Encouraging a healthy, happy gut.
Your digestive system is an amazing thing. A complex system which processes the foods you eat, extracts the nutrients your body need to function and discards the waste, it’s essential for your gut to be in good working order for you to feel healthy.But there are many factors which can throw off the balance of the gut, leading to a range of unwanted side effects.For World Digestive Health Day, we’re looking at the things that upset the gut, and what we can do to help keep it happy and healthy.
Symptoms of an unhappy gut
The various organs and systems in your body constantly send you signals about how they’re performing, and the gut is no exception. When under stress, either physically or emotionally, the gut will let you know and you may notice several warning signs, including:
What can upset your gut?
The gut relies on balance to keep it functioning properly. Too much or too little of certain factors can upset this, leading to digestive problems and other issues. While there are many things which can impact on the function of your gut, some of the most common variables include:
Stress. When we’re stressed, we produce a hormone called cortisol. Too much of this can affect the way the gut functions, resulting in symptoms like diarrhoea.
Diet. Eating a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet is important to maintain healthy gut function. But with busy lives and many unhealthy options to tempt us, that’s often easier said than done.
Too much alcohol. A little tipple now and then doesn’t cause too much harm. But excessive drinking can cause plenty of gut trouble, both directly and indirectly. While the alcohol itself or the yeast in the alcohol can upset the gut bacteria, the lack of quality sleep brought on by drinking too much can also disrupt your digestive system if it becomes a regular habit.
Lack of exercise. Keeping moving isn’t just important for your heart health, your gut also benefits when you exercise. When you get moving, so does your digestive system, processing waste more effectively. Being too sedentary can lead your digestion to slow down, causing a range of knock-on effects.
Dehydration. Drinking enough water is important for all systems in your body, particularly your gut. As your digestive system processes your food, it needs water to help pass the waste through the large intestine. But, if you’re dehydrated, your body will take water from there, leaving you with hard-to-pass stools which take much longer to move through the colon.
Encouraging a happy gut
While there are lots of factors which can influence the function of the gut, the key things that cause the most impact are easy to monitor and manage on a daily basis with a little effort. Here are some things you can do:
- Get enough sleep.
Making sure to rest well and keep to a regular, consistent sleep schedule will help to encourage healthy rhythms in your gut. Be sure not to eat too soon before you sleep to avoid placing extra stress on your digestive system which can also lead to poor sleep.
- Keep moving.
Taking regular exercise helps keep your gut moving. And it doesn’t have to be vigorous. Yoga, swimming, or a gentle daily lunchtime walk will all help keep your gut happy.
- Eat a balanced diet.
Make sure that you eat a wide range of foods, including plenty of fibre, protein, fruits, vegetables, and wholegrains.
- Avoid trigger foods.
Around 45% of the population has a food intolerance. This reaction to the proteins in particular foods can cause a host of symptoms, including digestive problems like IBS, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea. Understanding the foods which work for and against you is a great way to empower you to make the right dietary choices for your body.
- Steer clear of sugar.
A little sugar now and then is fine. But unfortunately, we find high levels of sugar in a huge range of foods we eat every day. Too much of this can upset the gut microbiome, leading to digestive disorders.
- Include fermented foods.
Pickled and preserved foods are excellent for keeping the gut healthy, encouraging good bacteria in the gut. Try including foods like kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi in your diet.
Listen to your gut
The gut is often referred to ask the “second brain” and with good reason. It’s a vital hub of information about your health and it’s sensitive, reacting to everything from stress to the food you feed it, medications, and lifestyle choices. If you’ve noticed changes to your bowel habits, or your curious about whether your digestive system is working as efficiently as it should, you may want to take a closer look at your gut health with private testing.
Getting your gut health checked in London
At Blood Tests London we have a comprehensive range of health checks and diagnostic tests available, designed to show a complete picture of your health so that you can make necessary changes to optimise your wellbeing. And to make the process quick and convenient, we have a central London clinic you can attend as soon as you have purchased your test
When it comes to gut health, there are a range of options available, depending on what you want to discover.
Food intolerance test
Food intolerance testing is a quick and efficient way to reveal the ingredients in your diet which may be triggering a range of inflammatory responses, from IBS and bloating to headaches, fatigue, or skin issues. Our food intolerance tests can cut through the guesswork, giving you clear information to help you optimise your diet.
Gut hormone test
This private blood test profile for Gut Hormone Profile in London tests for critical gut health markers, including VIP, PP, Gastrin, Glucagon, CART, Somatostatin, Chromogranin A, Chromogranin B.
Stool tests can tell us so much about the health of your gut. Microbes, bacteria and other markers which may be present give us a detail picture of your health, helping reveal conditions which may need medical attention.
Cancer marker test
When it comes to cancers, early detection is critically important. Our cancer markers test can help get those crucial answers quickly and conveniently. CA 72-4 is found in increased quantities in many gut and gynaecological cancers. Significantly high levels may indicate recurrent disease. The combination of CA 72-4 with other known tumour markers, such as CA 19-9 for bowel cancer may lead to improved sensitivity when monitoring for relapse of the disease.
How our London-based blood testing works
After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team. Once your order is placed, simple visit our central London clinic for a blood draw by one of our qualified phlebotomists.
Clear, accurate results
The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can easily be arranged for you.
You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.
Find out more about gut health testing
Private immunity testing in London
With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health and wellbeing.
At Blood Tests London we offer a comprehensive range of blood testing options for immunity to various diseases, as well as a larger profile of diagnostic checks to help you get a complete picture of your health.
Our Clinic in London offers immunity tests that include diagnostic checks for antibodies against diseases, including:
You might also be interested in checking your risk factors for these, and other diseases including diabetes, thyroid, liver, or kidney disease. Our comprehensive VIP test is a great place to start, offering a full picture of your health.
Booking your private immunity blood test in London
We make sure the experience of booking a private blood test is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. Here’s how it works:
After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team.