Some common digestive problems include IBS, bloating and constipation. But, more on that later. To fully understand the digestive issues you may experience, you must first understand what the digestive system is.
Your digestive system comprises the gastrointestinal tract (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus), liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Any mild or severe health problem inside the digestive system that affects any of these organs is called a digestive disease. Digestive issues are either functional or structural:
Functional gastrointestinal disorders are identified as problems or symptoms found along the gastrointestinal tract and affect its motility or capability to move food down the tract.
They are “functional” because while they can affect your gut’s motility or mood, they do not appear as structural abnormalities when examined or screened. Examples of functional gastrointestinal disorders include constipation, nausea, gas, bloating, diarrhea, irritable bowel system (IBS), and food poisoning.
Structural gastrointestinal disorders are problems or symptoms that appear as visible abnormalities in your gut when examined. The situation may call for surgical removal.
Fortunately, most gastrointestinal diseases can be detected, prevented, and treated. You can monitor the likelihood of certain diseases based on your family history as a tool to keep on top of your digestive issues. However, it is also not uncommon for people to ignore or dismiss digestive symptoms.
Your gut contains millions of bacteria (both healthy and potentially harmful), and their species may depend on several factors, including where you live and what you consume, including medicines. Any unusual situation can already throw the ecosystem off balance, leading your gut to alert you through various gastrointestinal symptoms.
There are particular symptoms of digestive problems (individually or when together) that can alert you of a severe illness that warrants an immediate medical check-up. Some of them are as follows:
• Sudden, chronic changes in bowel movement
• Unexplained weight loss or gain
• Difficulty swallowing
• Debilitating and worsening heartburn, indigestion, or abdominal pain
• Anal bleeding
Early detection is crucial to prevent any digestive disease from progressing. Regular screenings and check-ups are essential to address them from the onset.
Many times, digestive problems are treatable and, more importantly, preventable. There are basic health habits you can do to protect your gut, such as maintaining a healthy diet (e.g.: eating more whole foods and avoiding processed foods), consuming more water, and staying active. However, extra precautions can be taken if you’d give your gut health more attention. Some other tips you can keep in mind are listed below:
Regularly seeing your doctor to check on your gut health is essential, especially past the age of 45, when the risks of colorectal disease goes up. Your doctor can assist with gastrointestinal disease and other digestive problems.
Practising good bowel habits is ideal for your gastrointestinal health. That means eating your meals at a personal standard time each day, eating in consistent amounts per interval, consuming high amounts of fibre, never forgetting breakfast, exercising daily, and dedicating a preferred time each day for bowel movement, among others.
Giving your body an abundant, diverse amount of nutrients regularly is good for your body, including your digestive health. That means various sources of proteins, carbohydrates, fibres, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. It also means minimising the consumption of sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners, among others.
Taking probiotics beneficial for your gastrointestinal tract will help promote digestive health. Nutrients are best taken in through a healthy diet, focus on fermented foods that include lactofermented bacterias such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir and kombucha. If you can’t get probiotics through food alone, it may also help to take probiotic supplements.
Supplements can be a great addition to the recommendations above in order to ensure your gut health is functioning optimally. Below are three supplements with the highest chance of supporting gut health:
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are naturally found in the gut. They support a healthy balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your digestive tract. You can ingest probiotics through foods like kefir, yogurt, and kimchi, but if you don’t get enough of it from your diet, it helps to take them in through supplements.
A healthy gut is essential to a healthy life. But in a fast-paced world, taking the time to make sure we’re getting all the vitamins and minerals we need might be time-consuming and costly. Good thing Vitable Australia’s vitamin subscription and vitamin delivery service makes all of this hassle-free. Sign up now to receive your custom supplements to support gut health and beyond.
Find out more about other supplements that can support digestion: