Digestive problems are embarrassing, uncomfortable and most widespread. It may cause symptoms like cramping, stomach ache, diarrhea, bloating, gas and nausea. You can maintain healthy living and improve diet to avoid or reduce some of these issues. If it doesn’t work, you have to consult the doctor.
Avoiding Constipation and Diarrhea
Boost Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is made of plant foods that are hard to digest but pass without getting absorbed. A lot of people consume just a fraction of 20 mg to 40 mg of fiber for healthy digestion. You need both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber (to form gel-type consistency). To get soluble fiber, you may consume peas, oats, citrus fruits, apples, barley and carrots to control blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
You may add wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, beans, nuts, and vegetables like green beans and cauliflower to the diet. You may increase insoluble fiber intake to deal with constipation and keep bowel movements under control. You can get both insoluble and soluble fibers from several plant-based foods. Generally, fiber-rich foods have low calories and they can also reduce blood sugar, control weight, and cholesterol levels.
Drink a Lot of Water
The combination of water and high fiber can improve digestion by breaking down foods to absorb more and more nutrients. It can soften your stool and ease your bowel movements. Sometimes doctors recommend 8 glasses of water every day but the amount varies with body weight, your activity level, and the climate. If you feel more tired, get headaches in evening, nauseous, light headed and sweat a little bit even in hot, you might have to drink a lot of water. Other signs that you are dehydrated are dark yellow urine and lower urine output than normal.
Promote Healthy Gut with Yogurt
Yogurt is a fermented dairy food that can help manage and replenish bacterial community in the digestion system. It won’t just deal with constipation and diarrhea. It will not just deal with constipation and diarrhea but also prevent and deal with various other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, colds, and flu.
Eat less Sugary, Fatty, and Salty Foods
These substances don’t just cause stomach pain in high amount, but they can also cause constipation and slow the digestion down. You must eat less processed, packaged foods. They have a high amount of fat, sugar and salt. They can also keep you from eating healthier foods with high fiber.
You should exercise for 30 minutes in a day to improve digestion. It can also control weight, reduce stress and help intestines to work normally and move food along the system. This activity must be intense enough to promote heart rate. So, you need to do something you should enjoy like jogging, walking or biking.
Dealing with Bloating, Stomach Ache, Gas, and Cramping
Eat Small Meals Rather than Full
It will keep you from eating overly and starve. Eat slowly to let your body understand that you have something in your stomach and you are no longer starving. Don’t eat too fast and in larger amounts before you feel that you are full. It can cause painful bloating and stomach stretching. Eat small meals every day to make your body prepare physiologically and anticipate meal.
Avoid Foods that can Irritate your Digestion
Foods that body doesn’t tolerate may vary according to person. Some of the frequent triggers are foods like deep-fried foods, cheese and fast food, highly acidic foods like tea, coffee, vinegar, tomatoes, and citrus fruits, gassy foods like cabbage, beans, or carbonated drinks, and spicy foods.
If you are lactose intolerant, your body cannot generate enough lactose and lactose is hard to digest for you. It is actually sugar which is found in dairy foods like milk. After consuming milk and dairy products, you may experience symptoms like cramping, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Avoid ice cream, milk, cheese and other products if such symptoms occur. Boil milk properly before drinking, to break the lactose enzyme down.
Dealing with Heartburn
Don’t Eat Late at Night
Don’t eat just before bed to reduce heartburn and acid reflux. Small, frequent meals can help you keep your digestion busy without having to overload it. Eat lean proteins like lean cuts and fish as they are important for healthy muscles and they are easier to digest.
Smoking can cause damage to the valve located at the bottom of the esophagus which causes frequent heartburn. So, you need to quit smoking to reduce the chances of cancers and ulcers.
A lot of drinking can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, cramping, ulcers, abdominal pain, bleeding, acid reflux, and heartburn. It may also damage organs like liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Reduce Coffee Intake
Caffeine may also cause acidity and it can enhance the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Stress can also cause constipation, weight gain, and diarrhea and reduced immunity. With stress, you are more likely to deal with h. pylori bacteria which may lead to ulcers. Meditation, yoga, baths, massage and various relaxation techniques are helpful to deal with stress and promote digestion. Regular exercise can improve relaxation by releasing endorphins.
Consulting with Doctor
If you haven’t improved lifestyle and diet, you need to seek proper medical advice. You should see the doctor immediately if you have incontinence, severe heartburn, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea which is not treated, sudden weight loss, and black or bloody stool.
Make a Food Chart for Daily Intake
Your doctor will recommend you to make a daily chart and ask what you eat and the symptoms you have. They will record how much you ate, what you ate, when you do it and how your body worked. It will help the doctor to know the patterns that help find out the foods that are responsible for it.
Your doctor will also check you for allergies in different ways. They may take skin test and suggest you to eliminate food that can cause allergy to your body. They may take blood test to check immune response and oral food test to see the reaction to food.