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How Your Gut Can Impact Your Overall Health

How Your Gut Can Impact Your Overall Health

Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is an essential part of your body. It is a group of hollow organs (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) that takes in food, digests it and expels waste. The GI tract is also home to over 100 trillion bacteria, some of which are beneficial and others which can be harmful to your health.

If you are getting sick more than usual, your gut could actually be the culprit. A significant portion of your immune system can be found in your intestinal tract, and it is affected by the foods that you eat. Your gut thrives on a diet that his high in fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains because it can easily extract essential vitamins and nutrients and quickly remove waste. In contrast, a diet that is high in sugars and fats and low in fiber can cause inflammation, constipation and disease (Source: Health at 60).

Here are some other ways that an unhealthy gut can affect your health:

  1. Dental issues. Gastrointestinal conditions like acid reflux can go undiagnosed for months. Reflux often causes sore throat, wheezing and coughing, and deterioration of the enamel on your teeth.
  2. Mental issues. Bacteria in the intestines produces neurotransmitters that communicate with the brain. Conditions like anxiety and depression are often linked with gut problems.
  3. Irritable bowel syndrome. Abnormalities in the GI nervous system can cause IBS, a chronic condition that causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. IBS can often be controlled by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress.
  4. Skin problems. Eczema is a common skin condition, but are you sure that your rash is eczema? Celiac disease, which results from an allergy to gluten, can cause gluten antibodies to collect in capillaries under your skin and appear to be eczema. Other skin problems can include adult acne and psoriasis.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your gastroenterologist. Your doctor will be able to help you get to the root of your health problem and find some answers—and relief!

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posted on February 3, 2017 in news