Our Natural Guide to Getting Rid of Digestive Problems!
Digestive problems are a common issue for many people! If you have had a gastrointestinal issue, then you know how uncomfortable it can get. Not identifying the actual cause of the problem and just taking various medications has contributed to making the problem worse for some people. Unfortunately, these gastrointestinal issues can be chronic, especially if you don't know how to manage them.
Research will help you understand the problem and give you various options for making it better. Gastrointestinal disorders, such as peptic ulcers, bloating, and gas, affect people worldwide. The surprising thing is that there are so many causes that have the exact same symptoms. Read on to learn more about tummy troubles, and what you can do to manage them.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Before going any further, it is vital to understand the digestive system and learn how it operates. Digestion doesn't start in the stomach. The digestive process is a long one, and it involves several organs. The digestive process begins when you put food in your mouth. Once you place food in your mouth, the saliva starts to break down the food as you chew. The chewed food then passes through the esophagus, a tube that connects your throat to the stomach. The esophagus contains muscles that push the food down into the stomach. When the food reaches the stomach, the stomach produces some acids that further break down the food.
The food then moves into the small intestines and gets absorbed into the bloodstream. The pancreas and the gall bladder produce digestive juices to aid in the digestion process. Once all the nutrients have been absorbed by the body, the waste goes to the large intestine. Here the water is absorbed and the remaining waste moves out of the body through the anus and rectum. Since the digestion process is long, gastrointestinal problems can happen at any stage. Knowing this can help you identify the source of the problem. It is not a good idea to dismiss your digestive discomfort as it could become a more severe or chronic condition.
Common causes of digestive problems and treatment
1. Acid Reflux or Heartburn
Heartburn can cause intense pain and nausea. There is a valve at the stomach's entrance, which consists of rings of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter. This valve usually opens to allow food to get into the stomach and closes as soon as the food passes. However, if the valve doesn't close, or it opens too often it causes the acid that is produced by the stomach to move up into the esophagus. This is what causes burning chest discomfort called heartburn or acid reflux.
What Triggers Acid Reflux?
There are many factors that can contribute to acid reflux, some that you can avoid and others that you can’t. An example of a trigger that isn't preventable is a hernia. This is a hole, usually in the diaphragm, that sometimes allows the acid to move up into the esophagus. The diaphragm is supposed to help keep the acid in the stomach, this doesn’t happen if you have a hiatal hernia. Avoidable triggers include overeating or lying on your back after you eat. So, don’t take a nap after dinner or eat just before bed. Eating certain foods, such as spices, tomatoes, and garlic, can also trigger heartburn. Some other triggers include smoking, drinking alcoholic and carbonated drinks, and using too much salt.
Natural treatment of acid reflux
There are natural ways to help you eliminate acid reflux backed by scientific research. A really simple solution is to chew gum. Most people experiencing acid reflux are advised to chew sugar-free gum for about 30 minutes after every meal. This is because chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands to release more saliva, which washes away any acid that may find its way to the esophagus.
You can also avoid lying down after eating. That’s right, another natural way to avoid acid reflux is through staying upright. When you lie flat after a meal, the contents in your stomach may be pushed back up into the esophagus. This is because excess pressure is put on the esophageal sphincter. Staying upright ensures that the food is kept down. Eat a few hours before going to bed, if you have been experiencing acid reflux.
Most people have experienced loose, watery stools. It shouldn't be a massive concern if it happens once. However, if it persists you need to take action; and make sure you drink more water to avoid dehydration. If you are experiencing diarrhea after you eat, it could be the result of:
- Food Poisoning. Your body can sense when you have eaten something you shouldn't have. Usually, when it detects bad food, it will react by expelling the food immediately. You may experience diarrhea if you have eaten bad food.
- There are a number of parasites that can be found in food. Once you consume this food, the parasites can cause diarrhea until the parasite is eliminated from your body completely.
Natural Ways to Treat Diarrhea
Some natural ways you can follow to treat diarrhea are:
- Recovery Diet. When you are treating diarrhea, you must eat the right foods. There are certain foods that someone with diarrhea is supposed to take to improve their recovery speed. This includes foods rich in potassium such as potatoes. Also, take foods rich in electrolytes such as sports drinks and consume adequate protein. Foods with fiber help to produce more solid bowel movements as good as well.
- It is also good to take probiotics when treating diarrhea. This is because they are a source of good bacteria which help to create a healthy gut environment. Some of the foods that contain probiotics include green olives, dark chocolate, yogurt, and sourdough bread. You can also purchase probiotic capsules.
When you have constipation, your bowel movements are difficult to pass and/or infrequent (you may have less than three stools in a week). The time between bowel movements varies among people, but if you are only going a couple of times a week you might be experiencing constipation.
Possible causes of constipation
A number of things can cause constipation such as a change of eating routine, abuse of laxatives, pregnancy, and prescription medications. Also, eating a lot of dairy products may lead to constipation, especially if you are using laxatives. A lack of water or fiber in your diet will also lead to constipation.
Natural treatment for constipation
Two things you can do to treat or prevent constipation are:
- Eat Enough Fiber. Avoid constipation by adding fiber to your diet. Soluble fiber helps keep your stool soft, whereas the insoluble fiber adds some bulk to your stool, allowing it to move better through your digestive system. Some of the foods rich in fiber include bananas, avocado, and whole grains.
- Exercise Frequently. One way to avoid constipation is through exercising. Going for a run, or doing a few lunges helps stimulate the muscles in your colon and intestines. A few minutes of aerobics or strength training helps your bowel to move things through. Then you won't have to deal with constipation anymore.
Indigestion is the full, uncomfortable feeling you get in your stomach after you have eaten a meal. It might be accompanied by some pain in the top part of your stomach. Sometimes, it is caused by an already existing condition such as ulcers or gallbladder disease. It is also common in people with diabetes because of gastroparesis, a condition where your stomach doesn't empty properly. Some symptoms of indigestion include belching, gas, growling stomach, and bloating.
Natural treatment for indigestion
- Using ginger is an excellent way to treat indigestion because it reduces stomach acid, which causes heartburn. Prepare a cup of ginger tea and drink it to soothe your stomach and reduce indigestion. You can also simply boil one or two ginger roots and drink the ginger water. Add honey or lemon for flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. You can also make an acidic solution of apple cider. Put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup and then add some water. Drinking this will help you ease indigestion. It works well after you have overeaten.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a disorder that affects the large intestines and is accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. It can be a long-lasting problem that can change your lifestyle. Its cause is unknown, but some doctors think it happens when the bowels don't squeeze normally. Other triggers include imbalanced reproductive hormones and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth.
Natural treatment for IBS
- Work Out. Once again exercise can help you feel better. Exercising is a great way to minimize the symptoms of IBS since it helps to relieve bowel discomfort through stimulating intestinal contractions. If you rarely exercise, try adding some simple activities such as hiking or walking.
- You can also incorporate relaxation techniques into your routine if you are living with IBS. Some of the relaxation techniques you can incorporate include abdominal breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
Vertigo refers to a condition that makes a person feel as if the environment around them is spinning. The attacks can be sudden and may last for a few seconds or even minutes. Symptoms associated with vertigo include dizziness, feeling sick, and loss of balance. It can be caused by an ear infection called labyrinthitis, severe migraines, or inflammation of the vestibular nerve connected to the inner ear which is responsible for sending messages to your brain, that help to control balance.
Natural treatment for vertigo
If you are suffering from vertigo, practicing yoga and tai chi will reduce stress and increase your balance and flexibility. You can practice yoga at home. In fact, there are simple exercises that you can start with, such as the corpse pose, especially when you feel dizzy. Try to avoid movements that involve bending forward, as this could accelerate your symptoms.
Several parasites cause gastrointestinal infections in humans. Intestinal parasites have caused significant health issues and can even lead to death especially if the parasites are not eliminated from the body. The common types of intestinal worms include roundworms and flatworms. Some of the symptoms associated with parasitic infections include fatigue, abdominal pains, and nausea. If you have parasitic worms, you may also experience dysentery, which causes diarrhea with blood and mucus.
You may also experience itching around your vulva or rectum. Parasitic worms get into your body when you eat undercooked meat from an animal that had been infected, like fish, pig, or cow. Consumption of contaminated water and soil is another way of getting an intestinal worm infection. Avoid contact with open feces and practice proper hygiene.
Natural Treatment for parasites
- Pumpkin Seeds. The use of pumpkin seeds is said to relieve one from intestinal worm infection. This is because pumpkin seeds are rich in fatty acids, amino acids, and other compounds such as palatine and berberine. Pumpkin seed extracts have anti-parasitic activity.
- Diet. Apart from pumpkin seeds, you can also use some dietary strategies to treat intestinal parasites by optimizing stomach acid. Stomach acid is said to be protective against foodborne parasites. Also, start using more garlic in your food. Take more probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt to rebuild the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Avoid eating raw meat and fish, and incorporate more foods rich in vitamins C and B.
The bottom line
As you can tell from reading this guide, there are many common gastrointestinal disorders. If you have been having stomach issues, it is vital that you try to figure out what is causing the problem. Consider trying some natural effective treatment options for improved digestion. You will have to worry about side effects or expensive prescription medication. Besides, most of our natural treatment options and ideas, such as exercising, have additional long-term positive effects on your overall health.