As you may already know, maintaining a healthy gut is important, because it can be the root of many other health issues, such as heart disease, type II diabetes, poor immune health etc. Therefore, MDs are emphasizing the importance of taking good care of your gut health. Many of the tips go in the direction of changing your lifestyle and diet.
“The road to health is paved with good intestines!” – Sherry A. Rogers.
One question remains though. How can you find out if your gut health is in good condition or not? The good news is that you don’t always need to visit your doctor to make sure your gut is healthy; there are plenty of ways to determine this from the privacy and comfort of your own home.
Here is a short list of the most effective things you can do to gain insight into your gut health at home.
Measure Bowel Transit Time
Bowel transit time is the time it takes for food to travel through your digestive tract. This time depends on how much you drink and, of course, what type of food you eat. The ideal bowel transit time is 48 hours, though it may be less than this.
If the bowel transit time is increased, you are at risk of experiencing some issues such as bloating, constipation, gas, diverticulitis etc. Some of the symptoms that go along with slow bowel transit time are weight gain and fatigue. A recent study has also shown that bowel transit time relates to gut flora and our metabolism.
You can easily measure bowel transit time while you are at home – all you need to do is eat some marker food that will easily be seen in your stool. When you are choosing the marker food, you should make sure that at least a week has passed since the last time you had it.
The most common option is dried corn kernels, because they are easy to see. Other options you can consider are black sesame seeds and red beets. Make sure to write down the time when you eat the marker food, and then mark the time when you see it in the stool.
Use At Home Kits
There are some at home kits that can provide you actionable insights into your gut health. These kits are an excellent way to get detailed and accurate information about your gut health. Also, this information can be used by your doctor to accurately diagnose you and prescribe the right therapy.
These at home kits are simple to use, and they utilize the latest technology, such as DNA sequencing, with which they can identify specific pathogens and any other microbes in your gut. What makes these kits a good option is the fact that they can discover some microorganisms that can only be discovered by DNA sequencing.
Keep in mind that the companies that supply these kits need to see your doctor’s approval before they can send a kit to your home address.
Be on a Lookout for Specific Signs
Other than these two practical methods that could help you discover if you have a gut-related health problem, you can keep your eyes open for some less than healthy gut signs that also point to this. The most common symptoms of gut health problems are gas, constipation and feeling bloated. These signs testify to the fact that your stomach is not digesting food properly.
Another thing that you should pay attention to is your weight. If you haven’t changed your diet and lifestyle, but you see that you are gaining weight, especially around the waist, it might be a sign of a gut health problem. This is usually a consequence of out-of-balance gut flora that oversees breaking down fat and carbs.
Keep in mind that if problems persist for more than a few days for no obvious reason, you must see your doctor. We hope these tips on getting an insight into your gut health will prove helpful, and that you will use them to see if the diet you are on is doing you any good. In the end, you should never forget that prevention is better than a cure.
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Bowel Transit Time
Colonic transit time is related to bacterial metabolism and mucosal turnover in the gut