Causes of Gut Issues

Causes of Gut Issues

Poor Diet

Could an unhealthy gut cause digestive issues?

Having poor quality of bacteria in the gut can lead to food intolerances, extreme food cravings, bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, as reported by Frederick Health in 2021. These symptoms can be a sign of an unhealthy gut and should be addressed. Eating too much sugar can also lead to an unhealthy gut.

What can cause digestive problems?

Digestive problems can be caused by many factors, such as stress, food intolerances, medications, and poor diet. From Composed Nutrition (WebMar 23, 2021), some related issues are inflammatory skin reactions, brain fog, low mood, and joint pain. Poor gut health can also be a contributing factor to digestive problems.

What can help improve gut health?

Poor digestion, bloating, and stomach pain may be the result of an unhealthy gut, according to Davis from Forbes Health (2022). Eating a balanced diet and reducing stress can help to improve gut health and reduce these symptoms. Probiotics and fiber-rich foods can help to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.


How does stress affect digestion?

Stress can cause digestive problems due to the "brain-gut axis", as demonstrated by Harvard Health in their 2019 article. This response is part of the body's fight-or-flight system, and involves slowing or stopping digestion in order to divert energy towards facing a perceived threat. Research has shown that stress can affect the gut microbiome, with long-term stress leading to an imbalance of bacteria that can cause digestive issues.

Stress can have long-term effects on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract through alterations of the brain-gut axis, as demonstrated by the study "Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences" by National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2012. Acute exposure to stress can lead to profound changes in gastrointestinal physiology and function, such as increased inflammation and altered motility.

Can stress cause GI discomfort?

Chronic stress can cause gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort due to the hormones and neurotransmitters released in the body that affect gut motility, as well as the balance of bacteria in the gut. It is important to seek medical help if one is experiencing chronic stomach pain due to stress, as suggested by The University of Chicago Medicine Forefront in 2021. Diet can also be a contributing factor to GI distress.

Bacterial Imbalance

What is SIBO?

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is an abnormal buildup of bacteria in the small intestine that can cause a range of digestive symptoms and other health issues, according to WebMD, 2020. It is caused by a variety of factors and can be diagnosed through tests such as breath tests, stool tests, and capsule endoscopy. Treatment usually involves dietary changes and antibiotics.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is an imbalance of the microorganisms in the gut that can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as gas and diarrhea. According to Cleveland Clinic, this can also inhibit the body's ability to digest and absorb nutrients from food. Research suggests that SIBO is becoming increasingly common due to dietary changes and increased use of antibiotics.

How can an imbalance of intestinal bacteria affect health?

Intestinal bacteria imbalance can lead to digestive problems, such as nausea, bloating, and stomach pain. As reported by, a website dedicated to helping people improve their health, this is due to the overgrowth of harmful microorganisms in the intestine. To combat this, it is recommended to maintain a healthy diet full of macrobiotic foods to strengthen the immune system and prevent neurological degenerative illnesses.

Lack of Exercise

What are some factors that can lead to diverticular disease?

In conclusion, a low-fiber diet, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking cigarettes, and overusing certain medications can be factors in developing diverticular disease, as reported by Verywell Health in 2023. The microbiome, or community of microbes in the gut, may also play a role.

What can help reduce abdominal fat?

Regular physical activity, such as at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day (up to 60 minutes per day), is key to controlling weight and reducing abdominal fat, according to Harvard Health. A healthy diet that is low in sugar and saturated fats, and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the build-up of abdominal fat.

How can physical activity help with constipation?

Constipation is often caused by lack of physical activity and can be remedied by increasing cardiovascular exercise. An info from Lifestyle, engaging in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week can help regulate healthy bowel movements. Maintaining a diet with high fiber foods and staying hydrated will further help to prevent constipation.

Use of Certain Medications

What medicines can affect the digestive system?

Medicines taken by mouth can have a variety of effects on the digestive system, both beneficial and harmful. As stated by Johns Hopkins Medicine, both prescription and over-the-counter medicines can potentially create adverse effects in some people. Taking certain medicines together may increase the risk of experiencing side effects.

Can medication cause stomach pain and upset?

Medication-related stomach pain or upset is a common side effect for some people. Verywell Health notes that iron supplements, antidiarrheals, and medications used to treat IBD can all lead to stomach pain and upset. It is important to take medication with food and avoid taking medications on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of developing stomach pain or upset.

Can over-the-counter painkillers cause abdominal pain?

Over-the-Counter painkillers such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen can cause abdominal and stomach pain, according to WebMD ( Long-term use of these medications can lead to serious health issues such as heartburn and stomach lining damage.

Food Allergies/Intolerances

Do you have a food allergy?

Food allergies are immune system reactions that occur shortly after consuming certain foods, and even small amounts of the allergen can cause symptoms such as digestive issues, hives, or swollen airways. As reported by Mayo Clinic, in some cases, a food allergy can lead to severe reactions or life-threatening anaphylaxis. It is important to be aware of food allergies and to be able to identify the signs and symptoms.

What are the digestive effects of food allergies?

Food allergies can have a significant effect on digestion, as they occur when the immune system responds to a specific food as something foreign or dangerous, releasing immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the process. Cited from Everyday Health, when IgE antibodies interact with the food allergen, it can cause a number of digestive issues, such as bloating, nausea, and cramps. Research has found that food allergies can lead to an increased risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease.

How are gut health and allergies connected?

Gut health and allergies are interconnected, and probiotics and food allergies can help alleviate digestive problems and allergies. As reported by Atlas Biomed (2022), on, not all allergens are food-related, and other airborne allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander can also cause allergic reactions.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

What is chronic gut inflammation?

Chronic gut inflammation is a condition caused by a variety of diseases, such as celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which typically appears in one’s teens or 20s but may also occur in older age. Sourced from Harvard Health Publishing, IBD involves inflammation of the digestive tract and can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery. Psychological support can also be beneficial in helping people cope with the symptoms of IBD.

What are some common symptoms of IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of digestive disorders characterized by prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease. Mentioned in Healthline, IBD can cause a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and weight loss. Risk factors for IBD include family history of the disease, a weakened immune system, and smoking. Treatment for IBD includes medication, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgery.

What is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that involves long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, causing a range of digestive symptoms. Cited from the CDC, IBD affects over 3 million Americans. Treatments for IBD include lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery. Diet and nutrition can play an important role in managing IBD symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Do you experience abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms that include abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements such as diarrhea, constipation, or both without any visible signs of damage or disease in the digestive tract. From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), IBS affects up to 15% of people worldwide.

Do you have symptoms of IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder causing symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. An info from the NHS, IBS is usually a lifelong condition that can be extremely frustrating to live with. Research suggests that lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, can help to reduce the symptoms of IBS.

IBS is a chronic condition causing abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and episodes of diarrhea and/or constipation. Attributed to Yale Medicine, IBS is accompanied by gas, bloating, abdominal cramping and frequent urges to use the bathroom. It is important to note that diet and lifestyle adjustments can be helpful in managing symptoms.


What can cause diarrhea?

Diarrhea is commonly caused by rotavirus in children, COVID-19, bacteria, or parasites. Mentioned in Mayo Clinic, exposure to pathogenic bacteria or parasites through contaminated food or water can lead to diarrhea. It is important to practice proper hygiene and maintain a healthy diet to reduce the risk of developing diarrhea.

What are the common causes of intestinal parasites in children?

Intestinal parasites are highly prevalent among children living in impoverished communities, primarily due to lack of access to safe disposal of human waste, contaminated water and soil, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices. Via the World Health Organization (WHO) on, parasitic infections are one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 2 billion people are infected with intestinal parasites each year.

Can parasitic infection cause misdiagnosis?

A parasitic infection can cause symptoms that mimic other diseases, leading to misdiagnosis and a lack of treatment for the real issue. According to Family Health Advocacy, parasites can wreak havoc on your gut, leading to physical and mental discomfort. In severe cases, parasites can cause long-term damage to the digestive system. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a parasitic infection and seek out proper medical care.

Celiac Disease

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an immune disorder triggered by the consumption of foods containing gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. As mentioned in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), celiac disease causes damage to the small intestine. Many products, such as prepackaged foods and lip balms, contain gluten.

Celiac disease is caused by genetic predisposition, ingestion of gluten, and potentially other factors such as childbirth, surgery, stress, or other autoimmune disorders, according to Verywell Health (on, 2022). It is believed that gluten triggers an immune response in the body that attacks the small intestine.

Celiac disease is a hereditary intolerance to gluten which causes inflammation of the small intestine and subsequent malabsorption, resulting in symptoms like diarrhea, undernutrition, and weight loss. Mentioned in Merck Manuals Consumer Version, 2018, celiac disease is caused by ingesting the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is important to note that gluten sensitivity can vary from person to person.


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