5 Consequences of a Dysfunctional Gut

It might be weird to think about, but your gut is an open tube from your mouth to your bum. It is very sensitive and vulnerable to how we treat it and its health affects our entire body. When we are young our digestive system tends to more forgiving.  You eat and drink whatever and whenever you want but then suddenly things change… and it starts to affect us in ways we don’t realise.

Just like a plumbing issue in one room in your house – a broken gut doesn’t just stop at the gut. Your whole body can become affected.

Brain Fog

The gut is often called the body’s “Second Brain”. It is packed with nerve connections making up your enteric nervous system. The health of your gut is directly related to anxiety, depression, mental fog, and ability to focus.  Like the gut, the brain is very particular about what it lets in and out of its space. The same insults that can cause a broken gut barrier, can also lead to a broken brain barrier.  As a result, you can feel moody, tired, foggy-headed, and start to think less clearly – all are linked to the health of your gut!

Cravings, Reduced Metabolism, and Blood Sugar issues

Your gut has tight controls on when you get hungry, and what you crave when you become hungry.  Your gut decides how well you metabolise sugar – and what excess it going to travel around in your blood. When excess floods the blood, it causes problems like insulin resistance, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and eventual cardiovascular disease. When your gut is broken, these controls lose their grip.  If you crave salt, sugar, and other snacks all the time, it’s a sure sign of a leaky gut.  This is because the gut is a huge ecosystem of healthy bugs that we call the “microflora” or “microbiome”.  Think of the microbiome as a happy healthy garden of friendly bugs living on a healthy gut lining.  These friendly bugs need to be numerous and diverse to keep you and your gut healthy.

When things get out of whack, the weather turns stormy – and, as a result, you will crave foods that you shouldn’t, digest your food poorly, and start to see weight gain, high blood sugar, and a slow metabolism (your ability to burn fat).  You see, these friendly guys directly control our metabolism and blood sugar – and they provide us with nutrients that our body uses as fuel.  Keep the bugs happy, and you’ll keep a happy metabolism.

Poor Immune Response

Now, while your gut is home to a garden of healthy microbes, it also is home to 70 percent of your entire immune system!  The lining of your gut contains immune tissue called GALT or Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue.  The garden of microbes (“microbiome”) and the GALT work together to support a healthy gut lining – often referred to as the “mucosa”.  When healthy, they work together like a symphony.

When the gut is compromised, the balance tips out of favour. Like a bad security breach, all systems flash “DANGER!” – and we quickly assign resources to fix the breach at all costs.


When breaches happen, you can expect a few immune symptoms at first like post-nasal drip, bloating, discomfort, or even unexpected symptoms like less vibrant-looking skin, hair, and nails.  You will also start to feel a little adrenal fatigue and begin craving caffeine, salt, and sugar. Stress and sleep disorders increase too.  As the imbalance worsens, more serious symptoms appear like autoimmune problems and inflammatory disease.  The body will start to attack itself and shut down because it is not only revved up from all the smoke and fire, but also has trouble deciphering good guys from the bad.


To rebalance your immunity, it makes most sense to start with the gut!



Disrupted Stress and Sleep

If I had a magic wand to fix the world of two things, the first would be the gut, and the second would be stress and sleep!  Even if your gut is just slightly off, your body is put on constant alert.  While things can be calm and uneventful on an emotional level, on a chemical level, a broken gut is enemy number one.

Stress on your gut, is stress on your mind and body.

When your gut is stressed, it wears on you until things start to slow and break – one after another.  Your thyroid function will tank. You’ll feel lethargic and moody. And, you will find yourself wired at night, or waking up frequently.  Gut problems cause stress. Stress causes sleep problems. And, sleep affects your ability to recharge and heal.

Poor Detoxification

The gut’s job is to protect the body from harmful invaders, digest food, absorb nutrients, and detoxify wastes out of the body.  When the detox system is overwhelmed from stress hormones, poorly digested food, and absorbed toxins from bad microbes in the gut – the system clogs up.  You get to the point where everything seems to make you sick. You can feel chronically bloated, gassy, constipated, achy, and lethargic.  Making matters worse, you’re not breaking down and absorbing the right nutrients you need to heal – and the cycle worsens.

At this point the body often becomes very sluggish, foggy-headed, constipated, and stacks on more body weight and inflammation.  Healthy bugs in your gut normally prevent much of this from happening.They crowd out and kill bad bugs, digest things that we can’t on our own – and they create vitamins and fuel that we use in return.It’s a beautiful system that goes out of balance…until you make a change!


Worried about your gut health, click here to have a free 15 minute discovery call to find out how we can help you.

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