- Your body is good at giving you signs, so listen to what it's trying to tell you.
- Signs that your gut could need attention may include bloating, gas and stomach gurgling.
- Taking care of your gut health may potentially affect other parts of your health.
Talking about your bowel problems or gut health is not a conversation most people want to have. As embarrassing as it may be, it’s important to know what some of the signs are so you can decide whether to take action.
Registered Nutritionist Sarah Gray shares some common signs that your body may be giving you to hint that something isn't quite right. She also offers some suggestions on what may be able to help.
Your gut health plays a role in whether you've got clean skin, acne or breakouts.
Signs you gut may need some attention
Sarah explains that “Your body is really great at letting you know when something is not quite right. There are a few signs that may indicate gut imbalance. Some of them could also be signs of other conditions, so it’s always best to check in with your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms.”
So, here’s 6 of those signs that you may have experienced from time to time that could indicate bowel problems, plus what may help relieve those symptoms.
If your stomach makes lots of gurgling noises, you may have trapped wind which could be causing you to feel bloated. There could be several different causes of bloating, so it's useful to figure out if your bloat is related to wheat intolerance symptoms, or something else.
2. Gurgling gas
All that trapped wind that came along with the bloating might make you think “why am I farting so much?”
Find out what causes you to fart, and what foods might be making you fart even more. Take a look at how the humble vegetable may be one of the best foods for gut health to help your digestion run smoother with fewer gurgling sounds.
If your stomach makes loud gurgling noises and you then have to get to the toilet quickly, you could be experiencing diarrhoea.
When there’s an imbalance of the bacteria inside your intestines (also known as the gut microbiome) it's called dysbiosis.
Eating fermented foods could possibly help to balance your gut microbiome by supplying probiotics to improve the number of good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are another option - speak to your doctor if you want individual advice.
4. Constipation cramps
For some people, it could be normal to poop only a few times a week. But if you’re visiting the bathroom less or struggling to produce anything when you sit down, this could be constipation.
A common cause of constipation could be a lack of fibre in your diet. Read about how to increase the fibre in your diet with different choices of bread and if a gluten-free diet is better for your immune system.
If constipation persists, please speak to your health professional.
5. Skin issues
“Research is now showing that your gut health plays a role in whether you've got clean skin, acne or breakouts,” says Sarah.
If you feel like your skin is still breaking out in spots, you may want to investigate your gut health for a possible link.
There are of course, many other reasons why you may have skin problems - so ask an expert for individual advice. These top 10 foods that are good for skin will give you some ideas to get started.
6. Sudden changes in your poop
While everyone’s toilet habits are different, the type of poop you produce could be another sign that your gut needs some attention.
“If the appearance of your poop changes in any way, best to go and speak to a doctor,” advises Sarah.
Healthy gut, healthy you
As more is understood about gut health, we notice how it’s becoming more interconnected with the health of our entire system.
Gut issues may feel like just a problem with your stomach or digestion, but they could be linked to other things you may not have considered.
No one knows your body better than you, so be sure you listen to those tell-tale signs that something isn’t quite right. It could be as simple as a headache telling you to drink more water. But if it's something that lingers or causes you concern, it's always a good idea to discuss it with your doctor.
If you're continuing to experience abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea, join our free gut symptoms program to discover your potential triggers and what your next best steps are for managing gut symptoms.
Sarah Gray is both a Registered Pharmacist and Registered Nutritionist with a particular interest in health education and helping people to take small steps to big change in their health journey. Sarah is the Head of Health and Nutrition on the healthylife Advisory Panel.
Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board September 2021.