If you’ve been looking after your gut health, you might be wondering what the signs are to suggest progress or even a healed gut. This article discusses signs of a healthy gut and tips for maintaining good gut health once you’ve achieved it!
Signs of a Healthy Gut
The best way to keep track of your gut health is to keep an eye on how your body is functioning. The most obvious sign of a healthy gut is good digestion! Suppose you are having regular bowel movements and experiencing minimal or no digestive discomfort, such as bloating or gas. In that case, that is a good indicator that your gut is in good shape.
Another sign of a healthy gut is good skin; the gut and skin are intricately connected through the gut-skin axis, and gut issues can show up on the skin in acne, eczema, psoriasis, boils and many other ailments. If your skin is clear, hydrated and free of unexplained irritation, you can be confident that your gut isn’t causing any issues there.
If you have bundles of energy, this can be an indicator of good gut health. When gut health is poor, it can mean that your body does not properly absorb the nutrients or get rid of the toxins from the food you consume, leading to low energy levels and lethargy. If your energy levels are high, that indicates good absorption and, therefore, good gut health.
A strong immune system is a great indicator of a healthy gut; 70% of the cells of the immune system exist within the gut, so if gut health is poor, the immune system can struggle to function properly. If your immune system is functioning well, it’s likely you won’t even notice it’s there. If you are frequently getting ill, your wounds are slow-healing, and you are extremely stressed or tired, then your immune system may be down.
If your attention span and cognitive function are sharp, that can also be a good indicator of a healthy gut. The gut and brain are intricately connected through the gut-brain axis and can impact each other if one is suffering. An unaffected ability to focus can indicate a healthy gut, as it means you are not suffering from brain fog - one of the common symptoms of poor gut health.
How to Maintain a Healthy Gut
Once you achieve good gut health, you need to do some upkeep to ensure your gut is able to stay healthy. Just like when you lose some weight on a strict diet - you must be sensible afterwards to keep the weight off.
A great way to ensure you can maintain a healthy gut is to manage your stress levels. Stress can have a huge impact on gut health due to the hormone serotonin. 95% of serotonin is made in the gut, and as well as helping to control mood, it helps to move food through the gastrointestinal tract. Too much serotonin caused by elevated stress levels can cause spasms throughout the entire colon.
Managing stress levels is a very personal thing; the same trick won’t work for everybody. Identifying the cause of your stress can be a great place to start. If that stress trigger can be removed from your life, you may find your stress levels will drastically improve. Otherwise, meditation, yoga, therapy, exercise, talking to loved ones or carrying out a hobby could be useful.
What you consume has a huge impact on your gut health - everything you eat and drink must be digested, so generally, maintaining a diverse and balanced diet can help to ensure you maintain good gut health. A diet with plenty of fibre, probiotics and lots of essential nutrients will serve you well.
Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining good gut health. Hydration is consistently necessary; drinking loads on a Monday and none of a Friday does not balance out! Hydration is essential to have enough fluid to help move food through the digestive tract. If you are dehydrated, the body will pull fluid from the cells of the gut and send it to other organs, leaving the gut unable to perform properly.
For further advice on how to look after your gut health, check out our articles:
If you have experienced persistent digestive issues with no relief from diet or lifestyle changes, there might be something else causing your gut issues. If you are concerned about your gut health for any reason, it is best to contact your doctor or a pharmacist for medical advice. There is no shame in gut troubles; they are extremely common, and professionals may be able to help you to feel better.
At The Gut Co, we have created a robust 90-day plan to help you to get your gut health in tip-top shape. The Gut Reset Plan includes expert advice from our in-house nutritionist, a 3 month supply of Gut Care and weekly support emails with advice and tasks to improve your diet and lifestyle. Whenever you need them, our nutritionist is there to help!
We wish you the best of luck on your gut-healing journey, and hope to be able to support you on the way to improved health.