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Sunday, June 25, 2017

5 Reasons Your Gut Isn’t Happy

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Got an unhappy gut and want to get to the bottom of the cause? Here are just a few reasons you may be having bowel problems and what you can do about it.

Food intolerance 

A food intolerance can develop at any point in someone’s life. Two of the most common food allergies are lactose intolerance (allergy to milk) and celiac (allergy to wheat). Both of these can cause stomach cramps, constipation or diarrhoea. If you’re getting regular problems, make a record of which foods you were eating each time beforehand. Often the only course of action is to eliminate these triggers from your diet.

IBS

Experts still aren’t sure as to the cause of IBS. It’s thought to be a faulty communication between the brain and digestive tract that then leads to random bowel movements. IBS can be extremely uncomfortable but can be eased by removing triggers from one’s diet such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and high fat foods. Companies such as ibsrelief.com have medicines that can restore bowel order. Probiotic foods such as yoghurts are also proven to help. It’s best to get a diagnosis from a doctor who may be able to advise on the next course action given that this is a permanent and ongoing condition.

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Stress and anxiety

Stress can sometimes be the cause of an unhappy gut. When we’re stressed, our bodies go into ‘fight or flight mode’ and any bodily functions that aren’t necessary for short term survival (e.g. sex drive, healing, digestion) are shut off. As a result, many people can get constipation or diarrhoea when stressed as the gut is no longer working to break down food effectively. Various herbal medicines and relaxation therapy techniques can ease stress. Getting a good night’s sleep is also recommended.

Lack of exercise

Being inactive can also make our digestive systems lazy. Taking up more exercise can help to keep foods moving through our gut and can also increase antibodies improving our immunity to bugs and viruses that could be the cause of an upset stomach. Those that overweight often experience more digestive problems than those of a healthy weight. Take steps to be more active and you could see your bowel problems disappearing.

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A bad diet 

Many different kinds of foods and drinks can lead to a bad stomach and an unhealthy gut. High fat foods, particularly processed fats, are some of the worst offenders. Too much sugar is also bad for our digestive system. Sugar feeds bad bacteria in our intestines leading to inflammation and a leaky gut. Soft drinks such as cola and lemonade are particular bad for this. And in case you thought you were safe by opting for ‘diet’ soda drinks, artificial sweeteners aren’t much better. In fact, the gut has such a hard time breaking dowgn these artificial sugars that it can often end up turning the remnants into a formaldehyde substance, which is essentially a plastic glue – not something you want coating your insides. Redbookmag.com lists some of the worst foods for your gut.

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