Gut health is something that is often sidelined or is just brushed away as a regular stomach ache or a stomach infection. Many a times people consult an expert only when the problem becomes severe and beyond bearing capacity.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Celiac Disease, Chronis Disease, Acid Reflux, Ulcers are some common gut problems that we come across today. They range across a wide age group of 14 – 60.
What is gut health?
Our intestines are the home to friendly bacteria which digest our food and process it for various physiological functions. They are responsible for promoting and boosting our immune system. Any harm or disruption caused to these bacteria results in discomfort to the body. The body shows signs like bloating, abdominal pains, intolerances to certain foods, and to certain extent anxiety and mental issues too.
Factors which effect gut health
Regular indulgence in spicy, oily, processed foods.
Excess of Red meats
Excess of fiber (in case of IBS)
Poor consumption of probiotics
Poor consumption of water
Excess consumption of sugary drinks and foods.
Avoid excess tea and coffee, especially on an empty stomach.
Avoid strong antibiotics and antacids.
Factors to promote gut health
Eat fresh home cooked food, which is not too spicy or oily.
Add a dose of salads and fruits to your diet. In case of IBS you must be careful with your fiber intake. In some cases excess of fiber from fruits and vegetable can trigger IBS.
Add healthy probiotics like curd, kimchee, kombucha.
Add citrus to your diet on regular basis.
Keep water intake high.
Eat at regular intervals.
Maintain a good sleep cycle.
Guide to different ailments:
IBS is a gut problem which shows the common symptoms like constipation, cramps, pain in the lower abdomen, bloating. A few causes may be inflammation of the intestine, loss of gut flora i.e the good bacteria or a severe bought of diarrhea.
IBS affects people in the age group of 18 – 40. Majority of the times IBS can be controlled by rectifying diet and making lifestyle changes. Any one suffering from IBS must take into consideration their fiber consumption. Too much can lead to bloating and cramps while too little can lead to constipation. Water can prove an excellent aid in this case.
Celiac Disease is triggered by gluten sensitivity. People with celiac disease cannot face severe discomfort when they eat gluten products like wheat, rye and barley. In case of celiac disease it would be best to avoid gluten products. In this case eating gluten results in triggering an immune response which then damages the walls of the small intestine. Severe cases in which the walls of the intestine are damaged lead to diarrhea, anemia and also malabsorption in children.
Acid Reflux and Ulcers happens when the stomach acids are pumped back into the food pipe the esophagus. This causes the stomach lining to rupture, there by causing sores and ulcers. These ulcers can cause extreme amount of pain and can also prove to be dangerous. A person diagnosed with this should maintain the ph levels of the stomach by including good probiotics and keeping away from heavy spicy and oily foods.
Gut health is extremely important. Taking good care of it ensures optimum absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. Good absorption of nutrients helps one keep a healthy and functional immune system which in turn helps us maintain good physiological functions. The best way is to eat clean, drink water, exercise regularly and keep away from stress.