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Identifying Digestive Problems

  • Identifying Digestive Problems

    Identifying Digestive Problems

    Problems within your gastrointestinal system may be indicative of a digestive disorder. Approximately 70 million Americans battle digestive disorders each year. While certain digestive disorders are fairly benign, some of these problems are considered very serious and require serious medical attention. Common disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Chron’s disease, diarrhea and constipation.

    Red Flags

    Identifying digestive problems can start at home by looking out for serious indications of gastrointestinal complications. Five simple questions you can ask yourself to identify red flags are:

    1. Have I recently experienced unexplained weight loss?
    2. Have my bowel functions changed suddenly and/or drastically?
    3. Do I have any difficulty swallowing?
    4. Have I been experiencing heart burn or stomach pain?
    5. Am I bleeding from places I shouldn’t be?

    Other Common Symptoms

    While identifying digestive disorders can be done by asking yourself the aforementioned questions, there are many symptoms that result from gastrointestinal problems.

    • Bloating
    • Bowel irregularity
    • Gas
    • Burping
    • Constant hunger
    • Headache
    • Reflux
    • Fatigue after meals
    • Neck, shoulder and back pains

    Causes

    One of the major causes of digestive problems is poor hydration. Proper hydration regulates your body’s creation of saliva which contains enzymes integral to beginning the digestive process. Additionally, saliva makes the process of chewing your food easier. Chewing food completely allows your stomach acids to break down foods and kill malicious parasites that can hide in larger food particles and wreak havoc on your immune system.

    Toxicity of bowels, most commonly caused by constipation, can also lead to further digestive disorders. Constipation is the natural result of indulgently consuming processed foods, dehydrogenated fats, tap water, caffeine, pasteurized dairy, medications and caffeine.

    A third major cause is stress. Your bodies “fight or flight” instinct, triggered by stress, can affect digestion by shutting down blood flow, disrupting the contractions of digestive muscles, and decreasing the secretion of bodily fluids necessary for healthy digestion. Stress can also lead to inflammation of the gastrointestinal system, making you more susceptible to infection.

    Guidelines

    Adhere to these guidelines to keep your digestive system running smoothly!

    • Always chew food thoroughly
    • Drink two glasses of purified water before meals and avoid drinking while eating
    • Avoid foods that you are intolerant of or allergic to
    • Never suppress “nature’s calling”
    • Complete your diet with foods rich in fiber
    • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before meals
    • Begin meals with raw foods – they contain enzymes required for proper digestion