How Do I Know If My Gut Is Unhealthy?

What state is your gut in right now? Are you a nutrition ninja or a miserable farty failure?

Your answer to that question may well be: ‘I’m not sure, how can I tell?’

Gut health is important but I would say that, I’m a gut geek. Don’t take it from me, take it from Justin, one of our many success stories. More about him in a moment.

What does it mean to say our gut is unhealthy? It means two big things aren’t right:

a) Our gut bugs – also known as our microbiome – have got out of balance, so that there’s not enough good bacteria.
b) Our gut wall has become damaged and leaky. If you’d like find out whether your gut is leaky, take our quiz.

The Signs of Gut Problems

For some people with gut issues, it’s very obvious that their gut is unhealthy because they suffer from all sorts of digestive distress such as diarrhea or bad gas.

However for others it’s far less obvious that their gut is unhealthy because the symptoms show up in other areas of the body, while their digestion remains more or less completely normal.

If you have a health issue that falls into one of these 5 broad categories, there’s a very high chance that your gut is unhealthy.

The good news is that the gut is at the root of many of these problems. This means that when you fix your gut, most of the related issues will be greatly improved or disappear completely.

It also means that as long as you keep your gut in good condition, these related health issues while stay gone, ensuring that you remain vibrant and healthy long into old age, rather than sliding slowly into problems obesity and dementia.

1. Digestive System

The first category is anything to do with our Digestive System.

For example you may have:

  • Bloating
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Excessive and/or foul-smelling gas
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

These are just some of the problems that crop up when our digestion isn’t working properly, and they are all clear signals that our gut and microbiome are unhealthy.

2. Immune System

The second broad category is the Immune System.

Inflammation is part of our body’s response to something harmful, and it’s generally a helpful process. However, our immune system can get confused and misfire, setting up inflammation against stuff that isn’t actually a threat to us. This can show up with:

  • Food intolerances and allergies
  • Seasonal allergies – like hay fever
  • Autoimmune conditions – like multiple sclerosis or coeliac disease
  • Joint problems – like arthritis where we have aching and swollen joints
  • Chronic tiredness – which can be caused by leaky gut and low-grade inflammation throughout the body

These are some of the problems that crop up when our immune system isn’t working properly, and they are all clear signals that our gut is struggling.

Why? Because our gut and immune system and very closely connected. So close that certain species of friendly bacteria are in communication with the cells of our immune system, guiding our cells on when to react and when not to.

In this category I’d also mention Candida, which is a yeast that’s always in our body but sometimes gets out balance, causing itchiness, thrush and other unpleasant symptoms.

Candida is normally kept under control by the natural balance of friendly bacteria in our body but runs rampant when the gut is unhealthy.

3. Metabolism

The third category is metabolism and weight control. Like many people you may have trouble:

  • Losing weight
  • Gaining weight

Being overweight is a clear signal that our gut is unhealthy. Why? Because our gut bugs can directly affect our metabolism, for example by controlling how many calories are extracted from the food we eat and the kinds of cravings we feel.

Being underweight is also common in folks with chronic gut issues, as they may be unable to absorb enough nutrients and energy from their food.

4. Skin

The fourth category is skin. For example you may have:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Rashes
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

5. Brain

The fifth category is brain and mental health – for example you may have:

  • Difficulty focusing or recalling stuff
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia
  • Dementia

These are all clear signals that our gut is unhealthy. Why? Because of the strength of the gut-brain connection.

Scientists have discovered that there is constant communication between the gut and the brain, so that whatever affects our gut affects our brain and vice versa.

Our friendly gut bugs also help produce important brain chemicals such as the neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine.

If you’d like to learn more about the possible reasons your gut is struggling, take a look at Why Your Gut Is Broken.

Justin’s Testimonial

I’ve just given you a long and depressing list of ailments. That’s because the gut is like the roots of a tree: problems there will spread throughout our system.

But I don’t want to leave you with that. I prefer to focus on solutions. So, let’s take a quick look at one of our success stories.

Justin is a taxi driver and bodybuilder from the UK. He developed terrible Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) but didn’t receive much help from his doctors, who ran tests and said he was fine, when he knew he wasn’t fine at all.

Around that time he started following my Twitter feed and began using some of the strategies I talk about.

Fast forward to a year later and Justin said this:

Isn’t that awesome? You can read more about Justin’s journey in his blog post here. 

Justin I salute you, you’re our Gut Geek of the Week!


Whenever you’re ready to become a fully-fledged Gut Geek™ here are 4 ways we can help you heal your gut, get your sh*t together and transform your health

1. Subscribe to receive regular strategies and hacks that you can use TODAY

All our blogposts and social media are focused on bringing simplicity to the baffling world of nutrition and supplements. We also provide easy-peasy action steps that you can use to start seeing immediate improvement. Subscribe to get the very best of our content straight to your inbox!

2. Follow our daily social posts and video stories religiously

Our content is produced in a combination of written posts and video stories, all neatly tied together around the topic of the week. This gives you constant learning in manageable, bite-sized chunks.

3. Join us for a live online workshop

Head to our workshop registration page for info on our next free online training, and get ready to geek out

4. Join our coaching program

There’s nothing like 1-on-1 coaching to massively accelerate your progress and achieve the results you dream about! We’ll create your very own personalised gut-healing roadmap and then guide you through it. Just send us a message telling us a little about your current challenges and what you’d most like help with and we’ll get right back to you.

24 thoughts on “How Do I Know If My Gut Is Unhealthy?”

  1. Really get points to know if my gut is healthy. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.

  2. I didn’t know there’s a connection between gut health and brain but this reminded me that we should also pay more careful attention to our brain health even while we’re still young and try to correct it early on.

  3. Aw man, this was a much needed reminder to get back on my work out regiment! This was a swift kick in the butt to get moving. Thank you!

  4. This was an illuminating post.
    I didn’t know that gut health has all these potential impacts on our body.
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. This hit way too close to home for me. I have been having acid reflux lately and the older I get I have rosacea on my cheeks. It might be time to cut out some food groups and see what’s going on.

  6. I have been looking for unhealthy gut health symptoms recently and luckily I have found your post. Gut health is vital for our overall health and we should not ignore its symptoms. Thanks for the useful post.

  7. I must admit that since I started reading your articles and following your guides, my bowel movement has been more regular and my overall digestive system feels better. Thanks.

  8. Gut health is the most important to our body and thanks a lot for sharing the indicators – I had no idea that there are so many way to check and we should be aware of it all of time – Knycx Journeying

  9. Leaky gut isn’t something that isn’t known much about in terms of general public awareness. It’s great you are highlighting this and symptoms so people know what to look out for.

  10. I love that you are bringing more awareness to this very important topic! Gut health affects the whole body and is something a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to. Good work 🙂

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