What actually does a healthy gut look like?
When im looking for signs of a healthy gut, I will start at the digestive system and the number 1 indication is bowel function. You want to aim for at least 1 healthy bowel motion a day , with a brown smooth sausage consistency. Now everyone is different and if you go 3 times a day or 3 times a week and you have been doing that all your life and theres no straining or yukky smell or smushy stool then that’s ok. Is there mucus or undigested food in the stool? We don’t want that. That may indicate inflammation and or not enough gut enzymes to break dowm your food.
Then im going to look for other digestive signs such as bloating especially after meals, heartburn/reflux, exc essive gas or belching and gut pain or cramping, all may indicate that somethings not right in the gut.
Other common gut signs are dark circles under the eyes can incicate food allergies or nutrient deficiencies form not breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from the food we eat.. Poor sleep, blotchy skin, ( skin problems is a big indicator because the skin as a n elimination organ will take over from the bowel and gut if its not doing its job properly and the skin takes over and becomes overloaded a sdwell poor concentration, a white coating on the tongue, food allergies/intolerances, sinusitis, aNxiety and or depression , mood swings and irritability, skin probs – eczema, rashes hives, roseacea, even diabetes
I then will look at the patients diet. What we are eating will effectr our gut health – we need a healthy fresh unprocessed diet to help feed our gut and colonix bacteria and things like processed foods, sugar, bad fats actually kill off our good bacteria.
I also look at how people are eating – are they relaxed and chewing well? Or eating on the run, in their car or rushing their food?
How many courses of antibiotics have they had over a lifetime? ! course of a/biotics can take up to 2 years to rel]pleanish the good bacteria they lkiiilled off alongside the bacteria they were targeting. PPI use or antacid medication decreases gut acidity needed for breaking down food and OCP depletes nutrientslike B12, folate and zinc needed for healthy gut functioning
Things like alcohol amd caffeine are direct gut stimulants , kill off goood bacteria and causes acidity
And a healthy gut wouldn’t be goood if there was constant stress around
When a patient is sitting in front of me and I am assessing their gut health, I am looking at their overall health as well. There can be no overt gut symptoms, but strengthening the gut will still aid there health. The gut has been linked to just about every health condidion from obesity , ( they have found htat the gut of obese patients have differnet bacteria to thin people , mental health, immunioty to demenytia and alzeimers diseases.
So gut health is hugely important and its my number one priority before I treat any major disease in the body.