In order to be really healthy, you need to make sure you have good digestion (and good elimination). Unfortunately there is a long list of common digestive issues that many people can’t resolve and just resign themselves to live with the issues. No digestive issue will be healed overnight, and there’s no magic pill to make it go away. Although they may help with the symptoms, it’s key to get the issues under control.
It is common for people to experience digestive problems when they increase the fat or begin to follow a low carb diet, especially when they first change a diet routine. This happens because the body is not used to eating this way. It is why it important to make these transitions slowly and always listen carefully to your body’s feedback.
One of the most important things you can do is make sure you are getting in a good amount of fiber. Fiber is your friend! There are two major types of dietary fiber:
– Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
– Insoluble fiber which passes though our digestive system almost intact because our bodies are not able to break it down. It promotes movement of the stools and can benefit those with any irregularity/constipation. Whole grains, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.
Constipation – Healthy elimination can only come from healthy digestion and if you have a healthy digestion, chances are, you are healthy. It’s key to make sure you are getting enough fiber into your diet.
As always, drink enough water as increasing fluid intake is all some need to get the bowels moving and keep them regular. There are some herbal teas that can help such as Smooth Move, Licorice, Yogi Get Regular, and Good Earth Laxative Tea. You should not rely solely on teas as teas such as Senna tea can be harmful to the large intestine. Peter Gillham’s Natural Calm which has magnesium is also recommended.
It’s not healthy to rely on fiber pills such as Metamucil as most of these type of have unhealthy ingredients added. A wiser choice would be to take all natural supplements. Psyllium Husk and Cascara Sagrada are an herbal supplement that acts as a natural laxative. Psylliumis often recommended by physicians to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids. Psyllium Husk comes in powder and capsules but some find it hard to take the powder because it thickens quickly and turns into a light gel when consuming. You can help this by mixing with a little more water and adding some lemon juice. Psyllium also has the additional advantages over other sources of fiber of reducing flatulence and bloating. Those are things none of us wants! Also, those who take Magnesium and Epsom salt swear by their results.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Several studies have found that soluble fiber helps regulate stool frequency and consistency in people with IBS.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) In a study of people with ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disorder), psyllium seeds were as effective as the prescription drug mesalamine in decreasing recurrences of the disease. In addition, psyllium has been prescribed as a bulking agent for mild to moderate cases of diarrhea from either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis
Many people have small pouches in the lining of the colon, or large intestine, that bulge outward through weak spots. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Multiple pouches are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. Most people with diverticulosis do not have any discomfort or symptoms, however, some experience crampy pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, bloating, and constipation.
Diverticula are most common in the lower portion of the large intestine, called the sigmoid colon. When the pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis. The most common symptom of diverticulitis is tenderness in the lower left side of the abdomen, usually accompanied by abdominal pain. Usually, the pain is severe and comes on suddenly, but it can also be mild and become worse over several days. The intensity of the pain can fluctuate. A person may experience cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, or a change in bowel habits.
Read more here.
Acid reflux is a somewhat complex problem due to in-proper food combinations, eating large meals, delayed stomach emptying or eating a heavy meal and then laying down. It’s commonly found with obesity and pregnancy because of increased pressures within the abdomen, pushing the stomach contents back into the esophagus.Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid content travels (gastric juices) backwards into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage. Acid Reflux is not the same as heartburn although you can have heartburn if you have acid reflux. Read more here