It’s a well-known fact that gut health is an important indicator of health and wellness, but how do you know if your digestive discomfort is something to be more thoroughly investigated or you just need to chew your food better?

Hippocrates said “all disease starts in the gut” or he meant that if digestive health is compromised, the risk of disorder typically rises…of course other factors such as genetic, environmental toxins etc are also factors.

Identifying your signs and symptoms

We can all keep track of our symptoms just by noting them down when they occur, this can be helpful to see if there are patterns emerging. For example, you always feel bloated after eating something with onions and garlic in it, or you often have diarrhoea after having your morning coffee. These are all good clues for your health professional.

Here are some common symptoms of an unhappy gut:

  • Digestive issues i.e. bloating, flatulence, reflux, diarrhoea or constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Poor immune health or recurring immune issues
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Anxiety and or depression
  • Chronic fatigue or lethargy
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Skin conditions i.e. acne, eczema, rosacea
  • Heartburn or reflux
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Trouble maintaining a healthy weight
Fruit and vege support digestive health

You may have one or more of these symptoms which means it would be a good idea to start doing some gut healing work.
Abdominal pain can be quite concerning, so let’s run through a few possible causes:

  • Inflammation
  • Blockages
  • Infection
  • Abnormal growths
  • Intestinal disorders

Always see you doctor if you have abdominal pain and especially if it is getting progressively worse.

It’s also a good idea to check to see if any of these red flags are popping up for you:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Significant changes in bowel habits
  • Waking up at night with diarrhoea
  • Blood in your stool
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mouth ulcers

If you have any of the above red flags it would be recommended to go and see your doctor so you can get the appropriate tests done such as blood tests and stool tests to check for infection, inflammation or diseases such as coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis.

Other common digestive conditions include:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) of which over 75% of people diagnosed with IBS have SIBO as well, other pathogens such as parasites, Candida albicans, Clostridia and Helicobacter pylori to name a few. These can all be drivers of Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Dysbiosis or dysfunctional gut microbiome (or gut bugs) is at the heart of most if not all digestive discomfort and it’s here where we need to focus to heal the gut. Natural gut healing work with me can always be done alongside your doctor.

Read on with what to do about it in Part 2

PS: don't forget to grab a copy of 5 Tips to reduce your bloating here

Written by Naturopath and Gut Health Specialist - Jane McClurg

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}