Your digestive system is a group of organs that are there to process the food you eat and turn it into useful nutrients which are then absorbed by your body and used to create energy. Sometimes the signs that something is wrong with our gut are obvious. Our stomach hurts, so we know something is up, but most of us aren’t aware of the extent to which our gut health can affect our overall health. There are different systems in our body, but they are not isolated and often if one thing goes wrong, it affects something else as well. This is especially true when it comes to gut health, which can lead to several problems that seemingly have nothing to do with our stomachs. Here we point out a few clues that something might be wrong with your digestive system, and how to deal with it.
Frequent stomach aches
If your stomach tends to hurt around the same time every day, then the culprit might be coffee, or alcohol. While coffee helps up feel more alert, it’s also bad for our bowels as it can irritate them and lead to sharp aches. Coffee is a natural diuretic, but it’s definitely not gentle on our stomachs. Alcohol is even worse, and one of the worst things you can drink if your bowels are irritated is beer. Drinking beer is pretty much the equivalent of taking a huge, jagged stone and hitting yourself in the gut repeatedly. If your stomach hurts, then stop with alcohol and coffee, at least for a few days. Cut back completely, and then slowly introduce it again once you are sure you’re feeling better. Check with your doctor to make sure you haven’t developed gastritis if the problem persists.
If you have problems with bloating, then the food you eat might be the issue. Sometimes, while we don’t have an outright allergy to certain food, we are sensitive to it, and it can lead to discomfort. The key is not to mindlessly gobble down anything that comes our way, but to pay attention to what we consume. Start writing down how you feel after every meal. If you keep feeling bloated every time you eat something specific, then it’s time to throw that out of your menu.
Like we previously mentioned, everything in our body is connected, and even if your stomach feels fine, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. If you have a disease like arthritis, or Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, it’s quite possible that it was at least partially caused by leaky gut syndrome, a condition that causes inflammation all over the body. A possible cause of leaky gut syndrome is intestinal permeability. This is what happens when the junctions in the gut that control what passes through the small intestine fail to work as they should. Substances are let into our bloodstream and this causes inflammation and can lead to serious diseases. To solve this, it usually requires you to make a lifestyle change. You need to have a balanced diet that is gentle to your stomach, and start taking probiotics. Stress can also play a role, so you should find a way to deal with it in a positive manner.
Depression and achy limbs
When we’re sad, we reach for comfort food because it makes us feel better, at least temporarily. However, that same food might not be so good for us, because certain bacteria in your gut can increase the chance of developing depression. If we often feel lousy and if our limbs ache for seemingly no reason, the food we eat might be the cause for it. Restrain yourself from reaching for junk food whenever you’re feeling sad, and develop a habit of eating fruit instead. Start a light exercise regime and you should be feeling better in no time.
The gut is our biggest immune system organ, so it’s obvious that we must take good care of it. What we consume and how we treat our stomach will influence our overall health, so paying attention to diet is crucial to leading a better life. Stop to think before you eat, the key is in being mindful of our body’s needs. If you keep this in mind, your body will be grateful to you and you will start seeing the positive changes quickly.
Roxana Oliver is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.