Editorial

What’s your Gut feeling?

Do you feel bloated, experience bad indigestion or have a lot of wind? You could be suffering from digestive problems, which you can easily solve through healthy routines and eating

  • PublishedAugust 30, 2011

Do you feel bloated, experience bad indigestion or have a lot of wind? You could be suffering from digestive problems, which you can easily solve through healthy routines and eating habits.

When your digestion is good, your blood is able to transport nutrients more efficiently around your body, which keeps your gut healthy and boosts your general health. You can easily combat common digestive problems by understanding the problems and taking some precautions. The following guide will help you:

Bloating: When you feel bloated, it may be an indicator of food intolerance or a fungal infection such as Candida. Some people experience bloating when on antibiotics. Wheat and dairy products are the most common causes of food intolerance. If you constantly suffer from bloating, eliminate these foods from your diet for a few weeks to see if there will be an improvement. If your immunity is also weak and energy levels low, it could mean you have Candida infection. You should cut out sugar and take a good probiotic supplement to combat the infection. You will find the supplements in pharmacies and health food stores.

Excessive wind: This could be caused by an imbalance of bacteria in your gut or eating gas-producing foods such as beans and lentils. You should drink a strong infusion of fresh ginger or mixed spices, as these help in digestion and calm and stabilise gut activity, therefore reducing wind. You can encourage good bacteria in your gut by reducing sugar and alcohol intake and also taking a probiotic supplement.

Indigestion: Abdominal discomfort is caused by excess food sitting in your gut. This may result from eating too much or too fast, or may be an indication that you have a gastric or intestinal ulcer. It could also be an indicator of parasitic infection, especially when accompanied by stomach cramps and aches. You should be in the habit of eating slowly and chewing food properly to allow digestive enzymes to begin working. To ease indigestion, take herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves or peppermint, or make marshmallow root tea if you have acid ref lux. If you suspect ulcers or parasitic infection, you should see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. You can help heal gastric ulcers with liquorice tea and avoiding acid-producing foods. To avoid parasitic infections, ensure all foods eaten raw are washed and sterilised and that you wash your hands before eating.

Constipation: You are probably getting constipated because you have been eating a highly processed, low-fibre diet. Excessive dieting and use of laxatives could also lead to under-activity in your gut lining. You should eat whole foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables. You should also train your gut by trying to go to the toilet at regular times even if you don’t feel like it. However, you should not strain by pushing too hard. Be in the habit of massaging your abdomen, moving your fingers in small circular motions. Begin at the top of the right hip, moving up above your belly button then across and down the left hand side.

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