Our gut, also known as the digestive system, plays a vital role in our overall health. It’s home to trillions of bacteria, both friendly and unfriendly, that influence digestion, nutrient absorption, and even our mood. When the balance of these bacteria gets disrupted, it can lead to a variety of issues. So, how do you know if your gut is unhappy? Let’s explore 10 signs that might indicate an unhealthy gut.


The gut, which includes organs like the mouth, stomach, and intestines, helps us digest food and take in nutrients. Inside the gut, there are trillions of tiny living things called gut microbiota. These microbes are really important for keeping us healthy.

When the balance of these microbes gets messed up, it can cause problems in our body. Here are ten signs that show your gut might not be healthy, which could lead to different diseases.


Feeling tired a lot: If you’re tired all the time, it could be because your gut isn’t working well. Many people who feel tired all the time also have gut problems.

Stomach troubles: If your stomach often feels uncomfortable, gassy, bloated, or you have constipation, diarrhea, or heartburn, it might mean your gut is having trouble with food.

Trouble with certain foods: If some foods make you feel sick, like bloated, gassy, or give you diarrhea or nausea, it could be a sign your gut isn’t happy with them.

Skin issues: Sometimes, skin problems like acne or eczema could be because your gut isn’t healthy.

Craving sugary foods: Wanting lots of sugary snacks might mean there’s too much “bad” bacteria in your gut. Too much sugar can cause problems in your body.

Problems sleeping: If you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, it could be because your gut isn’t healthy. Your gut helps make hormones that help you sleep.

Unexpected weight changes: If your weight goes up or down without you trying, it could be because your gut isn’t absorbing nutrients well or keeping your weight in check.

Headaches: Gut issues might be linked to headaches, especially if you feel sick with them.

Autoimmune diseases: Some gut bacteria could cause diseases where your body attacks itself, like thyroid problems or arthritis.

Mood swings: Gut problems and inflammation can make you feel anxious or sad sometimes.



To maintain a healthy gut, it’s crucial to focus on consuming a diverse range of plant-based foods while avoiding processed options. Dr. Megan Rossi, an authority on gut health, recommends incorporating 20-30 different plant foods each week to ensure you receive a variety of essential nutrients beneficial for your gut.


Including foods with probiotics in your diet is also essential for promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in your stomach. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi are excellent sources of probiotics. Moreover, minimizing intake of processed foods and sugar while opting for nutrient-rich options like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can further support gut health. These foods are not only rich in essential nutrients but also contain fiber, which aids in maintaining a healthy gut.


When you’re feeling stressed, it can make your tummy feel bad too because your brain and tummy are linked. To feel better, try doing things that help you relax. You can use a meditation app on your phone, take a walk, read a book, or do some yoga. Even just taking a break with a cup of herbal tea can help you feel less stressed.


Drinking enough water is really important for your digestion. It’s one of the simplest ways to keep your tummy healthy. Water helps your body break down the food you eat and absorb the nutrients from it. It can also help your body burn fat and speed up your metabolism. For extra help with digestion, you can try adding some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to your water about 15 to 20 minutes before you eat. This can help your stomach make more acid to digest your food better.


If certain foods make your tummy hurt or feel sick, you might have a food intolerance. To find out which foods are causing the problem, you can try an elimination diet. This means you stop eating those foods for a while. If you need help figuring it out, you can ask someone for help.


Smoking is really bad for your tummy and can cause lots of problems like heartburn, ulcers, and even liver disease or cancer. If you smoke, it’s best to try to quit. You can ask your doctor for help or join a quit-smoking program. Remember, quitting smoking can help keep your tummy and your whole body healthy.


Not getting enough sleep can really mess up your tummy and make it hard to sleep even more. Try to sleep for 7 to 8 hours every night without waking up. You can also try these tricks to help you sleep better.


Exercise doesn’t just make your muscles strong and help you stay at a good weight. It can also help your gut stay healthy. A study from San Francisco State University showed that exercise is really important for getting good bacteria in your gut. Another study found that people who are fit have more different kinds of bacteria in their gut. So, it’s a good idea to do about 150 minutes of exercise each week to keep your gut healthy!


The best place to talk about your tummy health is at the doctor’s office. Make sure to tell your doctor about how your tummy feels, any pain you have, recent changes, and what you want to achieve for your health. They’re there to help you feel better!


1. Can a healthy gut help me lose weight?

While not a magic bullet, a healthy gut can support weight management by promoting healthy digestion and metabolism.

2. Can a bad gut cause depression or anxiety?

The gut-brain connection suggests gut imbalances might influence mood disorders, although more research is needed.

3. How much fiber should I eat for a healthy gut?

Aim for 25-35 grams of fiber daily from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


Recognizing the signs of an unhealthy gut is the first step towards taking action. By incorporating dietary changes, stress management techniques, and potentially consulting a healthcare professional, you can work towards restoring balance in your gut microbiome. Remember, a healthy gut is a foundation for overall health and well-being. So, listen to your body’s signals, make positive changes, and nurture your gut for a happier and healthier you.