World Digestive Health Day: Understanding and Improving Digestive Health

The gastrointestinal tract spans approximately 8 meters, stretching from the mouth to the anus.
This intricate system plays a crucial role in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is essential for obtaining vital nutrients, sustaining a balanced immune system and a brain-gut health.

Signs of Poor Gut Health:

  1. Heartburn and discomfort.
  2. Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation.
  3. Fatigue and sleep disturbances.
  4. Sugar cravings.
  5. Skin breakouts triggered by certain foods.
  6. Mood swings, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
  7. Rectal bleeding.

Factors Contributing to Poor Gut Health:

  1. Unhealthy diet choices.
  2. Sedentary lifestyle.
  3. Elevated stress levels.
  4. Specific medical conditions.
  5. Excessive alcohol consumption.

Dos and Don’ts for Improving Gut Health:

  1. Increase fiber intake, including whole grains and leafy vegetables, to promote a healthy microbiome.
  2. Eat a small evening meal at least two hours before bedtime.
  3. Incorporate garlic, bananas, rice, apples, and probiotic foods like yogurt into your diet.
  4. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
  5. Chew food slowly and thoroughly.
  6. Dilute lemon juice in water and consume it.
  7. Engage in regular exercise and manage stress levels effectively.
  8. Don’t drink water with meals; instead, drink water 30 minutes before or 1 hour 30 minutes after eating.
  9. Avoid excessive use of over-the-counter pain medications.
  10. Steer clear of highly spiced foods, fried foods, carbonated drinks, and stimulants like coffee.
  11. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and concentrated sweets.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

  1. Persistent or worsening heartburn.
  2. Vomiting blood.
  3. A sensation of food stuck in the chest or throat.
  4. Unusual or persistent belly pain.
  5. Pain or difficulty when swallowing.
  6. Bloody or black stool could indicate various conditions such as ulcers, haemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer.
  7. Chronic hoarseness or an enduring sore throat.
  8. Unending diarrhoea.
  9. Chronic constipation (less than two bowel movements per week).

Prioritizing digestive health is crucial for overall well-being. By being aware of potential signs of poor gut health and adopting healthy habits, individuals can enhance their digestive system’s functionality and enjoy a better quality of life. Remember, if any concerning symptoms persist, seeking medical attention is recommended.