alttaganatomy1605241280For Functional Medicine doctors and practitioners, gut health is always hot topic as people discover how much of an impact your gut has on your overall health and wellness. Bad gut bacteria not only contributes to digestive issues, but this can then cause mental health problems like stress and anxiety, lead to poor focus and brain fog, and many other issues. Here are some signs that the bacteria in your gut is not balanced properly.

Gut or Stomach Discomfort
General discomfort of the stomach and digestive system can come from so many different conditions, that it often takes some time narrowing down the initial cause. The cause is important, because that is how you determine the proper treatment. If you are having discomfort like gas and bloating, stomach cramps, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation, looking into your gut bacteria is a good place to start.

Food Cravings
The next common sign to having bad gut bacteria is having specific food cravings. While these can also be from other conditions, you should talk to your doctor about your gut health if you have an intense craving for foods that are sweet. Sweets and sugar tend to be a big sign of an imbalance of your gut health and gut bacteria. Have you had antibiotics recently? It rids your gut of both bad and good bacteria, so you might have an increase of sugar cravings due to the good bacteria being out of balance in your gut.

Unexplained Weight Loss
Any time you start losing weight without making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, it is important to talk to your doctor. There are many conditions that can cause this, including autoimmune diseases like thyroid issues, gluten allergies, and yes, bad gut bacteria. This is often referred to small intestine bacterial overgrowth, which is when you have an excessive amount of microbes that are affecting your ability to absorb different nutrients. If you are having weight loss that you can’t explain, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor and find out if it is from gut bacteria or other digestive issues.

Mental Health Changes
If you have an increase in mental health issues lately, that can also be a big sign of having improper gut bacteria balances. This might include a higher level of stress, worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression, and possible brain fog.

If you have any of these symptoms and you feel like you’re not getting to the bottom of it, working with a functional medicine practitioner may help you uncover the contributing factors to your imbalanced gut and help you improve gut health.


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