Listen to your gut – literally. Your digestive health can tell you a lot about your overall health, so it's important to pay attention to this process and make sure everything is going smoothly. Here are three warning signs your gut could be sending you:
1. You're stressing too much
Your stomach is often considered your "second brain," and for good reason: its close relationship with your actual brain makes it an important player in your mental health. That's why you can feel sick if you're nervous or get that "butterflies in your stomach" feeling when you're excited.
So, if you have digestive troubles, it could be a sign that you're stressing too much. This relationship also works inversely. If you're not taking care of your digestive health, it can severely impact your mood and emotional well-being.
"The gut is sending messages that can make the brain anxious," Dr. Michael Gershon, author of "The Second Brain" and coiner of the term, told Fitness Magazine. "You're in good mental shape only if your gut lets you be."
2. You need to change your diet
Your stomach is a tricky organ and can be affected not only by what you eat, but also by how much and when. If you're having problems digesting properly, adjust these factors to pinpoint the problem. For example, the issue could be that you're consuming too much processed food, eating too much at once or having dinner too close to your bedtime.
3. You don't have enough stomach acid
It seems illogical, but problems like acid reflux and heartburn are actually caused by too little, not too much, stomach acid. If you experience these conditions when you eat, it's time to be more mindful of how you eat so you can work with the stomach acid that you have. Kathie Swift, chief nutrition adviser for MyFoodMyHealth and My Foundation diet, told Experience Life that low stomach acid suffers should eat slowly so their bodies have the time to start the digestive process normally.