Is your gut unhappy? Whether you’re suffering from the runs, constipation or painful cramps, a trip to the doctor is always recommended, especially if you’ve been suffering with a reoccurring problem or simply been suffering for a lengthy amount of time. Sadly not all digestive problems are easy to diagnose, however you may be able to restore order to your gut by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle. Here’s some helpful tips and tricks to digest and get your bowel movement back to normal.
There are plenty of over-the-counter meds worth trying including IBS probiotics and laxatives. Some may have side effects so it’s always worth reading the label first. By buying online you may also be able to read consumer reviews to judge the medication’s effectiveness. Various herbal remedies such as ginger root, fennel and many herbal teas are proven to be good for the bowel.
Limit fat and up your fibre intake
Fatty foods take more work to digest and can make many digestive problems worse. Take a break from such foods, especially ones including processed fats. A high fibre diet made up of vegetables, whole grains and fruits can be good for both constipation and diarrheal symptoms. Generally it’s also good to avoid trigger foods such as dairy, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine too.
Drinking lots of water will help to flush out any bacteria that could be causing an infection as well as breaking down any hard stools if you have constipation (as well as stopping your body from becoming dehydrated if you have diarrhoea). It’s very difficult to drink too much water – we should all be drinking 8 glasses on average a day. For digestive problems, it’s beneficial to drink even more than this.
Staying active also keeps foods moving through your digestive system, which is useful if you’ve got constipation. Exercise also has the dual effect of creating antibodies and boosting your immune system, helping to fight off any infections or pains. On top of this, you can help maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise, which is also good for your digestive system.
Stress is also bad for your digestive system. When stressed, our body goes into a survival mode that traces back to when we were cavemen. Energy and neuro signals are sent to important parts of our body used for fight or flight (e.g. the legs for running, the lungs for breathing) and taken away from parts of the body that aren’t deemed important at that time (e.g. the digestive system). This causes our gut to go into disarray, producing too much stomach acid and not producing enough digestive enzymes. Taking the time to de-stress could be the solution to your gut problems, or at the very least calm any ongoing disorder such as IBS or a food intolerance. Various forms of relaxation therapy and herbal remedies can stop you from getting as stressed.