Simple and Easy Ways to Manage Digestive Problems, and Gastrointestinal Diseases

Even if biology classes were your bane in school; you probably remember that the digestive process is very complicated, and that there are numerous organs which comprise the digestive system. Sound digestion is vital for your overall health, and general well-being. Digestive problems aren’t merely distressing. They can cause grave side-effects harming your energy levels, apart from nausea caused by hyperacidity. These gastrointestinal and digestive problems include dyspepsia, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diarrhea, dysentery, stomach flu, cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and constipation.

What Is the Gastrointestinal Tract, and What Is Its Function?

The gastrointestinal tract consists of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. Its accessory organs of digestion are the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. However, the entire digestive process begins in the mouth itself when the saliva mixes with the food, and when you chew your food properly. The finer you can chew your food, the better your chances of digesting the nutrients in it, though the food is further mashed in the stomach. It is digested by the gastric juices released by your liver, pancreas, and gallbladder which break down the nutrients from your food to pass into the blood stream from the small intestine. The undigested portion, and waste matter pass into the large intestine for the watery portion of the food to be absorbed by your body. The rest passes out through the colon and anus as excreta.

Manage Common Digestive Problems Without Hassles

You need to be proactive to keep your digestive system in the pink of health, and follow certain precautions to avoid gastrointestinal diseases. Without proper digestion, your body won’t be able to ingest nutrition, convert the sugar into energy, manage weight, concentrate on studies or work, have fun, or even sleep well. The more complicated digestive and gastrointestinal issues won’t be discussed in this blog, as the focus is on the commonly occurring digestive problems, especially in the rainy season when it is all too easy to suffer an upset stomach. So, here are simple ways to prevent, or cure recurring digestive ailments.
 

Can Give You Ulcers, If Not Managed Properly

Some of the commonest digestive problems are hyperacidity, gas, bloating of the stomach, constipation, and diarrhea. Hyperacidity is when your stomach releases too much acid — either because you are overstressed, as a reaction to some medication you have taken, or because of some food you have eaten. Some people suffer hyperacidity when they eat fried food, add pickles to the menu, or have very spicy food. It seems just a simple distress for which you can reach for an antacid to get over it. However, when it isn’t properly managed you could suffer from heartburn, gastritis, peptic and/or duodenal ulcer. It is vital to get adequate sleep, and de-stress to reduce hyperacidity naturally. Eat slowly, and chew every bit of your food carefully, instead of bolting it. Keep drinking water are short intervals to literally wash away the extra acid generated by your body; but refrain from drinking any water with lunch or dinner, or till at least an hour after eating.
 

 

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Add ginger and cumin to your food preparations. Chew aniseed after meals. Depending on the time of the day or night, you could drink half a glass of cool/cold, unsweetened, skimmed milk, which is an excellent natural antacid. Bananas, melons, papayas, guavas, and most non-citrus fruits; boiled potatoes, rice, puffed rice (murmura), bread made from unprocessed flour (without smothering it with butter); oatmeal, and most green vegetables fight hyperacidity. Make them a part of your daily diet, if you are prone to acid reflux. Avoid overcooking any food as it reduces the efficacy of your digestive system. Reduce, or eliminate fried food from your regular meals. Lightly drizzle your cooked food with a healthy oil which has the necessary Omega-3, instead having a layer of oil or ghee floating on top of the curry or dal.
 

Bloated Stomach and Abdominal Gas Can Be Very Painful

Apart from the embarrassment that a sudden release of gas, especially in public, can cause, you need to worry about the pain caused by a bloated stomach. This distress is closely associated with hyperacidity. Apart from the air you ingest when you eat food, certain foods like cabbages, cauliflower, beans of all kinds, radish, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, and even garlic can cause gas to form in your stomach. That is one major reason why most Indian recipes include cumin, and ginger for these vegetables. If you find an uncomfortable degree of gas forming after eating any of these; reduce your intake. Avoid fizzy drinks, and highly spiced food like poison. Constipation too can cause gas. Walk more often, and exercise regularly to help the gas move out of the body inoffensively.
 

Try this:

Make a simple pickle by covering peeled shallots with salt (rock and black preferably) and soak in vinegar for a few days. If it is apple cider vinegar, so much the better. Add a shallot from this pickle to every cereal meal, unless you are having milk and oats or cornflakes, to get significant relief from your gastric distress. Alternatively, have a bowl of raita of curds with chopped onions and cucumbers, especially if you are eating meat.
 

Indigestion, Constipation, and Diarrhea

Bananas are the wonder fruit for all three. Boiled green bananas help overcome dysentery. Over ripe bananas fight indigestion, and prevent diarrhea. Having two just ripe bananas daily can help with constipation. Women often get constipated during pregnancy as hormonal changes can slow down the digestive process. You should also have food which has plenty of fiber to help move the bowels. It will help reduce abdominal pain. Try sweetening food with jaggery, instead of sugar. Jaggery helps fight hyperacidity, and prevents indigestion. Good bacteria in probiotics found in curds and some other fermented food go a long way to increasing gut health. Mindful eating by paying close attention to the food you are eating — its taste, flavor, and texture — and without the distractions of the TV or phone aid digestion.
 

Takeaway:

Prevention of most digestive ailments and gastrointestinal diseases require simple steps like sensible eating habits, proper food hygiene, regular exercise, de-stressing, sleeping adequately, cutting back on fast foods, alcohol, and tobacco.
 

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors

 

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