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Gut health

Live the gut life

Male and female laughing
 

Gut health

Live the gut life

Male and female laughing

Your questions, answered

How can you improve your gut health?

To balance out the gut microbiome, there are a few things you can do: 

For more answers to your questions on gut health, read here.

 

What are the symptoms of IBS?

IBS symptoms can include:

  • Stomach pain or cramping 
  • Feeling bloated 
  • Being constipated 
  • Having diarrhoea

These may feel better or worse over time – sometimes seemingly randomly. Your lifestyle, stress levels, or the foods you eat can also affect IBS symptoms.

 

What are the best foods for gut health?

There’s no one food that’s best for your gut. But, including lots of fibre can help keep your digestion running smoothly and prevent constipation. Whole grain products (like brown bread, brown rice, and brown pasta), nuts, and fruits and vegetables are good sources of fibre.

However, it’s also worth noting that a high-fibre diet can aggravate IBS symptoms for some people – so introduce fibre-rich foods carefully.  

It’s believed that probiotics can keep the balance of gut bacteria healthy, too. Try fermented foods like kimchi, tofu, miso, and yoghurt to increase your probiotic intake.  

Aside from that, drinking enough water, avoiding processed foods, and getting a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals are the best ways to keep your gut in check.  

Find out more about the best foods for gut health here.

 

What is a low FODMAP diet?

A low FODMAP diet is a way of eating that avoids FODMAP - fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

These are types of short-chain carbohydrates that trigger uncomfortable digestive symptoms in some people.  

A low FODMAP diet can involve removing high FODMAP foods from your diet and replacing them with low FODMAP foods.

Then, you can slowly reintroduce the high FODMAP foods one at a time to see what you react well or badly with.  

Best results are seen when sufferers have expert advice and support from a dietitian who specialises in FODMAPs.

 

Dr Anojan Arulananthan

MBA, MBSS, BSc

Our expert answers

Discover your gut as Dr Anojan Arulananthan unpacks the basics of gut health.

What is the gut?

When people think about their gut they mostly think of small and large intestines (tummy). 

In reality the gut encompasses everything from your mouth to your anus. 

It is important to remember that the process of digestion begins in the mouth.  

The gut has a number of functions which include the following:

  • Breaking down food
  • Absorbing nutrients
  • Producing enzymes
  • Eliminating waste
  • Acts as a defence mechanism

For more information on gut health and your digestive system, read our overview of digestion here.

 

What are the signs of an unhealthy gut?

An ‘unhealthy gut’ means you have an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria that live within our gut (otherwise known as our microbiome). Some signs that you may have more bad microbes than good are: 

  • Gastro-intestinal discomfort
  • Bloating, flatulence, pain, change in bowel habit
  • Fatigue
  • Weight changes
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Certain gut bacteria may trigger conditions such as ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin conditions
  • Changes in gut microbiome may influence acne, dermatitis eczema or psoriasis
  • Intolerances
  • Mood changes - feeling more irritable and grumpy. 

If you are struggling with an unhealthy gut and are unsure why, find out more information on The ultimate guide to a happy and healthy gut here.

 

How to improve your gut health

To balance out the gut microbiome, there are a few things you can do: 

For more answers to your questions on gut health, read here.

 

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