Feeling at ease in the day has much to do with digestion. If you're experiencing stomach pain and cramps, it can definitely interfere with your ability to work and be productive. Knowing there's bad bacteria in your gut can help you readjust accordingly to achieve a better gut flora balance in the body and create a smoother digestive process. With a few diet and lifestyle tweaks, it's easy to re-balance hormones and improve your health.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on promoting digestion and finding comfort in eating foods they can enjoy, worry and pain free. When your stomach hurts in the day, it can be a real drag, and it can make you feel uncomfortable, even just sitting in your chair at the office. By eating certain foods to benefit the body and keeping a healthier lifestyle, you'll be better able to balance your gut hormones and eliminate bad bacteria that could be interfering with the production of good, beneficial bacteria. Here are 11 signs that you have too much bad bacteria in your gut and you need a reboot asap. By being more mindful, it's easy to get back to a happier, more relaxed state and to really find pleasure in food and its delicious flavors.
1. Depressive Symptoms
"There is a large amount of bacteria in the gut, and as long as the good outweigh the bad, the gut can function normally. However, when the scale tips in the other direction, and non-beneficial bacteria outweigh beneficial bacteria, an array of symptoms can ensue," explains Will Smelko, co-founder of Ora Organic over email with Bustle. "The gut is often referred to as the 'second brain' and this is due to its ability to send messages to our brain - e.g. informing your brain that you've eaten enough. Recent studies have shown however, that our gut bacteria may be able to influence our mental health. If you're feeling particularly down for no conceivable reason, it might do you some good to look into trying a probiotic supplement," Smelko suggests.
2. Abnormal Bowels
"Signs that you may have too many bad bacteria include diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation," says Dr. Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P, creator and host of the Emmy-award winning medical lifestyle television show, “Ask Dr. Nandi” and Chief Health Editor at WXYZ-TV (ABC) Detroit over email with Bustle. If you notice challenges with going to the bathroom, it could be due to poor bacteria growth.
Nandi also says that you might feel tired and low in energy if you have bad bacteria in your gut. "Decreased alertness and fatigue can also be a consequence of bad bacteria," Nandi explains. If you're abnormally lethargic, and probably have some sort of stomach pain, try altering your diet to improve digestion.
4. Joint Pain
Nandi explains that joint pain, especially if you're prone to having sore muscles and aches due to an autoimmune disorder, can be prevalent when there's bad bacteria in the gut. "Autoimmune conditions like Rheumatoid arthritis with joint pain and fatigue can be present, as well as inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis. Talk to your doctor about how to balance out the bad bacteria with bacteria that is great for you," Nandi suggests.
According to skin expert and researcher/founder of Simple Skincare Science, F.C., over email with Bustle, "there's a growing body of evidence that a compromised gut flora can manifest itself on the skin level in many ways. For example acne, eczema, rosacea." If you notice your skin acting up, it could definitely be due to poor digestive health. Having a probiotic to help your skin could be really beneficial.
6. Cravings For Sugar
If you have "excess candida - which can cause you to crave more sugar and sweets than usual," you might have bad bacteria in your gut, explains nutritional expert Liana Werner-Gray over email with Bustle. If so, going on a better diet to get rid of candida can help re-balance the body.
7. Weird Tongue Patterns
"You will see red dots or lumps on the side of your tongue or back of your tongue," says Werner-Gray. "Or if you wake up with a white film layering your tongue," Werner-Gray adds, it could also be a clear signal of having harmful bacteria in your gut and an urgent need for a digestive reboot.
8. Inconsistent Gas
According to Werner-Gray, if you notice inconsistent gas patterns, where you're experiencing "excess intestinal gas" or "little or no intestinal gas," then you might have poor digestive health. You should be farting a healthy amount in the day and producing normal, regular bowels.
9. Chronically Bad Breath
Werner-Gray says that if you have pretty bad breath on a regular basis (you know you don't want to be that person at the office or on a date), it could be due to what you're eating and how you're digesting your food. If you have bad bacteria in your gut, your breath might stink naturally.
10. Mood Swings
If you're in a bad mood a lot, without a real explanation or cause, it could be due to hormonal changes and poor digestive health. When you have healthy digestion, you're bound to have more stable mood and energy levels, but when you're suffering and having stomach troubles in the day, you're more prone to emotional sways.
11. Eating Too Quickly
If you're used to eating super fast (a lunch break at work can sometimes just be 10 minutes), or not practicing mindfulness when eating, you might be taxing your system and interfering with a smooth digestion. Try and slow down when eating, or even use chopsticks, to let your body digest well and not create a buildup of poor bacteria in your gut.
If any of these instances are occurring when you eat, it's time to take action and improve your gut health. Including probiotics and prebiotics to benefit the gut will help, as well as being more mindful of what and how you're eating.
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