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5 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

Half of Australian adults experience unpleasant gut symptoms such as bloating, gas and constipation, and 1 in 7 experience more distressing symptoms.1 To detect any issues with your gut health, it's important to understand how the digestive system works. Signs of a healthy gut include a pain-free bowel movement 1-3 times a day, steady energy levels, standard gas and bloating, healthy bowel transit time (the time for food to pass through the digestive tract), mental clarity, and healthy responses to food and stress.


What causes our gut to become unhealthy?


The health of your gut can be negatively affected by disruptions in the microbiome, which refers to the composition of microorganisms in your gut. An unhealthy gut is characterised by dysbiosis; this term describes an imbalance in the natural population of microorganisms within the body. Common disturbances include infections, inflammation, high sugar and low-fibre diets, some medications, alcohol, and food additives.2 When dysbiosis occurs, organisms normally in balance now have the opportunity to thrive in your gut, leading to negative health effects.  Dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been linked to the cause of several chronic digestive conditions, as well as some mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.3


What are the signs your digestive system is out of balance:

What to do if you have an unhealthy gut? 

Bloating, gas, and stomach pain: If you experience constant bloating after meals or don’t fit your clothes comfortability by the end of the day, it could be a sign that your gut health is out of balance. This can be caused by various factors, such as overeating, certain food allergies, or an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your gut due to dysbiosis. 

Irregular bowel movements: Constipation, diarrhoea, or irregular bowel movements are other common signs of an unhealthy gut. People experiencing constipation may have lower levels of good gut bacteria, impacting digestion and detoxification.4

Skin conditions: Skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema can also indicate an unhealthy gut. This is because the skin reflects both our internal and external health. An unhealthy gut leads to inflammation and immune dysregulation, which can cause skin breakouts and eczema.5 When the gut is inflamed, it can also lead to a weakened immune system, which makes it harder for the body to repair and heal the skin. 

Unintentional Weight Fluctuations: An unhealthy gut can cause weight changes and affect fat storage, and calorie processing and imbalanced gut microbiomes have been linked to obesity. Gut bacteria release fatty acids that signal the brain to stop eating, but an unhealthy gut may not produce enough fatty acids, causing metabolic issues.6

Serious Illness: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, affects an estimated 85,000 Australians, with prevalence increasing 15-20% annually. Its impact on patients can range from mild symptoms to severe disability and hospitalisation.7 If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, it's best to speak to your primary care practitioner for further investigation.

What to Do If You Have an Unhealthy Gut

 Keeping an eye on your gut's function and being mindful of the symptoms mentioned can help you determine the state of your gut health. It's crucial to take care of your gut to maintain good health. For more tips on how to take care of your gut health, read 4 ways to improve your gut health naturally.


Seaweed is one of the natural solutions to supporting your gut health. Edible brown seaweed, such as Undaria pinnatifida, is extensively studied, showing support for the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut, reducing inflammation, and enhancing your overall gut health. Incorporating Australian organic, fucoidan-containing seaweed found in SeaQuo® Immune is an effective way to improve symptoms and maintain your gut health naturally.

 Seaweed Supplement Australia
SeaQuo Immune, Seaweed Supplement



1 CSIRO report: "Gut health and weight management: Opportunities for innovation" (2018), accessed from

2 Hrncir T. Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis: Triggers, Consequences, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Options. Microorganisms. 2022 Mar 7;10(3):578. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10030578. PMID: 35336153; PMCID: PMC8954387.

3 Clapp M, Aurora N, Herrera L, Bhatia M, Wilen E, Wakefield S. Gut microbiota's effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clin Pract. 2017 Sep 15;7(4):987. doi: 10.4081/cp.2017.987. PMID: 29071061; PMCID: PMC5641835.

4 Zhao Y, Yu YB. Intestinal microbiota and chronic constipation. Springerplus. 2016 Jul 19;5(1):1130. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2821-1. PMID: 27478747; PMCID: PMC4951383.

5 De Pessemier B, Grine L, Debaere M, Maes A, Paetzold B, Callewaert C. Gut-Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms. 2021 Feb 11;9(2):353. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9020353. PMID: 33670115; PMCID: PMC7916842.

6 Miyamoto, J., Igarashi, M., Watanabe, K. et al. Gut microbiota confers host resistance to obesity by metabolizing dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids. Nat Commun 10, 4007 (2019). PMC7916842

7 Australian Society of Gastroenterology (n.d.) Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Retrieved from