A digestive problem can greatly affect day-to-day life, causing discomfort and affecting what we can and cannot do. Being good to your gut can prevent such problems from taking hold or ease symptoms if you already have an illness or disorder. Here are a few ways to care for your gut.
Change your diet
Eating lots of fibre is great for your digestive system – both soluble and insoluble fibres. This includes foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Probiotics such as yoghurt and kefir meanwhile can help break down lactose and enhance nutrient absorption. You should avoid eating too many high fat foods – along with all the other negative effects on the body, these are harder to break down and can wear down your gut. Processed fats are particularly hard for the body to digest.
Drink Lots of water
Without enough water, you run more risk of getting constipated, as you do not have enough fluids to keep food moving through your gut. Even if you have diarrhoea, drinking lots of water can be beneficial in helping to clean out any triggers that could be the cause, as well as preventing dehydration from loss of fluids. It is recommended we all drink two litres of water a day. This equates to 8 eight-ounce cups of water.
Exercise helps us burn fats faster – both fat on our body and fat in our guts. Moving also helps our digestive system to stay active and exercise is also shown to improve our immune system. As a result, gut problems caused by bacteria or infection can be fought off more effectively.
Try over-the-counter meds
There are plenty of over the counter meds and herbal remedies that can help with an upset gut. You can buy these at your local pharmacy or shop online (there are plenty of review sites that can help when buying meds on the web). Probiotics and IBS have seen a positive link, with some studies suggesting that probiotics can even cure IBS in some cases in the right dosage. Herbal teas and spices such as ginger are also effective for calming digestive problems. For serious cases, it is worth seeing a GP who may be able to prescribe something more effective, particularly if polyps or an abscess is the cause of the discomfort.
Say no to stress
Stress has all kinds of negative effects on the body, one being that it sends the digestive system into hysteria. This is because when we are stressed, the brain prioritised other bodily functions, paying less attention to our gut. This can cause diarrhoea or constipation to develop, as well as overproducing stomach acid, which can bring on stomach aches. Various forms of relaxation therapy can help to relieve stress as well as getting enough sleep.
Disclosure: This post has been contributed.