Struggling To Lose Weight? An Inflamed Gut Might Be Why

Are you exercising more and eating less, yet still not reach your weight goals? This suggests that your body is not functioning as it should. Inflammation in the gut could be the cause. 

Inflammation gets blamed for a lot, but it’s actually a vital part of our immune response. Inflammation is our body’s way of triggering the immune system to quickly react to injury or illness. However, if this is happening too often, too much inflammation can cause serious health issues, such as autoimmune issues and even cancer. 

This doesn’t mean that all people with inflammation have some sort of “disease” in the body, in fact, chronic inflammation can go completely unnoticed. It can show itself in seemingly ‘unrelated’ symptoms including joint pain, migraines, skin issues, allergies, anxiety, depression, brain fog and difficulty in losing weight. 

Inflammation occurs all over the body (see this blog post on inflammation and the 17 causes to learn more), but what many people don’t realise is that the gut is a hot spot for inflammation. The gut is to thank for a large part of your immune response, triggering inflammation. 




Remember, inflammation itself is not the root cause. There are many individuals that just focus on taking things like turmeric or Boswellia (or perhaps even anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals) to “fix” the issue when in reality, that is just another “band-aid” approach.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against turmeric and Boswellia and I think they’re incredible but that is something that I use in the short-term to provide relief while working on the underlying root cause. 

So the question that we need to ask ourself is: “where did this gut inflammation come from?”.

Inflammation occurs when your body creates an immune response. So, if a virus, bad bacteria or toxins enter the body, the body’s immune system will react quickly and it will then create inflammation. 

Stress and anxiety also cause inflammation because hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are released which triggers inflammation so that the body can prepare for ‘fight or flight.’ This inflammation also affects the gut. 

The good news is that the body is well equipped to handle stress but only in the SHORT-TERM.

Unfortunately, the short-term stress that ancestors used to experience has turned into chronic stress due to today’s fast-paced society leading to chronic inflammation.

On top of that, if you have hormonal imbalances gut dysbiosis, a leaky gut, sluggish liver (learn about the gut-liver connection here), toxins in the body or any other imbalances your body will also be constantly inflamed. 




70% of your entire immune system is in your gut, so if your gut isn’t functioning properly, neither will your immune system. This is why so many autoimmune conditions start with the gut.

Since your immune system is based on your inflammatory response, what you eat inherently affects inflammation. Too much inflammation causes gut issues, which causes more inflammation. So, you find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle of chronic inflammation.

Signs that you might be suffering from an inflammation in the gut are loose stools, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping, fever, bloating, nausea and fatigue. Sometimes inflammation in the gut are diagnosed as an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s and colitis. 

However, I’ve worked with many clients in the past that did not suffer from any sort of digestive issues but still showed severe gut imbalances in lab test results.

This inflammation from poor gut health can cause uncomfortable symptoms, but poor gut health might actually be inhibiting your ability to lose weight as well. Here’s why:



Your gut microbiome determines how effectively calories and nutrients are absorbed by your body. If your microbiome is imbalanced or misfunctioning, then this will inhibit this ability. In this case, you could be eating a healthy and balanced diet, but if your body isn’t absorbing the food effectively, the domino effect is that the digestive system doesn’t break down and distribute food as it should, leading to excess body fat. 



Inflammation in the gut can lead to the abnormal functioning of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the physical link between your gut and your brain, and they are constantly communicating with each other. 

Depending on the health of your gut, the vagus nerve can stimulate or inhibit food absorption and intake. If your gut is unhealthy, the communication between the gut and the brain is negatively affected. How will your brain know you’re full if it’s not receiving the message from the gut? 




Inflammation leads to ‘leaky gut.’ Leaky gut is when the tight junctions of the intestinal wall become loose. This causes increased permeability of the gut wall, which means more toxins, pathogens and bacteria can pass in and out of the gut. This leads to more, yep you guessed it, inflammation! 

These toxicities, that are usually effectively dealt with in the gut by a healthy immune response, now can enter the rest of the body. This causes health issues throughout your body, e.g. hypothyroidism, skin issues, autoimmune conditions and even diseases such as cancer. 

This disruption caused by a leaky gut result in all sorts of imbalances in the body, and what’s a common symptom? Weight gain or an inability to lose weight.

Why does this happen? Well, there is more toxicities leaking out of your gut and into the rest of your body. Your body doesn’t want these toxicities in your blood stream and travelling to other organs, therefore it distributes the toxicities into fat cells. Fat cells are used for the storage of energy, if they are storing excess toxins then calories can’t be stored. This leads to increased weight gain.

Fat cells will also begin to swell as more and more toxins are accumulated and therefore it will begin to look like you’re holding to more fat when in reality, it’s just toxic water weight! 




There are many ways chronic inflammation occurs in the gut, and many ways that chronic gut inflammation can inhibit your ability to lose weight or cause weight gain. 

Adopting a low inflammatory diet is a good place to start. However, you might need a more bespoke nutrition, lifestyle and supplement plan to overcome the root cause that is resulting in excessive inflammatory responses. 

So, you must work out what is causing your inflamed gut. Is it stress or anxiety? Do you have imbalanced hormones? Is it gut dysbiosis? Do you have parasites? What about leaky gut? You won’t know unless you test for these possibilities. For example, a Comprehensive Hormonal Test can look for hormonal imbalances, whilst an Organic Acid Test can check for imbalances in good and bad gut bacteria and a stool test can look at parasites, H. pylori and bacterial imbalances as well.

You need to know what you’re looking for, to know which test(s) to take. Once you have your results, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever your specific root issue(s) is for the gut issues that are potentially resulting in weight issues.

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