6 Ways Your Digestion Can Affect Your Overall Health

BY Emily Lunardo TIMEDecember 17, 2018 PRINT

If you’re suffering from bloating, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea, you probably believe you have a digestion problem, but those symptoms can affect your health in ways not immediately related to digestion. Since the human body is highly interconnected, indigestion or digestion issues can be an underlying cause of several other conditions both physical and emotional.

Poor mood: An upset stomach can leave you feeling emotionally upset. Poor digestion can trigger irritability, low energy, and reduce overall happiness. There have been several studies to link gastrointestinal problems with psychological problems.

Poor skin: Inflammation triggered by food can show up on your face. Certain food intolerances may also trigger breakouts and skin lesions.

Poor self-confidence: When you’re battling stomach woes, you don’t feel like your confident self because you are too concerned with what’s going on inside your gut.

Poor joints: Sometimes your gut may be trying to tell you to stop eating a certain food. Having an undiagnosed food allergy or an autoimmune disease can cause digestion issues and even lead to chronic inflammation, which can wreak havoc on your joints.  If you have been battling joint pain with little to no explanation, it could be an underlying allergy or autoimmune disease.

Fear of food: If you don’t know what is causing your stomach issues, it can cause you to fear eating as food may trigger unpleasant symptoms. Avoiding foods can be problematic and can potentially lead to malnutrition. It’s important to uncover the exact triggers of your gastrointestinal symptoms as to not put your health at risk.

Poor immunity: Most of your immune system is located in your gut and if the balance in your gut is off then you have an easier chance of becoming ill.

If you’ve been battling digestive issues for quite some time with little to no relief, it’s important you speak to your doctor. You want to protect the other areas of your health that could be affected.

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University in Canada with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. This article was first published on


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