Digestive problems can often be a source of embarrassment. Most people are hesitant to admit they have a problem, let alone seek treatment. However, digestive problems are quite common and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 51 million ER visits per year are due to digestive disease complaints.
Common digestive complaints include:
- Excessive Flatulence
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Stomach Cramps
If you are suffering from any of the above complaints, here are a few tips that might help resolve your condition:
- Decrease the quantity of food you consume at each meal, but increase the number of meals you have every day. For example, if you are accustomed to eating 3 large meals a day, cut your portion sizes in half and have 6 smaller meals spaced out throughout the day.
- Increase your fiber intake. Fiber constitutes the bulk of plant food that cannot be digested. It makes you feel full and helps with movement of bowels. Fiber is naturally available in most fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush the body of all toxins as well as helps in the breakdown and absorption of essential nutrients from food. Try to aim for about 8 glasses per day making allowances for weather conditions, activity level, and your size.
- Exercise more often. Regular exercise can help relieve constipation and improve digestion. The muscles of your digestive tract are strengthened when you are in shape helping your body absorb nutrients more efficiently.
- Avoid lying down immediately after a meal. This prevents regurgitation of partially-digested food and gastric juices into the esophagus.
If your digestive problems do not improve after following these tips, it may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention, and it would be in your best interests to see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.