7 Signs of Unhealthy Gut and How to Improve Gut Health | Sameer Islam Videos
So you may be wondering, is my gut healthy? Do I have a lot of gut issues? Is there something going on there? In this video today, I'm going to give you seven signs that you have a pretty unhealthy gut and also give you seven tips. Yes, seven tips that I recommend to improve the health of your gut, and if you wait til the very end, I'm going to give you a bonus tip!
Don't think that Dr. Islam won’t help you! Yes, I am here for you guys. Guys let’s talk about poop.
Dr. Samir here, a.k.a. your poop guru, trying to give you the best tips and tricks to help out with your health.
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So you may be wondering, huh? Am I suffering from a really crappy gut? Is that why I'm having so many issues? Well, let me give you seven signs that you may be having a really, really crappy GI tract.
7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
Number one, we're having a lot of gut issues, obviously.
But let me tell you specifically: bloating, pain, distension, constipation, diarrhea. Things are just not going through very, very good. This is a very common sign of a condition called irritable bowel syndrome, which for a lot of our patients could be a sign of a change in the gut microbiome, poor gut health or other issues going on. If you're having these issues, this can be a sign you're having a very unhealthy gut.
Number two is brain fog, just feeling like you're not really there. You know, you won’t feel fully aware of what things are going on. You just don't feel like yourself. You’re just kind of in this daze. That can usually be due to something going on inside your gut where there are certain foods that you have bad bacteria or a condition called celiac disease as well.
Number three, changes in your weight. Either gaining weight or losing weight could be a sign of some problems going on inside your gut or an unhealthy gut.
A really imbalanced gut microbiome can change the way you absorb nutrients, change the way your blood sugars are, and change your energy level, which can in turn affect how much weight you actually gain or lose. You could be having a problem like insulin resistance or small intestinal bacterial growth, which can cause changes in your gut microbiome and also causes changes in your weight.
Number four are sleep disturbances or just constantly feeling tired.
We're seeing more and more evidence that a lot of sleep issues could be related to what's going on inside the gut, whether it's an imbalance of your gut microbiome, too much bad bacteria, not enough good bacteria, some bad fungus or just some sort of changes going on inside the GI tract. Keep in mind, the vast majority of your body serotonin, which is a hormone that helps with sleep, is produced in your gut. And if your gut is not working correctly, those signals will not be present or could be too much to cause issues with sleep and fatigue.
Number five is skin irritation, whether it's eczema, acne, or dry skin. This could be a sign of a leaky gut or inflammation going on inside your gut as well.
Number six are autoimmune diseases. We are seeing more and more evidence of the gut influencing autoimmune diseases, whether it's Psoriasis, Celiac Disease, or Hashimoto's. It is thought that an unhealthy gut produces systemic inflammation all throughout your body, and that inflammation leads autoimmune problems to occur. By controlling some of the gut issues, we may be affecting other things outside the gut and helping to decrease any autoimmune conditions.
Number 7 is food intolerances. Have you ever had problems eating certain foods? We get a lot of gas, bloating, distention, maybe diarrhea and constipation. That is not a food allergy, but actually may be a food intolerance with the most common being gluten. It is thought that food intolerance can be due to the poor quality of your gut microbiome. And that, in turn, can make it more difficult for you to digest certain foods.
These food intolerances can lead to a lot of gut issues like bloating, feeling like you're pregnant all the time, gas, diarrhea and nausea.
7 Recommendations for Improving Your Gut Health
All right. Now that we talked about all the bad stuff about your gut, what seven things would I recommend as a gut specialist to improve your gut?
So, the whole idea of improving your gut is to improve your gut microbiome.
We are seeing more and more that diseases start inside the gut. And the main factor improving your gut is your microbiome. We want to be diverse. We want to have good bacteria that's there to suppress or get rid of the bad bacteria and to improve what is going on with digestion.
Here are seven things.
Number one, eat a diverse range of foods. Guys - don't just stick to one particular food group. Try to broaden out and try different foods, whether it's different vegetables, different fibers, prebiotics, and fermented foods. Don't just stick to one food group alone but eat a variety of foods.
Unfortunately, our Western diet is high in fat and sugars and not highly enriched plants, rich vegetables and diverse fruits. So, try to shift away from the fat and sugar to a more nutrient dense diet.
Number two is to eat lots and lots of vegetables and fruits, and if you can, things like beans and legumes. Now we know that the biggest factor to improve your gut microbiome is having a range of different fruits and vegetables. There's good clinical evidence for that. And the baseline for having a good microbiome is having a variety of these fruits and vegetables because they can actually increase your fiber. Fiber is the foundation of your gut health. It’s the foundation which everything builds on.
The more fiber that you can have, especially natural fiber, the better it's going to be for your gut and the more you can improve your gut health. Now, beans and legumes are a great example. They're high in fiber and they're a great source of vegetable.
Now, having said that, some people can’t tolerate that, which is fine. But, try to diversify your diet to include much, much, much, much, much more fruits and vegetables and minimize as much as you can anything else outside of that.
So, some high fiber foods that are very good for your gut include things like raspberries, artichoke, green beans, broccoli, chickpeas, lentils (my favorite), beans and whole grains.
Number three, try fermented foods. Fermented foods have been around for ages, eons, forever! It's been around forever. But actually, foods that have been altered by microbes produce a lot of good bacteria and stuff that's good for your overall gut health. Now, the process of fermenting usually involves either bacteria or yeast, converting the sugars in food to organic acids.
Some examples of great fermented food include things like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefer, kombucha and tempeh. These foods are rich in bacterial lactobacilli, which is a very pro gut bacteria, and we want more and more lactobacilli inside our gut.
Number four, eliminate artificial sweeteners. Guys, they're not real. It's artificial for a reason. These artificial sweeteners were made to have the sweet taste in our mouth without the calories of sugar.
We are finding that we're having difficulty digesting these artificial sweeteners. But not only that, this can really change the gut microbiome and can cause changes in weight gain, insulin response and more importantly, increase the pro inflammatory bacteria inside your gut, leading to all sorts of conditions.
Number five, consider eating prebiotic foods. So prebiotic foods are basic foods that can help promote the natural bacteria inside your gut. It's typically their fiber base, which, like I said before, forms the foundation of grape gut health. And this is why many fruits and vegetables are considered probiotics, because they are the actual source to produce good bacteria and to feed all the good guys inside our GI tract.
Number six, eat whole grains.
Yes, I'm actually including carbs! Can you believe that carbs are not all bad? Don't let anyone tell you that. There's nothing inherently wrong with carbohydrates. It doesn't inherently cause inflammation. I don’t know where this idea came from.
The only people who need to avoid certain carbs are people who have either gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
But having whole grains is great for your gut. They contain lots of fiber and non-digestible carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are not broken down in your small intestine, so they go down to your colon or large intestine or the gut microbiome feast on these carbohydrates and promote the growth of good bacteria. Guys, it's good for you.
Number seven is to try to minimize dairy now.
Dairy can cause a lot of gut issues for a lot of people: bloating, diarrhea, gas and pain. Because you may be lactose intolerant, you may not even realize this. So, if you want to try to improve your gut microbiome, try to see if you can minimize dairy and see how you feel.
Now, I gave you my top seven tips, but if you wait until the end of the video, you get a bonus tip! Yes.
My number one tip that I recommend to all my patients who are suffering from gut issues is…..drumroll please…...
Eat a plant based diet! Yes, this is going to be the number one thing that you can do to improve your gut microbiome.
There's plenty of evidence to suggest that a diet that's diverse with lots of plants and lots of fruits can really improve your gut microbiome. Your gut bacteria is a source for a lot of the issues you could be having. We also have evidence that meat there, regardless of the type, can increase inflammatory response inside your gut, decrease good bacteria and can make things a lot harder inside your GI tract. So, the more that you can do a plant based diet, the better it's going to be.
Now, I understand - I'm from Texas. All right. We like our meat. We like our steaks. We like our beef.
But if you can try to incorporate more and more vegetables and plants in your diet, at least 80 percent of the time, I can tell you you're going to feel so much better and your gut will thank you. “Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, sir. Thank you, ma'am. Thanks for the plants. It's making me feel better.”
These are the seven signs that you have an unhealthy gut and seven ways plus one bonus tip, as to what you can do to improve your gut health.
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