An estimated 70 million Americans alone are living with digestive issues like IBS,
(irritable bowel syndrome), and constipation. But with proper treatment and a few lifestyle changes, we can better manage tummy dramas! :()
Let's start with HeartBurn: better known as Acid Reflux. What it is:
Stomach acid backing up into the esophagus Ouch!!
*Symptoms: burning sensation is the result, along with burping.
* What we eat has a major effect on this condition
*Foods such as: tomato and tomato sauce, coffee, chocolate, fried food ( lasts longer in the stomach ), even carbonated drinks act to relax the esophageal sphincter which makes it possible for acid to flow back up into the esophagus.
*Stress, smoking NSAD's (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen can bring on heartburn.
[ Well.. I think this guy knows that he has to get his waist line under some measure of control! Caught with another tummy troubling treat again! ]
[ Sleeping beauty probably had GI issues, and she was smart to elevate her sleep area! :() ]
[ Oooh! Pizza is a trigger for most of us once we're past 30! Dang it! LOL ]
Risk factor: Being overweight
Management: Stay away from your trigger foods and drinks.
*Try elevating the head of your bed with something like bricks or blocks so that you aren't laying down flat can make a big difference.
*See your doctor about what other treatments you may need, especially if it's particularly bad, as they may advise you to take over the counter meds like Prilosec or Prevacid to help block acid production, or even prescription meds for long term control.
( The purpose of acid in our stomach is to dissolve our food )
*Often weight loss can help and be a natural way to handle heartburn.
*If you're taking heartburn meds more than twice a week see your healthcare provider.
[ Don't let those poops go ninja on you! Get ninja with THEM! 'Fiber-Nate' those fellas! ]
[ Those 3 bears were smart to get in their porridge every morning! It's no wonder Goldilocks raided their grub! She wasn't getting enough fiber in her diet! :() ]
[ One of the most delicious ways to get in those tummy healing probiotics is rich creamy yogurt! We have so many options, diary free, greek style...! ]
Constipation :o If you're having less than 3 bowel movements a week you could be constipated.
*As women move into their 30-40's constipation can become an issue if they are less active, (though this can include anyone who isn't active), and also because of perimenopause.
*Traveling can be a factor due to dehydration, lack of movement and jet lag.
Symptoms: straining to produce a bowel movement, have dry and or hard stools
Management: Adding up to 4 glasses of water a day on top of what you're drinking, (and if you're not drinking any or much water at all, change that!)
*Bump up your FIBER!! Women need up to 25 grams and men at least 30 grams each day. (an example would be a pack of instant or a bowl of cooked oatmeal has around 4 grams)
*Get moving! Exercise every day stimulates the gut! ( even just a walk)
*Stool softeners like Colace can help to get things 'moving' along, but if your'e still experiencing problems after 4 days, see your healthcare provider.
[ Roxy's smart to hydrate while dining out, but remember to keep those hydration levels up throughout the day! ]
Gastroenteritis: constitutes any irritations of the stomach and intestines caused by a virus or bacteria. (an example would be a stomach bug)
Symptoms: Nausea, low grade fever, pain and or vomiting.
Management: Keep those hydration levels up! You can also sip on Gatorade, coconut water-a natural hydrator, ginger ale, even ice chips.
Warning: if you can't keep any liquid down for a period of 24 hours, are keeping a fever, or vomiting for more than a couple of days see your doctor immediately, if could be a bacterial infection.
So now that we have the tummy lowdown, let's find out which foods best serve our digestive health!
Yogurt: rich in probiotics a good bacteria that helps keep the bad bacteria away
Fruits & Veggies: full of that all important fiber to help with constipation and reduces the risks of colon cancer.
Peppermint tea: this tasty tea aids in soothing the GI tract whether you live with IBS or some other IG disorder, or simple post meal indigestion.
[ Portion size & Moderation is key ]
Red meat: Often high in fat, the 'reds' can trigger heartburn. People who consume at least 5 oz of red meat daily have a third greater chance to develop colon cancer, so it's important to manage those portions and amounts. 6oz. of lean red meat per week is what's recommended. If you are eating more red meat than you should, make sure you're getting in loads of fresh fruits and veggies for their cancer fighting antioxidants!
Alcohol: relaxes the esophageal sphincter, that often leads to heartburn. Those libations can also inflame the stomach lining which can make any GI disorder worse, so if you do partake, it's important to limit your amount of alcohol to one drink daily, especially of you have heartburn often.
[ As much as I love these spicy little guys, they're off limits if I want tummy relief! ]
Spicy Foods like Chili peppers. These delicious but hot foods and seasonings aggravate conditions and symptoms of IBS and heartburn. It's best to keep seasonings simple when living with GI issues. As a spicy food lover myself, I've had to let go of most spicy flavors, it was difficult, but the relief for my GI issue was worth it!
[ If gluten is one of your triggers for GI health, choose wisely! ]
Gluten, the protein in grains ( wheat barley & rye ) and breads that give them their elasticity and chewiness, can sometimes be a factor when you have GI issues and Celiac. Many people are sensitive to gluten and suffer from symptoms ranging from:
Symptoms: headaches, rashes, diarrhea, bloating brain fog to name a few. Talk to your doctor if you feel that gluten foods are effecting your GI health.
It takes work to manage these bodies, our temples, especially in the food age we live in! Food can be complicated, but we can bring back simplicity with real whole foods and making choices that support our health issues! When we treat our guts right they will return the favor! It can be a struggle with so many temptations, but the more knowledge we have the more inclined we will be to just do the right 'thang'! Our guts are relying on us! :)
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