Do you experience skin breakouts? Are you always craving something sweet? Do you feel bloated after eating? All of these common symptoms could be a sign that your gut is out of whack. Listening to the cues your body is telling you can be a great way to recognize what kind of support you may need—even if it’s not obvious.
There are countless ways your gut and digestive system are crying out for help. Many herbalists believe that the root of good health begins in the gut and modern science is just now proving that to be true. Below are five signs your gut is telling you it needs some extra support, as well as tips for giving your gut the TLC it needs.
1. You feel bloated after eating
Everyone is bound to experience bloating from time to time but if it is a consistent bother, it could be a sign of gut dysbiosis, improper food breakdown, constipation, or less than ideal eating practices. So, what is gut dysbiosis? Simply put, it’s an imbalance of microorganisms within the lower digestive tract. Frequent bloating could be caused by one, a few, or all of these factors.Tips for managing bloat:
Eat plenty of probiotic foods
Drink prebiotic teas or take prebiotic supplements, like our Never Been Bitter™ tincture or Soothe Operator™ formula
Drink an adequate amount of water and eat plenty of fiber-rich food to help keep things moving
Take digestive bitters 10 minutes prior to meals to support food breakdown and absorption, our Never Been Bitter™ tincture was made for this
Eat with intention. Slow down, chew between 10-20 times per bite, and drink fewer liquids during mealtime
2. You have persistent brain fog and fatigue
There are lots of reasons a person could be experiencing persistent brain fog but an imbalance in the gut ecosystem could definitely be one of them. There is a reason your gut is coined the “second brain” of the body—more than 100 million neurons are found within the gut alone. Your gut and brain share an interconnected network that can impact each other constantly. Over 90% of serotonin is created by gut bacteria which directly impacts our mood and cognitive function.
Without proper digestion, you could be struggling to absorb vital nutrients needed by the nervous system for energy and optimal functioning. Lastly, gut dysbiosis and inflammation have been directly linked to various disorders of the nervous system. By helping to ease gut inflammation, support overall digestion, and bring balance to our gut microbiome, we can support healthy cognitive function and total body wellbeing.3. You have constant unhealthy food cravings–especially for sugar
We all get food cravings from time to time but sometimes they can be a sign of a deeper imbalance within our digestive and other bodily systems. There are many reasons for cravings—hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies, stress, blood sugar imbalances, and even the gut microbiome. High stress and cortisol levels can impact cravings as well as emotional factors such as eating “comfort” foods. Cravings can sometimes be your body's way of telling you that you are missing some essential nutrients. Emerging research on the gut flora has shown a lack of diversity in the gut microbiome or an overpopulation of the “bad” type of bacteria, can directly impact our cravings and food choices.
Tips for managing food cravings:Stay hydrated
Feed to microbiome through probiotic foods and prebiotic foods, like our Soothe Operator™ formula
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fats
Support nutrient absorption, our tincture, Never Been Bitter™ can help with that
Find ways to cope with stress beyond comfort foods, our wine alternative formulas, Take the Edge Off™ and Stop Your Wine-ing® are our go-to natural stress-busters
4. Your skin is breaking out or irritated
As you may have gathered, the health of the gut microbiome is vital to almost every bodily system—including our largest organ, the skin. If our digestive tract is out of whack, our microbiome is not in balance, and we aren’t properly digesting food, it can show up in our skin as irritation, redness, dryness, or a myriad of other skin issues.
Additionally, the structure and function of the skin and gut have a lot in common. The mucosal lining of the gut and the skin’s outer surface are both covered by epithelial cells that come in contact with the outside world. The two are also key in the protection of the body from pathogens and serve as key lines of defense for the immune system. Also, just like the gut, our skin has a microbiome that needs a lot of care and attention. Like the antibiotics that can strip your gut of beneficial microbes, harsh chemical cleansers can strip your skin of the microbes it needs.5. You are always getting sick
If you always seem to catch the most recent strains of cold and flu viruses, your gut health could be a factor. 70% of our immune system lives in the gut. The gut holds an important role in housing immune cells that help monitor and respond to potential pathogens, maturing key immune cells after they are created in the bone marrow and the production of antibodies. The healthy microbiome is key for all of these processes as it plays a role in “educating” immune cell response and helping to regulate immune homeostasis or equilibrium. If your gut and microbiome are out of balance that can directly impact your immune response and could make us more susceptible to pathogens. Yet another reason to always give your gut some extra love this time of year!Final thoughts
If you take nothing away from this article, take away this: total body health starts in the gut. Once we nourish our gut microbiome, we consequently support our immune system, promote healthy glowy skin, help curb cravings, and address bloat before it happens. But good gut health depends on what you’re putting into your body.
Here are some of our best gut and digestive formulas to support you on your wellness journey. Never Been Bitter™ is our gut, liver, and digestion support tincture packed with bloat-busting herbs and gut-nourishing roots to help kick out the funk in your digestive tract and promote long-term gut and liver health.
Soothe Operator™ is another digestion support formula but this one is best for promoting smooth bowel moves. If you feel stopped up or need a little help in the poo department, pick up Soothe Operator™ and watch your moves become more easeful and regular. Finally, Claim to Flame™ is our inflammatory support formula with a potent combination of ginger, turmeric, and black pepper that’s sure to lower the temperature on gut and digestive issues. Pick up any of these potent herbal formulas next time your gut needs some TLC.