Gastrointestinal problems can include many different complications of the digestive system. The gastrointestinal or GI system consists of the esophagus, intestines, stomach, rectum and colon. Many of the common grudges of the GI system include nausea, heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramping, hemorrhoids, gastroenteritis, bloating, gas, and irritable bowel disorders.
Diarrhea and constipation can exist without underlying conditions and be caused by changes in diet, medication, stress, or lack of exercise. Hemorrhoids are engorged blood vessels, inside or outside of the rectum, caused by prolonged force being put forth during strained bowel movements.
Inflammatory GI problems, like gastroenteritis and colitis, can cause chronic inflammation, if it is affected often. The intestines become swollen and irritated and cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea and irregular bowel movements. Irritable bowel syndrome is another condition of the GI system, which although it is not an inflammatory disorder, can cause painful and severe, lasting effects.
There are some easy steps that you can take to help ensure that you minimize gastrointestinal problems. Here are the top 5.
- Increase your dietary fiber intake.
Adding foods that are high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help keep your bowel movements regular and your intestines healthy.
- Drink more water.
Most people struggle to get to the recommended eight glasses of water a day. This water is important to flush out toxins from our bodies and to help the movement of feces from our intestines.
- Stay away from foods that contribute to heartburn or acid indigestion, and gas inducing foods.
Extremely greasy and spicy foods increase acid and foods like beans cause problems with gas and bloating. Eliminating these foods from your diet can greatly decrease discomfort and increase the health of your GI system.
- Regular exercise can dramatically increase your overall health and well being.
Did you know that it also helps stimulate regular bowel movements? It helps to decrease constipation and helps move the body’s solid waste through the intestines.
- Minimizing stress can greatly improve your GI system.
Stress causes increase in acid production and the release of hormones that slow the GI tract. Stress can have effects on you that you may not even realize. Try relieving stress with yoga or meditation. Taking time out for yourself is very important, time to relax, do something you enjoy, like reading a book.
Keeping you GI tract healthy is a very important part of your overall wellbeing. By decreasing gastrointestinal problems it will help you feel balanced and keep you in good health.