Say "I" if you have ever experienced any of the following:
– Nagging heartburn
– Painful indigestion
– Embarrassing gas
– Chronic constipation
– Icky diarrhea
– Uncomfortable bloating
– Any other type of digestive issue?
We can probably all say "I" to at least a few of these. The question is, are any of these symptoms weekly or even daily for you?
Maybe a doctor has even put a diagnosis on your digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, or gastritis?
I know for about 12 years, from my early teens to my mid 20's, I suffered from many digestive issues and was told I had irritable bowel syndrome, more commonly known as IBS. The symptoms I experienced affected my daily activities, AND they were just down right embarrassing. A flare up would usually send me to the bathroom 4 – 5 times over the span of 45 minutes. Try explaining that to your high school prom date.
I, like most people who suffer from these chronic digestive issues, went to my doctor because I thought there was something seriously wrong. The pain and discomfort I felt sometimes was just agonizing. I went through several tests and examinations to see what was "wrong" with me.
I had a few endoscopy's, several ultrasounds, tried numerous prescription drugs, took antacids and gas relief chewables almost daily, and had my first colonoscopy at the age of 23.
I started to think this was something I was just going to have to live with forever.
By the time I was 25, I finally had enough and, apparently, my body did too. I began to experience other health related issues that finally made me set out on a journey to find my own answers to why I was feeling the way I was feeling. The answers I found were shocking!
Could finding relief really be this simple?
My research was telling me that everything I was doing was basically WRONG! From the food I was eating to the way I was living my life. As I began to implement change slowly, I began to seem my symptoms reduce until finally, they were gone!
It took two years but I can honestly say that I no longer experience daily digestive issues. I also, in changing my diet and lifestyle, relieved my anxiety and chronic lower back pain. I learned what foods were triggering my IBS flare ups and worked to eliminate them, as well as, discovered what my body was lacking nutritionally. Once I started giving my body what it really needed and wanted it began to heal itself.
If you suffer from regularly occurring digestive disorders, I highly recommend you work with someone one-on-one who can help uncover the true cause of your symptoms like a Naturopathic Doctor or Certified Holistic Health Coach.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help calm even the touchiest tummy.
#1 Increase your fiber by eating more fruits and vegetables.
Fiber is important because it helps aid in the digestion process. Fiber is found in plant foods and guess what the number one thing missing from the standard American diet is? Fruits and vegetables…a.k.a. plant foods! No wonder there are so many people suffering from digestive disorders!
Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients that your body needs to heal. Also, because these foods are natural and unprocessed they are easy to digest. Therefore, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the healthier your digestive track will be. Your best choices are dark leafy greens like spinach, collard greens and kale. Check out one of my favorite kale recipes here.
#2 Slow down when you eat!
Digestion begins in the mouth so the more you chew, the better your digestion will be. When you put food into your mouth, saliva is secreted. Saliva helps break down food. The more you chew, the more saliva is produced and the more your food is broken down. This creates less work on the intestinal track. When the intestinal track has bigger pieces of food to break down, several things can happen and they all usually result in indigestion, heartburn and/or gas.
If you are a fast eater, it is time to slow it down! Here are some things you can try to help bring your chewing down to a digestion-friendly pace.
– Count to 25 with each bite or hum the "Happy Birthday" song
– Put your fork down in between bites
– Eat with chopsticks
– Don't eat while driving, working or watching TV. When your attention is focused on something other than eating, you can't pay attention to how fast or slow you are chewing. Remember this: when you eat, eat; when you read, read! Do not eat and read at the same time!
#3 Practice relaxing everyday!
I say "practice" because so many of us are always on the go and we never take time to relax our body and our mind. I know how this is because this was the biggest thing I struggled with and it is still something I have to "practice." I am very much someone who could go-go-go and never stop. When I decided it was time I started taking care of myself, I knew this was something I had to start doing. Not to mention, my fast paced, stress-filled lifestyle was causing many of my daily digestive issues. When I started to take even just 5 minutes a day to sit and relax, or take a bath, or walk my dog, that is when I really began to feel the difference in my body. When the body's digestive track is overworked, it needs time to relax just like you.
Here is a daily meditation you can try if you need help with a way to relax.
– Find a quiet place and set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Relax your shoulders and your facial muscles. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Turn off the conversations in your head. When the timer goes off, open your eyes and see how you feel. If this is a relaxation method you like, set a time each day to perform it or do it several times throughout the day.
These may be just a few tips you can implement to help ease your digestive track and control a touchy tummy…but they are VERY important!
Ask yourself these questions:
What digestive issues do I suffer from?
For how long and how often have I suffered from them?
Based upon your answers, is it time for you to look into natural ways to care for your body?
If you are interested in finding relief from your nagging, embarrassing and life-affecting digestive issues…here is your next step.
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To your digestive health!
Randi's passion is to create positive change in a person's life that leads to prolonged health and happiness. She works with individuals who wish to lose weight, increase their energy, lower stress and manage and prevent disease through the use of natural health solutions. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, exercise enthusiast and rep for Young Living Essential Oils.