5 Natural Ways to Treat Digestive Health Issues
Digestive issues are among the most common chronic conditions in America. If you suffer from something like nausea, bloating, gas belching, or gas, you aren’t alone. But rather than depend on medication to mask the symptoms, you might consider a more natural route.
Five Natural Treatment Options and Remedies to Consider
According to one survey, as much as 74 percent of Americans live with digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. These symptoms lead to an estimated 22.4 million annual physician visits (plus another 8.3 million emergency-room visits each year).
Regardless of whether or not your symptoms are serious enough to justify an emergency exam by a doctor, digestive issues are something you ought to address proactively. Not only will this make you feel better, but it could also protect you against more serious health issues and nutritional deficiencies.
The problem is that too many doctors rely on prescription medication and over-the-counter solutions that often do little more than cover up the underlying symptoms. If you want true and lasting relief, you should address your condition at its source.
Each person’s circumstances are unique, but here are five of the best natural treatment options to consider.
1. Eat Real Food
It’s not a coincidence that Americans have higher rates of digestive health issues and discomfort than people in many other cultures. The typical Western diet tends to feature large amounts of refined carbs, saturated fats, processed foods, and food additives … which are linked to an increased risk for developing digestive problems.
Sure, you’re aware that cheesy pizza and greasy burgers aren’t good for your stomach, but did you know that just 50 grams of the artificial sweetener xylitol has been shown to cause bloating and diarrhea in 70 percent of diners? Or that 75 grams of the sweetener erythritol causes these same symptoms in 60 percent of the people who consume it?
The solution is to eat real food: which means food that’s free of additives and artificial ingredients. This will simplify your body’s natural digestive processes and eliminate many of your unpleasant symptoms.
2. Consume Lots of Fiber
Fiber is what keeps you regular. It keeps materials moving through the digestive tract.
There are two basic types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. It’s imperative that you consume adequate amounts of each in order to help your digestive system operate efficiently and effectively.
Good sources of fiber include fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, avocados, and whole grains.
3. Stay Hydrated
Constipation is a chronic problem for millions of Americans. One of the root causes is low fluid intake.
To ensure you aren’t compromising your digestive health, you should try to ingest 50 to 66 ounces of non-caffeinated fluids per day. (If you live in a warm climate and/or exercise to the point of sweating, you’ll require more.)
In addition to drinking filtered water, you can increase your intake by eating fruits and veggies that have a high water content. This includes such options as melons, strawberries, peaches, grapefruit, zucchini, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
4. Try a Leaky Gut Support Supplement
Leaky gut is an adverse digestive condition that allows certain toxins and bacteria to “leak” through the permeable intestinal wall. This can lead to chronic inflammation and negative reactions from the body’s immune system.
The only way to address leaky gut syndrome properly is to heal the body’s protective membranes along the GI tract. If you suspect you have this condition, try a leaky gut repair supplement.
An appropriate supplement will contain natural ingredients that may include glutamine, arabinogalactan, licorice root, and aloe leaf extract.
5. Deal With Stress
Digestive issues aren’t always the result of diet. Sometimes they can be directly linked to stress.
Chronic stress is known to be associated with issues like IBS, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. The dynamic has something to do with the way stress hormones divert blood and energy away from the digestive system to prepare for “fight or flight.”
If you deal with stress directly, as well as improve your diet at the same time, you’ll significantly increase your chances of overcoming whatever digestive issues you’ve been suffering.
Don’t Avoid the Doctor
Natural treatment methods aren’t a substitute for a visit to the doctor. If you’re experiencing serious and/or chronic digestive issues — including symptoms like nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain — it’s a smart move to go to a physician and see whether she or he can recommend a treatment plan.
Digestive health issues can be difficult to diagnose accurately on the spot, but having a professional opinion can guide your decision-making and ensure you don’t miss something serious in your self-care.