Common digestion problems and the gut-biome connection
posted: Nov. 03, 2021.
A healthy gut benefits you in multiple ways. The most obvious is that your body is processing your food effectively, and you aren’t experiencing any digestion distress. Many of us experience an upset stomach or diarrhea from time to time. But if you have consistent pain or bloating, you may be suffering from one of these common gut problems.
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), aka acid reflux
What it is: The stomach acid backing up high into your esophagus
- Burning pain in the middle of chest “heartburn”
- A feeling of gag-reflex vomiting
Related symptoms from chronic suffering:
- Bad breath
- Tooth erosion
- Trouble swallowing
- Trouble breathing
- Adjusting diet
- Lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking
- Over the counter antacids
- Not eating close to bedtime
- Wearing looser clothes
Crohn’s & Colitis
What is it: Two types of inflammatory bowel disease affecting the GI tract, generally the small bowel near the colon, or specifically the large intestine in the case of Colitis
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent bowel movements
- Weight loss
- Adjusting diet
- Topical pain relievers
- Immunosuppressant medications
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
What is it: Unknown origin causing a wide variety of stomach and digestion related complaints
- Stomach pain at least three times a month
- Inconsistent stools
- Adjusting diet
- Adding more fiber
- Avoiding common trigger foods
What is it: Inflammation of the blood vessels at the end of your digestive tract activated by constipation, strained bowel movements, or diarrhea
- Painful and itchy around the anus
- Bloody stools
- Increased dietary fiber
- Increased water consumption
- Over the counter creams to reduce pain and itching
Natural solutions for gut dis-ease
You might notice common treatments for these varied gut and digestion disorders are all improved by a change in diet. The diet change also comes hand-in-hand with lifestyle changes like exercise, hydration, and even sleep patterns.
All these treatments influence the gut “microbiome” – the environment of complex organisms that inhabit your digestive tract. It includes bacteria, microorganisms, fungi, and viruses.
The gut microbiome affects more than just your digestion. More and more studies show that the health of your gut bacteria has broad ramifications on your overall health, including your heart, brain, and mood.
Taking care of your gut can give you a firmer foundation on a healthily functioning body overall.
The good news is, with some discipline and commitment, taking care of your gut doesn’t have to be complicated.
1. Clean up your diet.
Avoid the “common trigger foods” associated with your complaint. If you are experiencing GERD symptoms, avoid dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and foods that produce gas. Those with more severe complaints like Crones are advised to avoid dairy products, carbonated beverages, alcohol, coffee, raw fruit and vegetables, red meat, and fatty, fried, spicy, or gas-producing foods to help prevent flare-ups.
Alcohol, caffeine, fried foods, and carbonated beverages can aggravate anyone’s microbiome, so if you are experiencing frequent stomach aches, start with reducing or eliminating these.
2. More fiber and water.
You’ve probably heard it a million times before. You need to eat more fiber and drink more water. Our modern diets, especially the less healthy ones, do not have near enough fiber. Fiber and water help to keep things moving through your system. Include fiber-rich foods regularly or consider a fiber supplement. An average adult should aim for 64 ounces of water per day. See our blog on proper hydration.
3. Add back healthy bacteria.
Probiotic-rich foods and probiotic supplements can help support and re-build a healthy gut biome. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and kombucha contain active probiotics. Supplemental probiotics can target specific health complaints. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider about the right strain to support your ultimate gut health.
4. See your chiropractor.
Your digestive system is intimately connected with your brain and central nervous system. They are in constant communication, sending messages back and forth. Some issues related to gut health like heartburn, abdominal cramping, and bloating can be eased by improving your muscular-skeletal alignment. Stress is also a factor affecting digestion issues. By reducing your stress with a combination of exercise, diet, and chiropractic care, you give your gut the best opportunity to stay balanced and happy.Want to learn more about naturally ending your digestion issues for good?
Join Dr. Bell for our Free November Workshop:
Eliminate Digestion IssuesTime: Nov 22, 2021 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us06web.zoom.us/j/89319465337?pwd=clhUaDQrbXJBSDlOUHpmRjB1WEY3Zz09Or use:Meeting ID: 893 1946 5337Passcode: TPC