Gut Check Your Digestive System
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Are digestive problems leaving you with tummy troubles? Everyone gets a stomachache occasionally, but there are several organs in your digestive system that can cause abdominal pain. Digestive issues can be troublesome, causing a growing number of doctor’s visits and hospitalizations for Americans.
Your gut plays an important role in your overall wellness. Your colon and intestines host bacteria called microflora, which vary from person to person based on infant nutrition, use of antibiotics, age and diet. It may sound strange that your gut has bacteria, but microflora is incredibly important to your health as a basic part of your immune system. They also aid the absorption of minerals into your body.
It’s important that you have the correct balance of bacteria in your gut. An imbalance in these bacteria can cause issues like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenteritis and even colon cancer. Clinical studies have shown that certain food products, called probiotics, can stimulate growth of your microflora and may help keep them in balance. That leaves you with a healthier digestive system.
How to have healthy gut habits
Choose food-based probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria found in many fermented foods and supplements. Several yogurts contain probiotics that can boost your good gut bacteria and reduce your bad bacteria.
Eat prebiotics. Prebiotics contain non-digestible carbohydrates that feed probiotics and have been linked to a reduction in fat storage and irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics are found in whole grains, bananas, garlic, onions, honey, asparagus and artichokes.
Skip the fatty foods. Some fats can increase your levels of bad bacteria and even damage the gut lining.
Stop stressing. Stress can change your gut flora, reducing your good bacteria. It can also create negative changes in how your immune system functions. For a happy gut and a healthier you, figure out what has you stressing and start taking steps to eliminate your stressors.
Checking your gut is a good idea
There are several digestive problems that can keep you feeling down and out. Many digestive issues are controllable while others have a genetic component. Some are more minor disorders while others can have a significant impact on the quality of life.
If you are experiencing stomach pain, bloating, gas, heartburn or any other stomach problems, talk to your doctor to find the cause and best course of action. You may be referred to a gastroenterologist – a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases – to diagnose and treat your condition.
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.