It seems everywhere you turn, someone is talking about gut health. It seems like the topic has gained popularity, as more and more people are complaining about digestion woes. Bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and even heartburn are all struggles that many of us live with on a daily basis. One thing is for certain: digestion problems are no laughing matter and they can really leave you feeling miserable.
In recent years, several studies have shown that proper digestive health can be an important player in maintaining overall health. For example, people with a healthy gut sleep better and have an elevated mood. Don’t you want to be one of those people? If so, then you will want to keep in mind the following four threats that are wreaking havoc on your digestion and holding you back.
4 threats to your gut health you need to know about
High sugar diet: Unfortunately, many of us are consuming too much sugar and it’s taking a serious toll on our digestion and overall health. On average, Americans consume 135 pounds of sugar annually. This is largely in part due to our increased intake of processed food, corn, and refined flour. This type of diet is not only lacking in nutrients, but it increases the growth of bacteria in the gut. Furthermore, a high sugar diet contributes to inflammation, which can cause food intolerances, leaky gut syndrome, vitamin deficiencies, and autoimmune problems.
Medication: Although medication is intended to make us better, unfortunately, there can be side effects, especially those affecting the gut. Many medications interfere with your guts function. Working with your doctor can help you find medications that take less of a toll on your gut function. You may also want to supplement with probiotics to ensure your gut health stays healthy.
Eating highly reactive foods: There are about seven common foods that can trigger food intolerances that you should be aware of. These foods include gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, corn, and sweeteners. For many people, eliminating some or all of these highly reactive foods from your diet instantly provides relief from digestion symptoms.
Chronic stress: When we are stressed out, hormones are released that halt digestion. This means food is broken down slower, causing bloating and cramping. Some people may experience stomach pains during times of stress. When your digestion is essentially put on pause due to stress, it results in a weaker immunity because many immune cells are located in the gut. This means you are more susceptible to illness during times of stress. This is why it’s so important so reduce stress and remove controllable stressors in your life as much as possible.
Related: Secret to good gut health