Digestive problems aren’t just bothersome, they can take you right out of the game. If you don’t want to get sidelined by gas, bloating, diarrhea, cramping and other tummy troubles, you need to know that there are many different causes for digestive upset. However, no matter what the cause is of your stomach troubles, if you are missing out on your favorite activities, or suffering from a loss of productivity in the workplace, you will need to improve your digestive problems.
Try these 7 simple & effective tips for overcoming digestive troubles:
- Talk to Your Doctor. There is no better way to approach digestive upset than talking with your doctor. Just like any other health problem, discuss your specific concern with your healthcare provider to see if your tummy troubles are more than just common digestive upset. If so, your doctor will be able to determine the cause, and approach it with a medication or suggest new lifestyle habits for you to adopt. Regardless of what your doctor says about your digestive issues, write down the recommendations and take them home. That way you can review the information, and make the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle.
- Know Your Triggers. Every person is different and for that reason, your digestive troubles will have different triggers than someone else. After you have spoken to your doctor, you will know what the cause is of your specific type of digestive problems. Then you can better understand what makes those problems worse, and what exactly to avoid for better overall health and digestive comfortability. It is recommended that you also keep a food journal that you can share with your doctor. The journal should include foods, beverages, medicines, supplements and daily events, as well as your body’s response to them so that you can better see what causes episodes of digestive upset.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet. When digestive issues flare up, it could be your diet. Once you have seen which foods and beverages cause digestive upset, you can eliminate them and start paying closer attention to which foods soothe your digestive tract. Add these foods to your daily menu, as they are probiotic (good bacteria) rich foods and help with digestion: yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, pickles, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, and asparagus. Consider adding both a prebiotic and probiotic supplement to your daily diet as well. Record your body’s response to these foods in your journal, and take it to your next doctor’s appointment. To know more about advanced probiotics please visit heartland nutrients.
- Drink More Water. If you are suffering with digestive troubles, you may be shocked to see just how much drinking more water can help. If you prefer beverages like soda, juices and smoothies, that’s ok! Just be aware that drinking beverages like that is a fast way to worsen digestive problems. So skip the added sugar, and opt for 10, 8-ounce glasses of water every day. To hydrate your gastrointestinal tract even more, eat these water rich foods: watermelon, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, celery, radishes, tomatoes, green peppers and cauliflower.
- Always Be Hygienic. Never underestimate the ability of pathogens to upset your stomach. While you may think it’s just your regular digestive troubles, an upset stomach may be caused by bad bacteria, or another type of pathogen. In order to avoid bacteria, fungi, and viruses that cause digestive problems, always use good hygiene to keep those infectious bugs away. Wash your hands, and avoid any unsanitary practices in the kitchen to reduce your risk of coming in contact with infectious pathogens.
- Prepare Ahead of Time. Digestive upset can really get in the way of your everyday life, if you let it. Plan ahead for emergencies with supplies like medication, pre-moistened wipes, extra undergarments, disposable pads and plastic baggies so your tummy troubles don’t take over. Keep these supplies close by in your purse, glove box, carry-all bag or even in your desk at work. You can never be too careful.
- Manage Your Stress. Stress can wreak havoc on a healthy digestive system. Studies have shown that exposure to stress is associated with array of gastrointestinal problems including inflammation, irritable bowels, intestinal permeability, and even a negative effects on intestinal microbiota. (1)
While you cannot avoid stress every day, you can reduce your stress levels by practicing deep breathing techniques.
Here is one exercise you can try, called alternating nostril breathing:
- Place your index finger over the left nostril as you inhale through the right. And then exhale through your mouth. Practice this for 2 minutes.
- Repeat this exercise on the opposite side, plugging your right nostril and exhaling through your mouth. Practice this for 2 minutes.
- For the final minute of this 5-minute breathing meditation, inhale through both nostrils and exhale through your mouth.
With so many things going on in your active life, you simply don’t have the time to be fussing with an upset stomach. Try these 7 simple, easy and effective tips for overcoming digestive upset, and get back to doing the things you love – without worrying about tummy troubles!
- Konturek PC, Brzozowski T. Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;62(6):591-9.