While you might think of having gut or stomach problems coming across as bloating, cramps, nausea or acid reflux, in many cases, gut distress doesn’t show up as we would expect.
In fact, many of us are likely walking around with problems in our gut without even realizing!
If you experience any of these four symptoms of distress, that could be you:
- Irregular bowel movements – Irregular may mean that your bowel movements hardly ever come, leaving you constipated or uncomfortable, or it may mean that they are changing all the time: constipated, soft stool, loose movements etc. Whatever the case, if you’re not on a pretty regular and consistent schedule, with a pretty regular and consistent outcome, there might be something going on. And while the options are many of what the issue could be, if this sounds like you, start to keep a poop journal! Yes, that’s right: record your daily movements, including size/shape, consistency, time etc. and then use this to visit a professional and have things investigated a little further. You might be surprised to find out how much bowel movement says!
- Gurgling in your stomach – If you ever hear your stomach start gurgling shortly after you’ve eaten, and say to yourself, “I can’t be hungry, I just ate,” then you are completely correct: you’re not hungry, there is likely something else going on. This is often an indication of issues with digestive enzymes or digestive fluids released at specific times in the digestion cycle to most effectively digest certain types of food. It may also be an indicator of imbalances within the gut bacteria, whereby there is too much unhealthy bacteria and not enough healthy gut flora to facilitate healthy gut function. Finally, it could indeed be a sign of being hungry, occurring in individuals who chronically under eat or regularly have low caloric intake.
- Regular skin breakouts – “But I thought my skin was just breaking out because I was stressed,” you’re thinking to yourself. And true, it may be indeed. But even if it is because you are stressed, your gut is affected by stress too, and at the root of your skin problems may be your gut problems. When the gut is unhealthy and unable to properly digest and eliminate food and detoxify toxins, these will end up accumulating in the body. Eventually, there is the potential that they be eliminated through the pores, as this is an easy exit for the body to get rid of toxic overload. This translates to clogged pores, skin breakouts and of course, acne, pimples and an overall unhealthy complexion.
- Brain Fog – Maybe you just think you’re tired; maybe you have had a particularly long day and are chalking it up to your brain being overworked. Or maybe you have something going on in your gut. Researchers have found the existence of a gut-brain axis, whereby the brain and gut communicate with each other, like a mini brain. This communication leads to impacts on our mood, energy levels, happiness levels, cognition and mental processing abilities. In essence, when there is something wrong in the gut, the brain knows about it and will exhibit symptoms accordingly!