Signs of an unhealthy gut

8 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and How to Treat Them

Common Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

And how to improve gut health naturally

The health of your gut and digestive system influences your overall level of health and vitality. Poor gut health is linked to a wide range of health problems ranging from skin issues to hormonal imbalances, diabetes to anxiety, and more. A growing body of scientific research supports the link between good gut health and immune system function.

Read on as we discuss common signs of an unhealthy gut and how you can get your gut back on a healthy track.

The Importance of a Healthy Gut

Scientific research has indicated that it is incredibly important for individuals to maintain a healthy gut and digestive tract for the sake of their immune system and overall well being.

In fact, according to a 2012 study published in the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine:

“It is evident that the gut microbiota has a profound effect on the host immune system and can affect autoimmune-related diseases both within and outside the gut.”

The study also states that:

“Aside from the genetic factors, environmental factors play an important role in shaping the gut microbiota as well.”

This means that not only is taking care of your gut important, it is also integral to consider your environment and lifestyle habits and their contributions to your gut health. Understanding the affect your diet, physical activity level and other daily habits have on your body is key to maintaining a healthy gut.

Gut Health Statistics

A 2018 CSIRO report states that “the gut plays an essential role in health and wellbeing” while highlighting the following facts:

  • At least 50% of Australian adults experience unpleasant gut symptoms such as bloating, gas and constipation, and 1 in 7 experience distressing symptoms
  • Australians currently eat 23g fibre a day and 83% don’t meet the suggested dietary target for health. Most adults would need to boost intake by at least 30% to meet the suggested target of 28-38g fibre a day, which is recommended for good gut function and optimal health and wellbeing.
  • People who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience symptoms of poor gut health.

8 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

In the case you are concerned about your gut health and want to make sure that you are keeping your gut healthy, it may be useful to know the signs of an unhealthy gut.

Below are eight of the most common signs of an unhealthy gut:

1) Stress and mood disorders

Did you know that your microbiome plays an important role in your mental health and how you respond to stress? An unhealthy gut may impact your hormonal balance, contributing to stress and mood disorders.

2) Weight gain or weight loss

Unexpected weight gain or loss is a very common sign of a gut imbalance. If your digestive system is not functioning optimally, your body may be unable to absorb nutrients properly.

Additionally, your ability to naturally store fat and regulate blood sugars may be negatively impacted. In some cases, this leads to overeating to make up for lost nutrients, leading to weight gain.

3) Irregular bowel movements

Constipation or irregular bowel movements are another common sign of an unhealthy gut. People experiencing constipation may have lower levels of good gut bacteria, impacting digestion. Additionally, abnormally dark stool or black stool is a sign of bleeding in the gut, which is another typical sign of an unhealthy gut.

4) Skin irritation

Skin irritation and flare-ups such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne have been linked to an unhealthy gut.

5) Excessive flatulence (passing of gas) and bloating

Excessive flatulence and feeling bloated often indicate that something is out of balance in your digestive system. Build up of trapped gas, sometimes caused by bad bacteria, can cause bloating, heartburn and discomfort.

6) Constant fatigue and poor sleep quality

The ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin is actually produced in the gut. Serotonin also helps to regulate sleep patterns. Gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well.

7) Food intolerances

A reduction in microbial diversity and a combination of the loss of beneficial bacteria. Food intolerances can cause conditions like gas, constipation or diarrhoea, pain and discomfort, and indigestion.

8) Bad breath

Bad breath (halitosis) is often caused by bacteria found on the gums, tongue and on the tongue. However, changes in gut bacteria may also cause bad breath. Kidney conditions and diabetes may also lead to bad breath.

Common Digestive Health Problems


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. We offer natural treatment and advice.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term mainly used to describe two conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. We offer natural treatment and advice.


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition affecting the small intestine when there is too much bacterial growth. We offer natural treatment and advice.

Leaky Gut Dysbiosis

This is a condition where small gaps appear in your intestinal wall, allowing bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles to pass into your bloodstream. We offer natural treatment and advice.

How to Improve Gut Health Naturally

“The Doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease” – Thomas Edison

If you find you are experiencing one or more of the conditions or symptoms above, it may be worth receiving a professional diagnosis on your gut health to find out how you can improve your gut health naturally.

Our functional medicine approach aims to discover the underlying cause of your health complaint, rather than addressing an individual symptom.

We rely on current scientific knowledge, traditional holistic systems of medicine and state of the art diagnostic services. We use these to determine the influence that your unique genome, microbiome, environment, diet, work, lifestyle and individual biochemistry have on your health.

TherapyWorks is proud to offer you a range of evidenced-based clinical therapies that collaborate effectively to provide you with the best outcomes possible. These therapies include:

  • Gut microbiome testing. Find out what your microbiome can tell you about your health.
  • Detoxification profiles. May be useful for a range of symptoms or situations: food intolerances, digestive problems, heavy metal exposure, headaches and more.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs
  • Acupuncture for constipation/diarrhoea
  • Naturopathy for a holistic and personalised approach to treating a range of health conditions
  • Clinical nutrition. We can prescribe a range of clinically proven and validated nutritional supplements.

Gut Health FAQs

Gut microbiome testing is a method of analysing the health of your gut microbiota, which refers to the populations of bacteria residing in the lower intestines.

The test identifies your body’s nutrition levels, whether certain microbes are dominant in the gut and determine if there is a healthy balance of good and bad microbes.

A gut microbiome test is a comprehensive DNA profile allowing us to see any microorganisms and their metabolites in your gut if it is of a population over 1%.

The gut microbiome is tested by taking a swab of your faeces. This is tested by a world class laboratory in Brisbane, Australia. The results come back to us, we analyse them and provide you with our recommendations.

Read more here.

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Natalie Dalton