11 signs you may have a serious gut health issue

NEW YORK — Millions of adults may be “clueless” about gut health and are unaware of how gut health can affect sleep, mood, and energy levels. A poll of 2,000 adults finds that nearly half (47%) don’t know where to start when it comes to improving their gut well-being, even though 82 percent agree it’s an important part of their overall health.

The survey also shows that the public’s knowledge about what the gut actually does is lacking too. Just 60 percent say one of the gut’s main roles is to digest food. Of those claiming to know which parts of the body make up the gut, one in five incorrectly think the gall bladder is part of the gut, and a further 13 percent incorrectly think the same of the liver. Three in 10 have no idea both the small and large intestines are also important components of the gut.

“As the research suggests, there is an awareness that gut health is important, but not enough clear information to support people in taking care of their gut,” says a spokesperson for Activia yogurts, which has launched the ‘What the Gut?’ museum, in partnership with TV’s Dr. Zoe Williams, in a statement.

“The aim of the museum will be to help people navigate gut health in a fun, accessible and educational way whilst equipping people with the information to look after it. There are a lot of things you can be doing to ensure you keep your gut healthy and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. It’s important to have open discussions about gut health in order to raise awareness and really break the taboo.”

The survey also reveals that 16 percent don’t prioritize gut health, with 40 percent revealing they’d only worry about this if their doctor told them to. This is despite many of those polled suffering with symptoms which could indicate gut health issues like heartburn (20%), fatigue (19%), bloating (18%), and constipation (17%).

Of those who have experienced adverse gut-related symptoms, less than half (45%) have tried to do something about it. For those that have, more than half (55%) saw a medical or healthcare professional and 31 percent simply got advice from family and friends.

Among those who haven’t sought help for their gut issues, 30 percent didn’t think the symptoms were bad enough and 23 percent didn’t think they needed medical assistance. Part of this hesitancy may come down to embarrassment. Over three in five (63%) admit they’d be uncomfortable discussing this subject with their partner.

The study, carried out by OnePoll, also looked at what people consider to be the best ways to maintain a healthy gut. These included drinking more water (46%), consuming fiber (45%), and eating food such as whole grains, bananas, and greens (42%), which experts say are all correct when it comes to keeping your gut healthy.

“The gut plays such a significant role in the body. It is vital we make it a priority,” the spokesperson for Activia adds. “Make 2023 the year you look after your gut, it’s more important than you might think!”

11 Gut Symptoms to Look Out For:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Constipation
  3. Bloating of the abdomen
  4. Stomach cramps
  5. Gas
  6. Fatigue
  7. Bad breath
  8. Weight fluctuations
  9. Low mood
  10. Skin issues like acne and dry skin
  11. Heartburn

Report by 72Point writer Francesca Tuckey

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