The Link Between Gut Health and Inflammation

Inflammation isn’t always something to be feared or solved. In fact, it’s an essential and normal part of the immune response. Inflammation is the process by which white blood cells are directed to an area in need, like a sprained wrist or an open wound, to fight off “foreign invaders,”  like bacteria, viruses, or objects such as splinters, that can lead to infection.

However, when inflammation is triggered by a problem in the gut rather than a need to protect our bodies, we can experience a wide variety of inflammation-related issues. Some of these occur within the digestive organs themselves, like bloating and cramps, but headaches and joint pain may also be symptoms of gut inflammation. Why? Because our gut doesn’t operate in isolation; this vital system communicates with other parts of our body and can influence our overall wellbeing. 

That’s why it’s important we understand what affects gut health and how we can each support a healthy gut. To do this, we need to look to the trillions of strains of microbes and bacteria, called the microbiome, that live in the gut. A diet that’s low in fiber but high in saturated fats and sugar can cause the microbiome to become unbalanced. This essentially means there are too many “bad” bacteria and not enough “friendly” bacteria, and it's this imbalance that can trigger inflammation. Furthermore, when the gut becomes unbalanced and unhealthy, its lining can weaken and holes can develop. This creates a condition called “leaky gut syndrome” where bacteria and toxins leak from the gut into the body, causing even more inflammation. 

While the symptoms we mentioned earlier, like bloating and cramps, can be signs of issues in the gut, our skin can also act as an indicator of gut health. Our largest organ and our digestive system are closely linked, so much so that people displaying rosacea are shown to be 10 times more likely to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth than those who don’t. Additionally, a leaky gut can emit certain proteins into the body that irritate the skin and prompt conditions like eczema. Therefore, it stands that restoring gut balance can help to not only address digestion issues but assist each of us in achieving a blemish-free, radiant complexion that signifies positive overall wellbeing. 

To do this, we need to go back to our diets. Just as an unbalanced diet can cause gut problems, a balanced one can provide the solutions. You can help keep your gut microbiome diverse by enjoying a diet filled with a wide variety of foods, particularly a range of fruits and vegetables. There are also a number of dietary supplements you can incorporate into your daily routine to promote a calm and balanced gut. The Probiotics + Postbiotics supplement from Plantwise is a great option as it contains probiotics to fight off bad bacteria in the gut, prebiotic fiber to feed the good bacteria, as well as postbiotics (broken down, inactive probiotics) to modulate certain immune cells and keep bad bacteria from getting in the body. 

While the gut may be a complex system, caring for it doesn’t have to be. We hope these teachings and simple suggestions have inspired you to make gut health a priority so you can enjoy the flow-on effects of relief from inflammation and improved total body wellbeing. 

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