Digestive problems are often suffered in silence because many people are embarrassed to admit to what it is that they are dealing with, whether it’s stomach pains, diarrhea, or constipation. But digestive problems are becoming an ever-increasing burden on the population, with a growing number of clinic and hospital visits as a result. However, the good news is that there are simple remedies to a lot of common digestive issues that you might be suffering from. Lifestyle and diet changes and supplements can be very effective ways to improve your overall digestive health and feel better. Here are some common digestive problems that we face and what to do if you’re dealing with them right now.
Constipation is a digestive problem that nobody seems to want to talk about for obvious reasons, but with Americans spending millions of dollars every year on laxatives, it’s clear to see that it’s more common than you might think. However, laxatives can quickly make the gut dependent on them, meaning that you’ll require more and more in order to be able to go, and eventually, they will become completely ineffective. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no cause for concern if you do not have a daily bowel movement. Anywhere between three times a week and three times a day is normal, so there’s plenty of room. However, if you are experiencing difficulties and discomfort and can’t go even if you want to, an over-the-counter remedy like milk of magnesia can work, along with getting more fiber in your diet.
Another digestive problem that doesn’t really make it into the conversation is chronic diarrhea, which is defined as regular loose stools that last for at least a month. The most common cause of this symptom is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but it can also be caused by certain medications like antibiotics, painkillers and diabetes medication. Some infections of the intestines can also lead to diarrhea that lasts for more than a month. In adults, it can also be caused by food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance. If you are suffering from chronic diarrhea, it might be worth having a blood test performed by your doctor to diagnose your condition.
There are many causes by of stomach pains, from food intolerances to an imbalance of bacteria in your gut. You might find it useful to take a daily probiotic if you are experiencing regular stomach issues, and try to isolate the issue to see if it occurs after eating certain foods, to rule out any food intolerances. Lactose intolerance, for example, can often lead to stomach pains and cramping after consuming milk, cheese, or other dairy products.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Some digestive problems are more serious, like inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Patients with Crohn’s disease develop ulcers in their digestive system with the large intestine and second half of the small intestine most commonly affected. Ulcerative colitis leads to ulcers developing in the large intestine. Symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases include diarrhea, stomach pains, weight loss, fever, fatigue, and bloody stools. Some patients might also suffer from inflammation in parts of their bodies outside of the digestive system. There is no cure for IBD, but it can be controlled with medications, and certain probiotics can also help. If you are suffering from IBD and want to try a probiotic, choose one that uses only histamine blocking strains and is designed to support a natural inflammatory response.
The digestive system affects every other aspect of your body, and suffering from these common digestive problems can lead to other issues with your health and wellbeing. Thankfully, in most cases, digestive problems can easily be treated or controlled.