Do you feel lethargic? Does your abdomen feel like a balloon stretched to its limit? Do you schedule your life around bathroom breaks and digestive upsets?
You Are Not Alone!
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, you are only one of the 60 to 70 million Americans affected by digestive diseases.
Diet and lifestyle choices often cause these complaints because they aren’t in your body’s best interest.
- Changing your diet or adding movement
- Exercise to your daily routine
Other times, however, these complaints point to an underlying problem.
The underlying issue could be as something as simple as:
- Digesting bacteria from food (food poisoning)
- A bacterial or viral infection
- Side effects from certain medications
But digestive upset could also be a sign or symptom of stress or a chronic medical condition such as:
Regardless of what brings it on, digestive upset can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. And if you face these upsets daily, they can make life seem unmanageable.
- Experience pain on the right side of your stomach?
- Regularly have “Silent but deadly” gas?
- Burp excessively before or after meals?
- Fall asleep after eating?
- Get heartburn regularly?
- Get constipated or have diarrhea, or a combination of both, regular?
- Have bloat with “loud and clear” gas?
- Use excessive amounts of toilet paper?
All of these are signs you are suffering from a digestive upset.
What’s Causing the Problem?
Most digestive symptoms start with the inability to break down macronutrients properly. When this happens, other opportunistic organisms will hop on board to digest your food for you.
If your organs are tired or weakened, they won’t create enough digestive enzymes and secretions to break down your food.
Bloating or diarrhea is your body’s way of signaling to you that something has gone wrong.
If these symptoms are ignored or covered up with medications, they could eventually lead to more serious digestive problems and diseases like Chron’s disease, IBS, ulcers, or parasites.
Factors that contribute to a weakened digestive system include:
- Nutritional deficits
- A poor overall diet
- Poor chewing
- Low Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
- Low enzymes and bile
- Partial digestion
- Bacterial overgrowth
What You Can Do to Decrease Digestive Upset?
Here are a few tips to help you with an upset digestive system.
Chew Your Food
Chewing your food properly (32 times before swallowing) encourages smooth digestion and nutrient absorption.
Not only does chewing food mechanically break the food down in preparation for digestion, but you also release a lot of saliva when you chew properly. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that support the digestive process.
Bulk up on Fiber
Fiber adds bulk to stools and is a source of good bacteria that create a healthy gut environment. The USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume, but we recommend 30g of fiber per day for optimal gut health.
Foods rich in fiber include:
- Red cabbage
- Sweet potato
- Dark, green leafy vegetables like:
- Turnip greens
- Swiss chard
- Nuts and seeds (almonds and flaxseed)
Munch on Magnesium
Magnesium relaxes the intestines’ smooth muscles, which helps speed up the transit of food through the digestive tract. Most people eat far less than the 300mg of magnesium required each day.
Most people’s nutritional tests show a deficiency of 600 – 800mg per day. To make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, eat:
- Dark leafy greens
- Seeds (pumpkin seeds)
- Wild salmon
- Dark chocolate
Consume Vitamin C
Vitamin C is vital for healthy immune and bowel function. Vitamin C is a bowel irritant that increases bowel movement frequency, just like coffee and caffeine.
The minimum requirement for a healthy adult is 65 to 90 mg of vitamin C daily. People with the following may require up to 2000mg daily in divided doses.
- Immune system problems
- High levels of stress
- Poor gut health
Good sources of vitamin C include:
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Pump up Your Pancreatic Enzymes
Pancreatic enzyme deficiency can cause a host of digestive symptoms. These enzymes include:
- Trypsin and chymotrypsin (digests proteins)
- Amylase (digests carbohydrates)
- Lipase (breaks down fats)
Delayed digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates leave carbs available for bacteria to ferment. A deficiency can also slow the breakdown of foods in the small intestine leading to malabsorption of:
- Nutrient deficiency
- Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO)
Treating the Symptoms Isn’t Enough
Treating digestive upset symptoms can bring relief, but if you are suffering daily, you need to get checked out by Living Well Dallas. Taking the steps necessary to stop and reverse the disease process is essential to your health.
We Can Help You With More Than a Quick Fix
Our mission is to engage in a partnership with you and always put your well-being first. We will work hard to find the root cause of your problem rather than prescribing a quick fix. The path to feeling better starts with a conversation between the patient and Living Well Dallas.
During this conversation, we will go over your:
- Complete medical history
- Your family history
- Your complaints and goals
After we know more about your specific situation, we can create a personalized treatment plan. We house a wide set of skills under the same roof, and we collaborate to find the best treatment plan for each patient.
We know that implementing a wellness plan can be difficult without the proper support, so we are here for you every step of the way. Contact us today to get on the road back to better health!