How Kids’ Gut Health Affects Their Immune System?

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With all kinds of diseases out there, children are more susceptible to becoming sick; hence, parents work tirelessly to improve and protect their children’s immune systems. Gut health is one of the most crucial components of a toddler’s immune system health. This is because the gut consists of a larger percentage of cells contributing to the human immune system.

Notably, gut health is associated with various diseases such as cancer, diarrhea, autoimmune disease, mental health, and more. For this reason, your child’s gut can affect both physical and psychological health. Some mental complications linked to an unhealthy gut include anxiety and PTSD. With that, read on to learn more about your child’s gut health.

What Is Gut Health?

The digestion of food starts in the mouth and passes through the gastrointestinal tract, further breaking down the food. The body absorbs essential nutrients, facilitating the growth and development of the body. The stomach and intestines are lined with beneficial bacteria referred to as probiotic bacteria, which prevent diseases and infections while maintaining overall body health and regulating metabolism.

When these bacteria thrive in the gut, unhealthy bacteria are eliminated while allowing the body to have a seamless nutrient absorption process. This gives the gut perfect health as these bacteria, yeast, and viruses collectively known as microbiome create a balance for maintaining the system offering general gut health. If any of the bacteria fails to provide the needed balance, an overgrown of harmful bacteria attacks the body’s immune system, causing diseases.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut

Different children have differing degrees of microbiomes; hence the balance needed in the gut may vary. Here are the symptoms of an unhealthy gut to look out for if you suspect your child’s immune system is on the line.

  • Gas and bloating: If your child is complaining of a stomachache, has a distended belly, or is gassy, they may be experiencing gas and bloating, which is a sign of an unhealthy gut.
  • Diarrhea: Overgrowth of harmful bacteria is likely to cause loose stools, indicating an imbalance provided by the good bacteria.
  • Constipation: Common signs that your child is constipating are stool withholding, unusual large stools, belly pain, and irregular bowel movement. Coupled with other constipation signs, your child is likely to be suffering from an unhealthy gut.
  • Mental Health: If you notice signs of mood disorders, it means a problem with your child’s gut, which affects critical processes of neurotransmitters essential for mental health. When your child seems anxious, depressed, or has irritating moods, it signifies an unhealthy gut.

How to Maintain your Child’s Gut Health?

Sometimes, your child may fail to exhibit unhealthy gut symptoms but must maintain gut health to prevent complications. Here are two fundamental ways to keep your child’s gut health.

  • Maintain healthy habits: This involves eating a balanced diet such as fiber, whole grains and vegetables, and fruits appropriate for gut health. Often avoid food high in sugar, salt, and fat as they can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Besides, ensure proper hydration but free against sugary drinks such as sodas and combine it with frequent exercises.
  • Food diary: While trying to alleviate unhealthy gut symptoms through proper diets, create a compelling food diary. Such an approach allows you to control what your child consumes, including monitoring the reaction after eating. It is essential to frequently consult a pediatrician to make necessary adjustments to various foods your child eats.

Can Children Take Probiotics?

Today, several probiotic products exist in the market, such as Sproutebiome, which can be useful in promoting your child’s gut health. However, it becomes puzzling to choose the right product because none of the available probiotics are neither recommended by pediatricians or proven to cause harm when administered as supplements or in the form of food to children.

Besides, these products are not monitored by the FDA; hence crucial to often consult your physician or pharmacist before choosing the right product.

Nevertheless, probiotics offer various health benefits to most toddlers but often unsuitable for those with chronic or severe illness and children with compromised immune systems. Before you decide to administer these supplements to your child, provide natural food sources of probiotics such as kombucha, yogurt, and miso. You can also substitute them with snack bars and breakfast cereals if your child hates these foods’ sour taste.