Digestive Problems: 17 Tips for Daily Life

Digestive health can be easily changed with simple lifestyle adjustments.

If you have constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn or other digestive problems, you know the problems that so many face on a daily basis with all the challenges and potential embarrassments. But rest assured, you’re not alone.

Such problems can be the result of stress, infection, food sensitivities, leaky gut, bacteria in food, certain medications, or chronic medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis and Crohn’s disease. But no matter the cause, it is no fun and definitely takes a toll on your life. Anyone who has frequent digestive problems knows the daily challenges and potential embarrassments.

Do you turn down invitations and avoid activities in public because you fear having an accident? Do you schedule your activities and life around your bathroom breaks?  If you are dealing with any of this, know that there are simple ways to start changing how you are feeling.

17 Simple Changes

  1. Reduce your stress levels. Consider meditation, yoga, journaling, a nature walk, listening to music, whatever helps you calm your mind and body. Stress is at the root cause of almost all non-disease digestive distress complaints.
  2. Practice deep breathing. This moves you from a fight-or-flight response to a rest-and-digest response which supports comfort and healing.
  3. Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.  Listen to your body.
  4. Drink freshly squeezed lemons in spring or filtered water.
  5. Eat more fruit and vegetables, less red meat.
  6. Eat more whole foods, less processed foods.
  7. Limit sugar intake.
  8. Consume more fiber through both foods and possibly supplements.
  9. Take a probiotic to balance your good and bad bacteria in your gut.
  10. Skip the NSAID’s/non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.  Regular use of these drugs can cause peptic ulcers in the digestive tract.
  11. Be careful of use and overuse of other drugs that create digestive problems.  Too many antibiotics can strip your gut of good bacteria and you can end up with c-difficile.
  12. Don’t overeat.
  13. Use herbs for digestion. Watch for our upcoming article next week on this topic.
  14. Drink your liquids before and after meals, not during.
  15. Take your time and really chew-chew-chew.  Your body can use energy for other things if you chew your food instead of relying on acid and enzymes.
  16. Eat slower so you do not swallow a lot of air while you eat.
  17. Do all of the above and skip the laxatives, as your body becomes reliant on them and they are habit forming.

Remember that smoking and drinking can cause ulcers and heartburn so reduce or refrain these activities, particularly during symptomatic episodes.

If you find only partial success with these tips, work with a functional medicine practitioner to dig deeper into the causes of your digestive distress. There are natural solutions to end your challenges and while these symptoms are common, they are not normal, and you do not and should not have to live with them. Call us @ 323-577-5326 if you would like more support in this area. We’d be happy to work with you to resolve your digestive challenges. But whoever you call, please don’t suffer in silence, by yourself. You can recover from these challenges and reclaim your life.

Finally, remember that a trip to your physician might be in order to rule out a medical condition that might warrant conventional medical treatment. They’ve heard it all before, so don’t hesitate to share your challenges with them.