There is a lot of talk about symptoms of an unhealthy gut and the path or paths to take to heal the gut, but I can't find much that describes a healthy gut. I realize it may be different from person to person, but what are some of the general physical symptoms of a healed and healthy gut? What should we look for in digestion? Should passing gas be completely eliminated? Should we be on a regular daily BM schedule? What should those BMs look/smell like? Will sleep be optimal, meaning no interrupted sleep? What should we look for in terms of metabolism and weight management? Those are just some of the things I would be interested in knowing, but I am sure there are other symptoms one could determine if the gut is healthy.
Also, I am curious if anyone has completely healed their gut and were able to go back to some of the gut irritants like caffeine, dairy, FODMAPs, etc?? If so, did it cause the gut to become unhealthy again or would that just be another sign the gut wasn't completely healed in the first place.
asked byhemanvt (5773)
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on June 04, 2012
at 02:18 PM
- regular and normal bowel movements
- NO: bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, excess gas
- increased food tolerance
I have been following a GAPS diet (dairy-free, nut-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free and low in FODMAP) for over 9 months now because of post-infectious IBS, FODMAP intolerance and SIBO and have been through periods of ups and downs. Increased stress in my life worsened my gut health a few months ago and while I used to tolerate butter, I had to go back to ghee only for a few months. I could not tolerate any forms of dairy. Chocolate, even dark and good-quality, gave me severe GI problems, headaches, insomnia, etc. Same goes for nuts and sugar. I avoided these foods for months in addition to doing more bone broth, adding fermented cod liver oil, probiotics, sleeping a lot and of course better managing my stress. Before that, having traces of butter or trying even a square of dark chocolate would make me feel very sick again.
Since then, my health and my food tolerance has improved significantly. I recently tried a little bit of cheese (cow's cheese one day, goat cheese the other) and did not have any symptoms. I don't do cheese regularly, but now have butter every day. I feel like my increased food tolerance is a sign that things are improving. I used to not digest raw vegetables, but can now tolerate them better. I also tried dark chocolate and a small French macaron, which contained sugar obviously, without any symptoms!
on June 04, 2012
at 02:56 PM
Just a couple of ideas:
- How do you feel? It's probably the single most important argument. The gut has an effect on the brain (and vice versa), more so than other organs. You should feel better in your gut, but better overall too.
- Your gut is the main key to a good working immune system; a person with a healthy gut shouldn't be ill too often
- Gas should be minimal. Some gas is normal, but it only if it doesn't stink too much and it doesn't cause any pain whatsoever.
- Stool should have a specific shape and color: shape (http://www.gutsense.org/constipation/img/BSF-with-highlight.gif) should be like type 3 or 4, the further away from 3 or 4, the worse. Stool color should be a shade of brown (typically light brown-ish). Variations can indicate problems (see http://www.symptomfind.com/health/stool-color-meanings/).
- You shouldn't have any problems holding up your poo for a while (in case you don't a have bathroom nearby). This doesn't mean you should hold it up, but it does mean you should be able to do so when there's no alternative.
- Increased food intolerance can be a 'symptom' too, but be careful: don't eat too much of the foods you couldn't tolerate. You might reverse some of the progress you've made.
- Bowel movements should be regular and shouldn't hurt at all
This list is by no means complete (as a healthy gut can simply manifest itself in many, many positive ways); these are only some ideas that indicate your gut is healthy. I hope you find them helpful.