One of the most common initial problems and complaints treated here at Madison Memorial Hospital is abdominal pain. This can come from a number of problems associated with the body’s digestive system and often times can be solved through drinking water and going on a walk.
What is digestion?
Everyone who eats food somehow needs to digest it. When there are problems with digestion, various side effects can come about. The process of digestion refers to how the food you eat becomes nutrients for your body. Digestion then uses these nutrients to help your body with energy, growth, and cell repair, according to WebMD.
What are common digestive tract problems?
There are several problems that can occur to the digestive tracts. Some of these problems include constipation, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S.), and inflammatory bowel disease (I.B.D). Inflammatory bowel disease is when part or all of the digestive tract is inflamed.
How do I improve my digestion?
The following things you can do to better improve your digestion:
Watch What You Eat
The first thing is to include high-fiber foods in your diet. These foods consist of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, and raw sprouted walnuts. Choosing lean meats such as lean cuts, pork loin, and skinless poultry can aid in better digestion. Low-fat yogurt and kefir are probiotics that will help normalize bowel movements. Instead of eating butter or margarine, you can substitute olive oil. When it comes to eating real food, check the freshness, whether or not it is organic, as well as the quality of food. It is beneficial to put quality food in your quality digestive system.
The quality of our food and the quality of our digestive health has a strong correlation.
Eat on a Schedule
Try to eat on a consistent schedule. Sit down for your meals. Eat snacks around the same time during the day. As you eat, take your time and fully chew your food. Put technology away and focus on your meal. Savor your food and give yourself time to digest as you form healthy habits. While you are developing positive eating habits, watch your mood. Whether you have a positive or negative mood will affect how much you eat. When you eat only when you are in a positive mood, you are more aware of what you are eating. Eat-in a nondistracted, relaxed environment.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drink water often to ensure your body is properly hydrated. Being hydrated helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber and allows food to pass through your body easily. Water along with beverages which contain electrolytes are important in the body. Also limit smoking, caffeine, and alcohol. These substances can interfere with the function of your digestive system as they can cause stomach ulcers and heartburn troubles.
Exercise regularly! As you exercise, it will help move food through your digestive system. Exercises, such as walking, using the elliptical, and biking, will aid in the reduction of constipation and support healthy weight management. As you plan exercise into your schedule, you are more likely to get out and make it happen. Exercising can help with weight loss and reduce heartburn.
Lessen Your Stress
When you mishandle stress, it will send your digestive system into overdrive. To reduce stress, breathing techniques within meditation, yoga, walking around, or even taking naps can be beneficial. Stress is dangerous when not handled correctly.
What are symptoms of poorly functioning digestive systems?
Poorly functioning digestive systems show numerous amounts of symptoms. Check to see if you have any of the following:
- abdominal pain
- lower back pain
- excess gas
- loose bowel movements
- skin rashes
- low energy
Here at Madison Memorial Hospital, we care about your digestive health. We don’t want you to be in pain with a poorly functioning digestive system. We encourage you to do your part to reduce the risk of having any problems.
Further dietary counseling information can be found at Madison Education Department.
Madison Education Department
35 N 1st E, Rexburg, ID 83440