Is your digestive system healthy? Here are some tips to keep that gut of yours happy
All systems go
Beyond surface issues and the constant struggle to attain the perfect body, is something beneath that is constantly overlooked. The need for a healthy, happy gut. In fact digestive health coincides with a couple of problems that easily bring upon distress on our daily lives. Sure, often they don't sound sexy or appealing, but that doesn't diminish how important these issues are. IBS (Irritable Bowel System) and constipation are common tell-tale signs, which can lead to bloating, discomfort, and on the serious end, nausea and pain when things get really bad.
Of course, medical attention can be seeked based off the individual's condition, but on our part, there are a couple of things we could all take note of. Dr Michelle Chia, a resident doctor specialising in women's health at DTAP Clinic DUO Galleria, shares them below.
Stress could be an underlying issue
In this current time of a pandemic, many of us are feeling stressed and bridled with anxiety, which is not ideal for our health. Stress causes spasms in our oesophagus, increases our stomach acids and leads many to plummet into an unhealthy and irregular eating lifestyle. Which is a recipe for indigestion. Eventually, these bad habits can lead to irreversible damage that can be disruptive to our daily life. Long term digestive problems added with horrible lifestyle habits will ultimately increase the risk of getting cancer in the gut, and more specifically, the stomach and large intestines.
Avoid eating processed and oily food
Fast food (aka processed, unhealthy, and oily foods) has become a go-to, convenient and comfort food to many of us. Sadly, all these food are high in fats and oil that can hinder our nutrient intake, causing indigestion.
Try to reduce your caffeine intake.
Caffeine resides in many of our favourite drinks, from coffee to tea to even soft drinks. These are drinks that many of us consume on a daily basis — at times, even more than one cup a day. Drinking a large amount of caffeine daily can lead to indigestion and acid reflux as caffeine is acidic. To make matters works, the dairy that we add into these drinks can also cause indigestion and bloating, particularly for people that are lactose intolerant.
Eat regular meals at a standard time
Stress, heavy workload, a busy schedule and/or lack of a sense of time might be the reasons why you forget or skip meals. Many try to make up for the missed meal by eating a larger amount of food than usual. Also, most people commonly eat late at night. Due to the late hours, people tend to eat what is readily available, which is typically unhealthy food. The problem with eating late at night, especially greasy foods, is that they take a longer time to digest. Your body ends up needing to work on digesting the food when it should be resting. This causes indigestion and acid reflux. A piece of advice? Try not to lie down after eating for at least 1-2 hours.
No more smoking
Smoking is known for causing gastritis, stomach ulcers as well as increase the risk of getting a bacteria infection due to the damage it does to your stomach lining. Quitting smoking will not only be beneficial to improving your gut health, but it will also improve your overall health.