Is your attention span severely lacking? Is belly bloating a permanent look? Do you hit a 3pm slump that no amount of caffeine can pull you out of? It could be your gut trying to tell you that your bacterial flora (which is science for belly bacteria #BellyGotBac) is way out of whack.
Quick, high-level recap of your intestinal environment, AKA your ''gut microbiome': your body naturally houses both good bacteria (probiotics) and bad bacteria. They're constantly battling it out, the good keeping the bad in check.
If the bad bacteria is able to breed, you'll end up with an imbalance in your intestinal tract that affects way more than just your intestinal tract. The overall health effects of bad gut flora can, quite literally, keep you up at night.
Here are some signs that your gut bacteria may need a probiotic helping hand.
Learn how to stay balanced with probiotics
Low mood and brain fog
There's a biological link between your gut and your brain: scientific studies have found that your gut bacteria helps produce serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters in your brain that play a huge part in your mood. When your gut bacteria is out of balance, it can affect the production of these neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling sluggish and low.
Studies have shown that higher levels of bad bacteria in your gut can lead to increased sleep restlessness. Plus, other side effects of bad gut bacteria like pain from digestion issues or low mood can also affect your sleep patterns. If you just can't seem to settle, imbalanced gut bacteria may be to blame.
Another side effect of a bacterial imbalance means your gut will have trouble absorbing nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. You might notice a lack of B vitamins, A vitamins, or even an iron deficiency (or the physical signs of these deficiencies). If your body keeps coming up lacking in the vitamin and nutrient departments, despite a healthy diet and supplements, it might be time to take a closer look at what's going on, gut-wise.
Estimates say that a whopping 75% of your immune system is found in your intestinal tract. Needless to say, a dodgy intestinal tract is going to affect your immune system. Healthy gut bacteria help develop the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, keep it working, and help produce pathogens and antibodies to fight infection. So, if the common cold is a common occurance, your guts might be warning you that something isn't right.