The Importance of Good Gut Health

February 15, 2024 0 Comments Carrie Thompson, NP-C
Leading Medical Spa in Denver
February 15th, 2024 0 Comments

If you’re hoping to enjoy optimal health, you’ll maybe have noticed that gut health is now proven to play a key role in overall wellbeing.

This complex and increasingly well-researched aspect of health management goes far beyond mere digestion! It’s linked to your immune function, mental state (brain health and mood), and overall vitality. Many consider “your brain is your gut”. This way of thinking is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health, and even the way you think. Let’s explore further!

Key points:

  • Gut health is at the center of your wellbeing
  • How to recognize an unhealthy gut
  • Psychological impacts of gut health
  • The link between poor gut health and chronic diseases
  • Essential dietary habits for good gut health

Gut Health Is at the Center of Your Wellbeing

We’re referring to not only your stomach but also your large and small intestines and your colon. Your gut is the linchpin of your gastrointestinal system. And inside your gut lives a microbiome of trillions of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and fungi. Yes, it’s not a nice idea – but they’re your “friends” when kept in balance!

Between them, they ensure your body absorbs nutrients effectively, maintains a barrier between your gut and your blood, and preserves a robust immune response.

But there’s more. A recent focus for gut health research has been the gut-brain axis. This is a two-way communication system between your digestive system and your brain, involving nerves, hormones, and immune responses.

It’s not just about the physical connections but also how hormones, immune signals, and your gut microbiome talk to your brain and vice versa. This communication influences every aspect of your health, from hormonal balance to digestive issues to mood disorders.

It’s clear, then, that to enjoy optimal health you need to recognize when your gut has become unhealthy!

How to Recognize an Unhealthy Gut

When the balance in your gut is disrupted, it can lead to multiple health issues. So, what are the signs of an unhealthy gut?

Here are some symptoms you might experience:

  • Digestive discomfort (regular occurrences of bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea)
  • Unexplained weight fluctuations (sudden weight loss or gain without significant changes in diet or exercise routines)
  • Skin conditions (such as eczema or acne)
  • Inflammatory autoimmune responses (which your healthcare provider will help diagnose)
  • Food intolerances

Psychological Impacts of Gut Health

However, an imbalanced gut microbiome not only has a physical impact – as above – but can also affect your mental health due to the gut-brain axis we mentioned. Let’s see how and why this happens.


The gut produces almost 95% of the body’s serotonin, the body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Disruptions in gut health alter serotonin levels, affecting your mood and contributing to conditions like depression and anxiety.

Cognitive functioning

The health of your gut influences cognitive functions (memory, concentration), but dysbiosis can contribute to brain fog, making it difficult to focus and process information efficiently.


An unhealthy gut can send signals to the brain that trigger or exacerbate stress and anxiety, creating a feedback loop that further damages the health of your gut as the stress hormone cortisol unbalances the other hormones in your gut.


Your gut plays a role in producing and regulating neurotransmitters. An imbalance in your gut can disrupt sleep, leading to insomnia or irregular sleep cycles, which in turn can affect your mental health and cognitive performance.

So – gut health is not only important for your gut microbiome to work well and stay in balance but also for your psychological health.

The Link Between Poor Gut Health and Chronic Diseases

The worst-case scenarios of a disrupted gut microbiome are chronic conditions in which your digestive tract is severely inflamed. These conditions include:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease

To manage a gut-related chronic condition, you’ll typically need to adopt a comprehensive strategy that includes

  • dietary modifications (see below) to soothe and heal your digestive tract,
  • lifestyle changes to reduce stress and improve your overall gut function, and
  • when necessary, medical interventions to address more severe symptoms and facilitate long-term management of the disease.

Research has also been offering insight into the connection between gut health and other chronic conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest that gut dysbiosis contributes to direct inflammation of the digestive system and exacerbates systemic inflammation – which influences the onset and progression of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

As you know, what we eat is important to our wellbeing! So let’s look at how diet can help you maintain a healthy gut.

Essential Dietary Habits to Achieve a Healthy Gut

A varied diet rich in nutrients can directly support your gut microbiome and is important in fostering natural gut health. How might this look?

  • Diverse and fiber-rich foods (oats, apples, beans, whole grains, vegetables) improve digestion and nutrient absorption and support bowel regularity.
  • Fermented foods (yogurt with live cultures, kefir, fermented vegetables) introduce beneficial bacteria to your gut. These foods are natural sources of probiotics, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium – essential for restoring and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, strengthening the gut barrier, and reducing the risk of inflammation and infection.
  • Foods high in antioxidants (berries, nuts, green leafy vegetables) can combat oxidative stress and support gut lining repair.
  • Prebiotic foods (chicory root, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas) provide the necessary nutrients to feed and nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut. This encourages a balanced and healthy gut ecosystem, enhances nutrient absorption, and supports your immune function.
  • Seasonal and local fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of nutrients and phytochemicals, varying throughout the year – and these are often fresher and less processed, retaining more of their nutritional value and beneficial microbes.
  • Drinking enough water helps with digestion, the movement of waste through your digestive tract, and maintaining the mucosal lining of your intestines.

You probably won’t love all these foods! But you can make sure you’re eating a range that includes some from all sections.

We Can Help You Achieve a Healthy Gut

The journey toward optimal health is deeply rooted in the health of your gut. At Evexias Denver, we want you to achieve whole-body health. And sometimes the root of poor gut health and chronic diseases is a hormone imbalance. We have highly qualified practitioners who understand and can offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy if necessary. Why not call us and let’s talk about how you can achieve optimal wellness through good gut health?

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Article Name
The Importance of Good Gut Health
The journey toward optimal health is rooted in gut health – learn what to look for, what to eat, and how to rectify a gut hormone imbalance.