health and quality of life. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to naturally promote gut health.

Knowing the signs of an unhealthy gut will help you determine what you need to do next. You can also take an at-home gut health test to determine if you have an imbalance. 

There are several brands to can choose from:

  • Ombre (formerly Thryve) offers gut tests as well as personalized probiotics.
  • The Viome Gut Test offers gut and overall health testing. This test can help to correct imbalances by providing a custom blend of probiotics, prebiotics, and supplements.
  • Biohm Test and Gut Supplements promote complete gut health. Besides testing for gut problems, they offer a wide range of supplements that restore gut balance and health.

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Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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