8 Best Natural Methods to Treat Digestive Problems
I know too many people that have become accustomed to living with digestive disorders such as abdominal pain and bloating, irritable bowel and constipation. Digestive problems are particularly common in Western society and have become part of the daily routine of many of us, but in normal condition they are not supposed to appear at all. I believe it is important to get to the root of the problem and treat it.
Gastrointestinal disorders may suggest more serious diseases, such as anemia, caused by a lack of certain dietary components in our body. The most common problems related to the digestive tract are diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel, bowel inflammation, heartburn and stomach ulcers. These usually result from several reasons:
Poor nutrition: loads of sugars and simple carbohydrates, consumption of artificial sweeteners, caffeine and alcohol, avoiding dietary fiber and eating too much food.
Unhealthy lifestyle: smoking, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, eating before bedtime and emotional stress.
Allergy and food sensitivity: food sensitivity can be caused by a lack of lactase which is responsible for breaking down milk sugar, or because the immune system mistakenly identifies the food as dangerous component and therefore works against it.
Viral infections: infections that damage the digestive system and lead to many diseases such as under-active thyroid gland, diabetes or a hiatal hernia.
Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics that destroys the friendly bacteria in the gut, synthetic hormones and laxatives may all affect the function of the digestive system.
To address fundamentally related gastrointestinal diseases it is recommended to pass medical diagnosis and develop a personal program . Besides, there are many natural ways that will allow you to ease the symptoms of digestive problems:
1. Use herbal medicine
Herbal infusions have several advantages when it comes to digestive problems: they adsorb gases, reduce stress, help blood flow to the digestive system and eliminate various pollutants. Using herbs is recommended for those suffering from constipation or diarrhea, intestinal infections, irritable bowel and ulcers.
Make infusion of lemon balm, chamomile, rosemary, peppermint and fennel seeds. Steep for ten minutes in hot water, strain and drink. It is recommended to do this at least three times a day. Please note that heartburn sufferers should avoid peppermint that increase gastric pH.
If you are interested in herbal remedies, you can find very useful information in the Herbal Remedies Guide, that will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.
2. Consume friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes
Probiotic bacteria strengthen the intestine by handling pollutants that penetrate through the intestine, and digestive enzymes help improve digestion processes. Probiotic bacteria can be found naturally in yogurt enriched with these bacteria, or you can purchase a supplement in health food stores. Digestive enzymes are more difficult to get through food, but you can find still a small amount of them in pineapple and papaya.
In many cases there is a connection between skin problems or infections in the body and lack of friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes. Therefore they are recommended for those suffering from digestive problems. It is best to consult naturopath regarding the type of bacteria and enzymes and their dose. Read here more about probiotics in my article 9 reasons to take probiotics.
3. Handle emotional stress
Many digestive problems result from stressful lifestyle. Women especially suffer from it, and the common and best known disorder is irritable bowel syndrome. Finding the causes of the stress and treating them of will regulate the digestion in the body. You can relieve stress through therapies such as acupuncture or reflexology, combining herbs with calming properties like lemon balm and hops, and the use of soothing essential oils like lavender or myrtle oil.
As a side note, stress is a key contributor to digestive problems, but also other diseases such as diabetes, high thyroid activity and heart problems.
4. Change eating habits
Unhealthy food can overload the digestive system and cause various problems, but so the way we eat may affect the process. Changing your eating habits can improve any digestive problem which you are suffering from:
- Eat in a relaxed atmosphere without pressure.
- Concentrate on eating and avoid watching television or reading a newspaper at dinner.
- Chew your food well before swallowing.
- Separate the foods that contain a high amount of protein and starchy foods. Combining protein and starch in the same meal causes the secretion of digestive juices that neutralize each other, malabsorption of food and a sense of heaviness and fatigue.
5. Locate an allergy or food sensitivity
In many cases, digestive problems result from a food allergy or sensitivity to it. It is recommended to remove some of the foods for a while and see the effect: dairy products, citrus fruits, shellfish, peanuts, nuts, chocolate, eggs, caffeine and fish. In this “elimination diet”, which removed daily foods and combines them gradually back, you can more easily locate food sensitivity. Food allergy, however, can be checked through medical tests.
6. Combine superfoods on the menu
Consume foods that contain a variety of components essential to our health and good for the digestive system:
- Lemon. Despite its sour taste it is broken down in our body into alkaline components, so it is recommended for those who suffer from heartburn.
- North Sea fish. These fish contain omega-3, known as anti – inflammatory, so they are recommended for those suffering from intestinal inflammation.
- Cabbage and cabbage juice. These contain the amino acid glutamine, that eases inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Flaxseed and pumpkin seeds. These help to those suffering from constipation, but not for those suffering from diarrhea.
In many cases, excess toxins in the body causes various digestive problems. Toxins are fertile ground for the development of candida, white fungus that appears usually in genital area or gastrointestinal tract and interfere with their activities. Avoiding sugary foods, foods of animal source and processed foods can help improve the situation. Specific foods that help eliminate toxins are algae, garlic, onions, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, fruits and water. Detoxification is recommended for all people, especially those who suffer from digestive problems. For more helpful information about detox process, its many health benefits and various detox methods, have a look at The Detox Guide.
8. Exercise regularly
Exercising helps to relieve stress and helps regulate digestion due to body movement. Combine in your exercise routine elements of cardio, aerobics and flexibility and feel the difference.
Naturopathy believes that many diseases, including digestive diseases, are the product of poor nutrition. To solve the problem you must identify the causes of the problem, and then customize a treatment plan and diet. So if one of these methods helped you, share your experience with the readers, and tell which one you prefer the most.
Learn how to improve your body’s digestive process, increase stamina and energy with The Detox Guide: