Matrix Age Management Blog

  • Live Well
  • Age Well
  • Eat Well

5 Imbalanced Gut Types Explained

When it comes to health, your gut plays an important role. In this article, we’ll discuss why gut health matters, the different types of guts, and how to improve your gut health.

Why Is Gut Health Important?

Everything you put into your body affects how your organs function and how healthy you are. And it begins in the gut.

When your gut’s unhealthy, your body suffers in more ways than one. Many people associate gut health with digestion alone, but your gastrointestinal system also has a major impact on your entire body – including mood, memory, and more.

This is because the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system affect your body's vitamin and mineral absorbency, hormone regulation, digestion, nutrient production, immune response, and ability to eliminate toxins.

Poor gut health leads to several health issues, including:

  • Slow metabolism
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low sex drive
  • Exhaustion
  • Loose stools
  • Allergies
  • Poor focus
  • Insomnia
  • Bloating
  • Skin conditions
  • Acid reflux
  • Gallbladder disease

Many people have problems with their gastrointestinal systems and don't even know it. Because the symptoms caused by faulty guts are so often associated with other health problems, many people fail to recognize that their gut may be the reason they feel sick and sluggish. Fortunately, an imbalanced gut can be repaired.

The first step toward feeling better is to identify if your gut isn't functioning properly, and, if it isn't, what may be the cause of your gastrointestinal problems.

Five Types Of Imbalanced Guts

There are five gut types that lead to the problems mentioned above. These have many causes, including trauma, poor diet, and genetics. With a few diet changes, you can achieve better balance in your gut. Here are the five types along with dietary suggestions for each.

1. Candida (Yeast Overgrowth)

Candidiasis, or an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, can cause serious problems in the gut. At normal levels, Candida is a harmless and necessary component of the bacteria inside your digestive tract. But when an overgrowth occurs, Candida can lead to health problems like chronic fatigue, sinus infections, weight gain, bloating, bad breath, cravings, and more. 

The most common cause of Candida overgrowth is regularly eating a diet high in sugar, refined grains, and alcohol. Many specialists believe that antibiotics also play a part in Candidiasis by depleting the body's natural reserves of healthy bacteria, leaving the immune system vulnerable and creating the ideal environment for Candida growth. 

To bring balance to a Candida-infested gut, you will need to cut sugar, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, and dairy out of your diet for a period of time. Nutritionists have developed a Candida Diet to help kill off yeast overgrowth and restore balance to your gut. You should also add the following into your diet:

  • Soups
  • Broths
  • Herbal teas
  • Kimchi
  • Baked fruit
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit

2. Immune (Leaky Gut)

Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal wall becomes permeable and allows partially digested proteins and other toxins into the body. It is believed that the wall becomes permeable when the junctions in the gut that control what passes in and out don't work properly. Severe Candida overgrowth, celiac's disease, Crohn's disease, and unaddressed food allergies are the most accepted causes.

Leaky gut causes an array of health problems, including bloating, gas, food sensitivities, cramps, aches, and pains. All of these symptoms can leave you exhausted and drained after eating. If you suspect you have leaky gut, you may need to try the GAPS Diet, a dietary program specifically designed to heal and repair a leaky gut. This diet focuses on removing all potentially harmful foods from your diet while you heal and slowly reintroducing them back in.

3. Toxic (IBS/Gallbladder Disease)

Toxic gut is caused by a diet high in fatty, greasy food. An diet high in trans and saturated fat raises your cholesterol, putting you at higher risk for heart conditions. This gut type can develop into health issues like gallbladder disease, inflammatory skin conditions, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People with IBS have an overly sensitive colon, which results in painful bloating, abdominal discomfort, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation – particularly after eating greasy foods. IBS is becoming more apparent over the recent years as more people eat greasy fast food on a regular basis.

A toxic gut can be alleviated by reducing dairy and fatty food consumption, and eating foods high in fiber. Add green fruits, wheatgrass, and dark leafy green veggies into your diet to help restore balance and strengthen your gastrointestinal system.

4. Stressed (Depleted Gut Bacteria)

When you're under stress, your body secretes adrenaline as part of your fight-of-flight mode. Adrenaline impacts the blood flow to your gut, which is why it is common to experience a lull in digestive and immune health when under heightened stress. Low blood flow can deplete the bacteria in your gut – bacteria which, ironically, help signal the proper response to the brain for you to cope with stressors so they don't effect the rest of the body.

When your body has a lack of bacterial diversity in your gastrointestinal system, you may experience insomnia, low sex drive, muscle weakness, allergies, and poor focus. To help repair a stressed gut, identify the cause of your stress and eliminate it, if possible. You should also try to manage your stress with activities such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation. Finally,  reduce stress stimulants in your diet (sugar, caffeine, alcohol, grains) and eat more of these:

  • Vitamin B-rich foods
  • Herbal teas
  • Berries
  • Purple cabbage
  • Pumpkin
  • Nuts
  • Avocado

5. Gastric (Acid Reflux Disease)

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a valve located at the entrance to your stomach. If you suffer from a gastric gut, your LES does not close properly or opens too often. This causes stomach acid to travel into the esophagus, causing bloating, heartburn, frequent gas, and acid reflux. Some people develop acid reflux disease, a condition characterized by chronic regurgitation, from a stomach abnormality known as a hiatal hernia. Others may develop it over time from medication, weight gain, or poor eating habits such as eating large meals before laying down. 

Certain foods aggrevate acid reflux disease. These include citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, and spicy or fatty foods. If you have a gastric gut, you may need to avoid these foods to give your LES time to heal. Other ways to fight gastric gut include:

  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large ones
  • Sipping warm water with a bit of apple cider vinegar before eating
  • Eating slowly and chew thoroughly
  • Avoiding coffee and processed foods

Taking Steps Toward Better Gut Health

Poor gastrointestinal health can affect every aspect of your life, from your relationships to your general sense of wellbeing. If you want to improve your gut health, you may need to change your diet. Nutrition has an enormous impact on our gut. The proper diet can heal an imbalanced system and prevent further damage.

It is important, however, that you eat the right diet for your gut type. Although a low-acid diet may reduce the symptoms of a gastric gut, it will likely not make a difference on a Candida gut.

To find out which gut type you may be suffering with, and the best treatment option for you, schedule an appointment with Matrix Age Management today.

Schedule A Consultation 

*This post has been updated for freshness and accuracy

Tags: Nutrition

Recent Posts

Newsletter Subscribe