Your gut is the entire digestive tract that runs from your esophagus to your rectum. It does more than just take in food and excrete food, however.
Experts refer to the gut as the second brain. The microbes and nerves in the gut can launch communication with the brain, affecting everything from hunger to mood.
If your gut is healthy, you have a proper balance of good and bad bacteria.
Your stomach secretes the right amount of acid to help process your food, and your liver and pancreas release the right enzymes to further digest your food.
The right balance of what you eat feeds your body. It also feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut that allow your food to be used effectively by the body.
If your gut is healthy, your body and mind probably are too.
You might think that the signs of an unhealthy gut would be obvious. Of course, symptoms like digestive distress, bowel movement problems, and abdominal pain can signal that something is unhealthy in your gut.
We’re not going to talk about the obvious: diarrhea and constipation.
However, other physical, emotional and mental warning signs can signal that your gut needs some serious TLC.
Here are 10 warning signs that you have an unhealthy gut and some tips for getting yourself back in balance.
10 Warning Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut
1. Stress, Anxiety and Depression
The lining of your intestines is filled with nerves that contain similar tissue as the brain. These nerves communicate with the brain.
Your intestines also release the same feel-good neurotransmitters that are responsible for making you feel good. If your gut bacteria is in balance, you’re more likely to feel mentally balanced too.