Gut Health Graphic

Understanding Gut Health: Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and What to Do About It

In recent years, the conversation around gut health has skyrocketed. From influencing mental health to playing a crucial role in our immune system, the importance of maintaining a healthy gut has never been more clear. 

However, with our modern lifestyles laden with stress and processed foods, maintaining gut health can be challenging. 

Understanding the signs of an unhealthy gut and knowing how to address these issues is vital for overall well-being.

What is Gut Health?

Gut health refers to the function and balance of bacteria in the many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Ideally, organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and intestines work together to allow us to eat and digest food without discomfort. 

A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

Several signs can indicate your gut is not as healthy as it should be. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

1. Digestive Issues

Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.

2. Unexpected Weight Changes

Gaining or losing weight without changing your diet or exercise habits could be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat.

3. Constant Fatigue or Sleep Disturbances

Poor gut health can lead to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. Thus, gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well.

4. Skin Irritation

Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased "leaking" of certain proteins out into the body, which can irritate the skin and cause conditions like eczema.

5. Autoimmune Conditions

Research shows that an unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.

6. Food Intolerances

Food intolerances may be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut. Difficulty digesting certain foods (which is different from a food allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods) can lead to bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea.

What to Do About It

Improve Your Diet

Eating a diverse range of foods, especially lots of fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can lead to a more diverse microbiota, which is beneficial for your gut. Fermented foods can also introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system.

Consider Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that can improve the health of your gut microbiota. They're found in supplements and in fermented foods. Prebiotic fiber can also help feed the beneficial bacteria already in your gut.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines, as well as on the balance of good bacteria in the gut.

Reduce Stress

Chronic levels of high stress are hard on your whole body, including your gut. Some ways to lower stress may include meditation, walking, getting a massage, spending time with friends or family, diffusing essential oils, reducing caffeine intake, laughing, yoga, or having a pet.

Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough or sufficient quality of sleep can have serious impacts on your gut health. This can create a cycle where poor sleep affects your gut, leading to more sleep issues. 

To break this cycle, it's crucial to prioritize getting at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. By ensuring you give your body the rest it needs, you can positively influence both your sleep quality and gut health.

Do a Gut Detox

A gut detox can be a powerful step towards resetting your digestive system and improving overall gut health. This process involves a period of eating a simplified diet that supports gut healing, eliminating harmful foods, and sometimes incorporating specific supplements designed to cleanse your gut. Learn more about how you can do a gut detox with our blog on how to cleanse your gut.

It's crucial to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any detox plan, especially if you have underlying health conditions. A gut detox can set the foundation for a healthier lifestyle, but it's equally important to maintain a balanced diet and lifestyle habits post-detox for lasting gut health.


The state of your gut health plays a crucial role in influencing your overall well-being in various aspects. When you become attuned to the signs indicating an unhealthy gut and proactively work towards enhancing its health, you are not just benefiting your digestive system, but also positively impacting your mood regulation, immune responses, and overall vitality.

By making mindful adjustments to your dietary choices and lifestyle habits, such as incorporating more fiber-rich foods, staying hydrated, managing stress levels effectively, and prioritizing quality sleep, you can significantly transform how you feel and function on a day-to-day basis.

It's important to understand that nurturing your gut health is a fundamental aspect of self-care that contributes to your holistic wellness, reflecting improved energy levels, mental clarity, and resilience.

Take Control of Your Health with Contourblends

Every health and fitness journey starts by removing what’s not needed in your body and replacing it with what your body truly needs. 

However, using the right products is essential to detox your body and give it the right nutrients to heal. Contourblends is the place where you can find the right products to help you through your journey.

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