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How to recognise signs of an unhealthy gut

May 29, 2023 3 min read

How to recognise signs of an unhealthy gut

Did you know that your gut is one of the most important organs?

Balanced gut flora is essential for digestion, absorption of vitamins and nutrients from food, and a functioning immune system. 

However, it can happen very easily that the intestinal flora is damaged. For example, by taking antibiotics and other medications, but also through poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Today, we will explain to you the symptoms that can tell you that your intestinal flora is not healthy. But first: What exactly is the task of intestinal flora?

Functions of the intestinal flora

The intestinal flora, i.e. the entirety of the microorganisms living in the small and large intestine, is one of the factors that determines how well the organ can perform its many tasks.

One important task of the intestinal bacteria is to support the digestive work, because some food components cannot be processed without them, or only incompletely.

These indigestible food components include dietary fibres, for example. Intestinal bacteria form special enzymes that can break down the dietary fibres. The resulting breakdown products are made available to the body again in the form of energy.

In addition, the intestine is considered the seat of the immune system. Together with the huge intestinal mucosa, the intestinal flora forms a first barrier against pathogens that are ingested with food.

The intestinal flora is also responsible for the formation of some hormones and vitamins. These include the hormones serotonin and dopamine, also known as "happiness hormones", and the sleep hormone melatonin.

As you can see, the gut has a lot of different functions. A healthy or a disturbed gut is crucial for your well-being. 

But how can you tell if you have a disturbed intestinal flora?

What is disturbed intestinal flora?

Up to two kilograms of your total body weight are bacteria in your gut. Several million different bacteria live in your gut and support your digestive tract. 

A healthy body has a balance of intestinal bacteria. The "good" gut bacteria help digest food, produce vitamins, neutralise toxins, activate drugs and promote immune defence by training the immune system to fight off disease-causing bacteria. However, an unbalanced diet, medication, an unhealthy lifestyle or food intolerances can disturb the balance. 

If there is an overabundance of certain types of bacteria and a decrease in others, it can lead to the "good" bacteria being displaced and the protection against disease-causing bacteria decreasing or even being lost.

Symptoms of a disturbed intestinal flora

A disturbed intestinal flora can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Inflammation of the bowel
  • Deficiency symptoms
  • Permanent white coating on the tongue
  • Depressive mood
  • Poor sleep
  • Allergies
  • Acne
  • Neurodermatitis

A weakened immune system, exhaustion and intolerance of food can also signal a disturbed gut flora.  

It is important to recognise and treat a disturbed intestinal flora in time to avoid chronic health problems.

Possible causes of disturbed intestinal flora


As with many other diseases, diet plays a significant role in the development of disturbed gut flora. For example, if the usable food supply of intestinal bacteria is particularly abundant, this can contribute to certain species proliferating very strongly, while others gradually atrophy. And anyone who changes their diet - whether by foregoing certain foods (as is the case with vegans, for example), a food intolerance or a diet - can also trigger a restructuring of the intestinal flora at the same time.


Drugs can also affect the number of intestinal bacteria, causing bloating and other symptoms; antibiotics in particular. They are designed to prevent pathogens (bacteria to be precise) from growing and in many cases even kill them. However, the drugs do not distinguish between the "good" and the "bad" bacteria - through absorption via the digestive tract, they come into direct contact with the intestinal flora and often greatly decimate their numbers.

How can you promote healthy gut flora?

There are some ways to improve the ratio between the good and bad gut bacteria. The right diet is the key. Provide your body with fermented foods on a regular basis. They are made to last longer with the help of enzymes, bacteria or fungi. The fermentation process produces valuable strains of bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus), which serve the intestinal flora. These are also known as "probiotics". An easy way to ensure that you are providing your gut flora with high quality probiotics is to take our Premium Probiolac Probiotic. Each capsule contains 30 different strains of good bacteria.

You can find more information on the topic of intestinal health in our e-book: Intestinal health - More well-being through a healthy intestine.