Top 5 signs of good digestive health.
Do you know what good digestive health looks like? Or indeed, what it feels like?
Your digestive system is one of the most important structures in your body. Through digestion you extract the nutrients, vitamins and electrons you need to live an energised, nourished and balanced life.
Your emotional health is also linked to your gut health, which is governed largely by the bacteria — otherwise known as microbiome — in your intestines.
When your gut health is good, you’ll feel balanced. When it’s off, you’ll most-likely experience unpleasant symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, belching, bloating and gas, and your emotional health will also go awry.
There’s more to the saying “go with your gut” than decision-making alone. Your gut is truly your body’s compass.
In a bid to help you to recognise the signs of good digestive health, and in turn to understand when your digestive system is not functioning well, we’ve put together a cheat sheet for you.
Here are five signs of good digestive health:
You have 2 – 3 bowel movements a day.
Keeping track of your bowel movements is one of the best indicators you have of how well your digestive system is working.
If your digestive system is working well, you can expect to have a bowel movement 2 – 3 times a day.
If, however you are consistently constipated, or you have diarrhoea often, it’s a clear sign that something is going awry with your digestive health. In most cases it is due to a bacterial and fungal overgrowth creating gas, bloating and IBS like symptoms.
You have clear eyes, and a clean tongue.
Have you ever noticed how bright-eyed and bushy-tailed a generally healthy person looks?
- Clear eyes are an instant sign of good digestive health.
- On the other hand, yellowing eyes indicate an issue with your liver and a need to detox.
- Bags under your eyes again indicate liver and kidney issues.
- Pale skin indicates possible anemia.
- Dark circles under the eyes may indicate an allergy or parasite is present.
Your tongue is another indicator of your digestive health.
- A healthy tongue will be pink and covered with small nodules (called papillae)
- In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cracks in your tongue is a sign of excess inflammation of the abdominal organs.
- Cracks in the corner of your mouth can indicate a zinc deficiency.
You have clear skin.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. As such, it is one of the most obvious indicators of good health.
- Clear skin indicates that your digestive system is functioning correctly.
- Oily skin can indicate poor metabolism of fats leading to potential liver and gallbladder issues.
- Rashes indicate there may be issues with your digestion, such as IBS, SIBO or chronic allergies.
- Dry skin can indicate a lack of sebum which relates to hormone issues.
You feel emotionally balanced.
We all have days when our emotions feel taxed, but by and large if you have a healthy gut, you will experience relative emotional stability. After all, a balanced gut contributes to a balanced mind.
Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine, believe that each of your organs represents a variety of emotional states.
Given that your digestive system is comprised of a whole group of organs, if one of them becomes unbalanced or inflamed, it will have a knock-on effect on your emotional wellbeing. Furthermore, your brain is nourished by the nutrients absorbed via your digestion.
If you’re unable to extract the necessary nutrients, vitamins and electrons for vibrant brain health, it’s likely that you’ll experience brain fog. This can build up over time until it becomes quite severe and debilitating.
Poor gut function also puts strain on your adrenal glands which are responsible for the production of life-giving hormones including pregnenolone (which in turn helps production of cortisol, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA.) If your adrenal glands are malfunctioning due to stress and strain from your digestive system, this too will tax your emotional health and in turn tax your adrenals and so a vicious circle begins.
You can read more about your adrenal glands in our article: Adrenals, cortisol and hormones – how they work, how they are interlinked and what impact they have on you.
You have little or no gas.
Generally speaking, a healthy person should pass gas prior only to a bowel movement. If gas is passed at another time, it shouldn’t have an aroma. This indicates Hydrogen is present and in small amounts is ok. If, however as Hydrogen is acidic, an excess of it in your system can cause loose stools and diarrhoea.
Conversely if you are passing unpleasant-smelling gas — which is methane-based — it’s an indication that your digestive system is not working as it should be. Methane bacteria can produce this gas and the resulting bloating can cause distention and pain.
The aroma is not the only unpleasant side-effect of methane-based gas, it also often goes hand in hand with constipation and weight gain. Methane bacterial overgrowth can often sadly go undiagnosed and is usually labelled as IBS or constipation.
Methane slows down your bowel transit time, which means that there is greater opportunity to absorb more calories as food ferments for longer.
Noticing if you do pass gas often, and if so, what type of gas it is (smelly, or non-smelly), will help you to get a sense of how balanced your digestive health is.
If you think that you may have an issue with your gut or want to learn more about gut health, do get in touch.
We are passionate about unpicking our clients’ health concerns and it is our number one focus to help our clients to achieve their optimal health.