Dr Rob Hicks September 06, 2017

Keeping our digestive system healthy is straightforward. We all need to have a good diet that provides plenty of fibre and water to keep the bowels moving smoothly.

Avoiding the following, for example, could help you to escape the pain of indigestion:

  • Smoking;
  • Drinking too much alcohol;
  • Eating too much fatty and spicy food

Keeping stress to a minimum and doing a little exercise every day will also help the digestive system work well by reducing the chance of constipation and acid indigestion occurring. It’s also very important to eat regularly throughout the day, not to rush meals or overeat and to leave a few hours between supper and going to bed.

Constipation

Most people find from time to time that they become a little constipated when they open their bowels less often than usual. Ignoring the urge to go, stress and not enough fibre water or exercise are the usual culprits resulting in straining on the toilet with just a rabbit-pellet sized stool the reward.

What could help?

Taking senna and psyllium dietary fibre will get the bowels going again whilst any necessary lifestyle changes are put in place to try and make sure constipation doesn’t happen again.

Healthspan's Easyfibre Cleanse is a gentle way to cleanse your body and help maintain a healthy digestive system. It is formulated using the highest quality seed husks from Plantago ovata. Psyllium husks act like a sponge in your body, gently absorbing water and waste material in your digestive system, helping to clear your body of harmful toxins, without causing any discomfort of unnatural urgency. This helps to prevent a clogged system which can lead to a build-up of toxins in the wrong places.

Heartburn and indigestion

It’s estimated that up to 40% of people suffer with heartburn and indigestion. This normally occurs as a result of overindulgence and unhealthy eating habits. Rich, fatty, and spicy food, caffeine, smoking, alcohol and stress all contribute to too much acid being made and this damages the stomach lining, causing inflammation and painful indigestion. Overeating, being overweight, eating late at night and wearing tight clothes put pressure on the stomach, forcing acid back up into the gullet and causing painful heartburn.

What could help?

A traditional remedy for heartburn and indigestion is a glass of low fat milk. This helps to neutralise stomach acid and works quickly to relieve symptoms.

Artichoke extract can help to relieve symptoms of overindulgence and bloating, which may accompany indigestion. Peppermint oil helps to relieve the feeling of fullness too.

Irritable bowel syndrome

The number of people suffering with irritable bowel syndrome is increasing and currently it is estimated that as many as one in three is affected at some time with symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, alternating constipation and diarrhoea, excess belching or passing of excess wind.

What could trigger IBS?

Many people know what triggers their IBS. These triggers should be avoided as far as possible. Common things include:

  • Stress;
  • Some foods, for example, wheat, citrus fruits, caffeine and alcohol.

What could help?

Peppermint oil effectively relieves painful gut spasm and bloating. Many people find that taking a probiotic supplement helps to keep their IBS under control. Having extra fibre in the diet or taking psyllium dietary fibre helps some people with IBS; however, for others it exacerbates their symptoms so it’s usually a case of try it and see.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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