Research is continually evolving, and scientists are discovering an increasing amount about the complexity of our digestive system and how vital it is when it comes to our health.

Around 70% of your immune system stems from your GI tract, all the way from your mouth, through your throat, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus.

A healthy gut is integral to your overall health, and without it, you become more susceptible to a poorly functioning immune system, chronic disease of all kinds, mental health disorders, endocrine disorders and skin conditions.

Every one of us has an assortment of gut microbiota, or microorganisms, as unique as our fingerprints. We need to create the right conditions for them to thrive if we wish to stay healthy.

Gut microbes perform many crucial functions like aiding digestion, producing vitamins, protection from harmful bacteria, keeping the gut healthy and intact, and preserving immunity.

While we can all harbour harmful gut microbiota, many experts believe that healthy people carry particular species, and combinations of species, of gut microorganisms.

Many signs indicate poor gut health, and only some of them are listed here. Other indications for assessing and addressing gut imbalance can include (but are not exclusive to) chronic illness, ongoing fatigue, recurring acute illnesses such as coughs, colds and flu, poor sleep and brain fog.

Here are some signs of an unhealthy gut.