5 Most-Common Health Problems that Signal an Unhealthy Gut





This weeks blog is by Stewart Dunlop, the content and marketing manager at TheGoodGut.org (http://www.thegoodgut.org) - a new project devoted to maintaining gut health. Being a passionate writer, he aims to raise the awareness of the importance of gut health to the overall well-being of any individual.

The modern medicine is continuously advancing, but the more we discover, the more we understand that our knowledge of our own bodies is still limited. The best example stands in the gut – a system that was not considered important for anything else than food processing and elimination.

Recent studies and discoveries show that there’s a whole lot more
going on down there and many of the modern day diseases are nothing but symptoms of an unbalanced microbiome.

Below we’ll discuss some of the most common affections that signal a problem with the gut bacterial

#1: Colds, Infections, Sinusitis & So On

If you feel like you’re sick all the time and you always have to carry a box of tissues wherever you go, the problem may be buried deep in your gut.

Because about 80% of our immune system’s cells are housed in the gut, the first symptom of an imbalanced microbiome is a weak defense against germs and bacteria. Even more, if it’s cold outside and you’re not well-protected with the regular winter attire your problems may be caused by an imbalance in the nose (the first line of defense).

In any situation, a weak immune system is a strong sign that something is not quite right with the bacterial flora that keeps you healthy. To fix this, try to consume probiotics and avoid antibiotics for as much as possible. They are effective against bad bacteria, but they also wipe out the good ones.

#2: Bloating, Flatulence & General Discomfort

Bloating may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a horrible condition that can totally shift your focus and ruin your day (or days, depending on the seriousness of the situation). The sensation that you’re about to burst is definitely not office-friendly and it’s so much worse when you wear tight clothes and have to sit in a chair all day long!

But the nightmare doesn’t stop here as bloating is most-often- than-not- accompanied by flatulence. While we all know tooting is a natural bodily function (there’s actually special underwear for the average tooter), you definitely don’t want to release a smelly/loud one in a meeting or when participating at a job interview!

Bloating, burping, and tooting are clear signs of small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, meaning that your gut flora is not working as efficiently as it should.

While we know both men and women experience these symptoms, the problem is a lot more mortifying for the ladies, which is why you can find a special line of probiotics for women in most regular stores. These contain other ingredients that help with bowel movements and the general feeling of discomfort.

#3: Mental Problems

Sadly, a microbiome imbalance can get a lot more serious than just bloating and sinusitis (not that these are not serious problems!). Because our lives are always fast-paced and filled with stressful situations, we tend to ignore healthy foods, proper hydration, and exercise, which can easily upset the fragile balance in the gut.

Now, what science just discovered, is that lining the gut, there is a complex neuronal network (also named the second brain) that is in direct connection with our emotions, our general mood, and is in
charge of stress and anxiety related issues. This network releases 30 different neurotransmitters that reach the brain, and dictate how the brain will react in a series of situations. So, diseases such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more may actually start with the enteric nervous system in the gut, and only then affect the brain.

#4: Obesity & Other Weight-Related Problems

There’s a logical connection between the digestive system and weight problems, but the situation is not always clear. Recent studies proved that people who have a more diverse bacterial flora and manage to maintain a good balance in the microbiome are most likely to reach and maintain a healthy weigh.

On the other hand, obese people have an abundance of bacteria that is very efficient in separating and storing fat, which is why it gets easier to gain more and more weight. It’s like the organism is specializing in storing more and more fat. So, the key to a healthy weight is in a diverse and well-balanced microbiome.

#5: Acne, Rashes & Other Skin Problems

When we’re young, we’re told acne is a symptom of hormonal changes happening in our bodies. But when you’re a fully-grown adult and pimples are still your number one problem, you should consider
checking your gut!

Skin rashes, acne, infections, rosacea and other similar problems are not just embarrassing and downright uncomfortable; they’re also a clear sign that something is wrong inside and you need to dig


Digestive problems are very common in our stressful world, but with a bit of care and a stricter lifestyle that includes healthy foods and physical exercise, we can help improve our gut’s health. So, if you
observe any of the problems we mentioned above, consider them as symptoms, and have your microbiome checked. A specialist will be able to tell you the type of measures you need to take.

Our Favourite low FODMAP Pancake Recipe!

If you're worried about missing out on pancake day because you're on a low FODMAP diet, worry no more as we have found the most delicious pancake recipe courtesy of Amy Agur (www.instagram.com/fodmapformula/).


  • 1.5 cups gluten-free flour

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1.75 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1.5 cups lactose-free milk

  • 3 tbsp butter (melted)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

  • In a separate bowl mix the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla.

  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix quickly. Don't worry about removing every lump just make sure it is well combined.

  • If you're saving your batter for the next day, now is the time to wrap it up and pop it in the fridge! 

  • If you're planning to eat them now then heat up your griddle/frying pan, add a small amount of butter and then pour 1/4 cup of batter and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges become firm. Flip and repeat!

Then you can top your pancakes with low FODMAP fruit like blueberries, orange, raspberry and strawberry and 100% pure maple syrup - delicious! 

If you'd like to find more of Amy's delicious low FODMAP recipes then please visit her website: www.fodmapformula.com

Taking The Stress Out Of Christmas Dinner

Christmas can be a stressful time especially when it comes to preparing and cooking your Christmas dinner. Below are some of our helpful tips to help you enjoy more of your day without being locked in the kitchen all day!

 Other supermarket turkeys are available... 

Other supermarket turkeys are available... 

Plan Ahead - This may sound utterly boring and over the top but this is the key to a stress-free day. Planning oven space and timings to ensure you have everything ready at the same time will benefit you so much. Also ensure you work out how long your turkey will take in the oven the last thing you want is a raw turkey.

Itemise your shopping list, break it down by course or meal so that you're not left frantically searching the back of the cupboards for the cranberry sauce or goose fat that you forgot to buy. 

 Essential for making perfect roast potatoes. 

Essential for making perfect roast potatoes. 

Don't Cram! - It's tempting to cram everything into the oven at once in the hope that everything cooks, but trust me this isn't the case. All you end up doing is reducing the temperature of the oven and slow the cooking time down. 

Make sure the bird fits in the oven before you do any prep, the last thing you'd want to do is find out it doesn't fit. So while its still in packaging place onto the tray you're intending to use and make sure it comfortably fits in the oven. Remember if air cannot circulate around the bird it won't cook evenly leaving you with pockets of raw meat. 

 Your roasties won't cook if the oven is crammed full of other items. 

Your roasties won't cook if the oven is crammed full of other items. 

Prepare - Don't leave everything until the day. Try and prepare what you can ahead of the main event, veg can be prepared the day before, gravy can be done even further ahead of time. Make the gravy as per your usual recipe then let it cool and add to freezer bags, squeeze excess air out and zip up. Lay flat in the freezer and defrost on the day adding the juices from the bird for added flavour. 

Stuffing can be made the day before and refrigerated ready to go into the oven. Use a steamer for veg, not only will it taste better but it saves hob space.

Carrots, Parsnips and Potatoes can also be prepared the day before and left in pans of cold water (this also frees up space in the fridge)

 Get your partner, sibling or children to help peel veg. 

Get your partner, sibling or children to help peel veg. 

Don't Do It All On Your Own! - Don't let Christmas pass you by as you slave away in the kitchen, get the family involved and spread the workload. Including the washing up, washing as you go will save you a lot of time and stress after the meal. If you have a dishwasher put it on shorter cycles and don't put anything in there that you may need to re-use. 

Leftovers - You can turn your leftovers into many yummy dishes, left over Christmas pud can be chopped up finely and mixed into some softened vanilla ice cream and re-frozen to make delicious ice cream. Left over turkey, veg and potatoes can be mixed into a savoury cream sauce and topped with some shop brought puff pastry to make an easy pie. 

Merry Christmas from all of the Shreddies team, and we wish all of our customers a very happy new year! 




You may be confused between the difference between IBS and IBD so we thought we'd write a simple blog to define the two.

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and IBD stands for Irritable Bowel Disease.

When you're suffering from IBS your bowel will appear as normal but won't work as it should, this is because it's a functional disorder only involving the colon. It causes symptoms duch as cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea. There is no treatment with IBS however it is usually managed with lifestyle and diet changes plus stress reduction.

 Image: Mayo Clinic

Image: Mayo Clinic

With IBD you will suffer from inflammation, ulcers and other long term damage. IBD is an umbrella term used for a group of bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It can cause ulcers to form in the digestive tract that can appear anywhere from the mouth to the stomach. Treatments for IBS range from tablets which you can take to surgery to either remove parts of the intestines or a Colectomy where a stoma bag may need to be fitted.


We hope you've found this blog useful and if you feel you may have some of the symptoms mentioned we would recommend going to see a doctor.

Spanish Sunshine

As the weather is slowly taking a turn for the worse and winter is well and truly on its way I thought I'd share with you some sunny inspo to get you through this cold weather! 

In September I visited the beautiful village of Frigiliana located up in the mountains on the south coast of Spain (around an hour from Malaga airport). We stayed in a villa down a very isolated windy road with beautiful views of the surrounding area and a little glimpse of the sea! 

 The view from our terrace area looking over the villa.

The view from our terrace area looking over the villa.

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Around 10 minutes drive from our Villa was the village of Frigiliana, made up of small winding streets and beautiful white washed buildings - it really gave you a taste of Spanish culture. The streets were lined with small shops and restaurants and once a week there is a market selling everything from leather bags to ceramic home ware and clothing located in the village square. Everything here felt so authentic and there was a distinct lack of souvenir shops and coaches full of tourists! There were so many amazing restaurants - even though it was quite a climb to get there sometimes! 

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Whilst in Spain we also visited the town on Nerja which is a little more lively and home to some beautiful beaches and lots of shops and restaurants! If you're looking for somewhere a little more tourist friendly but still very beautiful Nerja is just right for you! The Balcón de Europa offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea and you can see for miles!

 Balcón de Europa

Balcón de Europa

Southern Spain definitely won my heart and I'll definitely be back!