Common digestive complaints
Hands up those of you who have never had the slightest stomach complaint - digestive bliss from start to finish. No grumbles or rumbles from the inside. Just one smiley happy tummy at all times.
Not many, that’s for sure.
Digestive complaints are incredibly common, in part because there are so many problems that can crop up. The list includes:
So, how do we deal with such problems? Well, read on to find out a few simple tips!
1. Sit down to eat your food
Sitting down to eat is so important for your stomach because the body simply finds it harder to digest food whilst you are on the move. Therefore, whether you're eating a sandwich or your homemade spag bol, make sure you sit down and relax! That way your digestive system can concentrate on the food you’re hoping to digest, and you will be less likely to suffer from the symptoms outlined above. Also, to further aid digestion make sure you take five minutes once you’ve finished eating before jumping on to the next thing.
2. Get chewing!
Chewing is also essential for good digestion however, this is a step that many of us do not take enough time over. Instead we tend to gulp down our food before it even has a chance to touch the sides of the mouth!
Chewing is an act that not only breaks your meal down to a manageable size, but it also alerts the stomach to the fact that food will soon be arriving. Therefore, if you do not chew your meals enough, the stomach will not know to release the digestive enzymes necessary for processing food. This causes chaos and confusion within the stomach and as a result a range of digestive issues can crop up.
I’d also recommend you aim to chew each mouthful at least 20 times. This may seem like a lot but it’ll ensure your stomach is absolutely prepared for the imminent arrival of food!
Yes, it may not be the most delightful subject in the world, but what comes out is just as important as what goes in. Why? Well, unsurprisingly waste products from the digestive processes don’t just evaporate inside you. Instead they need to leave the body via the designated exit route…
If nothing is coming out then these waste products are left lying around inside your intestines. Here they fester and ferment, causing uncomfortable problems like wind, bloating and belching.
If you are eating three meals a day then it is not unreasonable to expect a daily bowel movement.
4. Address diarrhoea
IBS, food intolerance and stress are just a few of the many factors that contribute to this particular digestive complaint.
Stress irritates the gut plus, in a process called ‘fight or flight’, it also takes attention away from the digestive processes. Here stress puts strain on the body meaning it begins to focus on immediate survival rather than other bodily functions like digestion. So, whether it’s work-related stress or relationship worries, this could be causing your diarrhoea.
Tackling the source of stress head on is always advisable so, whether its colleagues, friends or family, talk to those around you about how you are feeling. After this you could also turn to a combination of Passiflora and magnesium to help calm your physical symptoms down.
Our Passiflora Complex Drops contain fresh herb extracts of both passiflora and oat herb which together have relaxing properties. This helps to support those prone to worrying or feeling under pressure.
Also, as our digestive processes are inhibited by stress, our levels of magnesium tend to decline. Therefore, at this point it is also important to top up our levels of this mineral.
When it comes to magnesium supplements, there are quite a lot to choose from however, we can rely on our friends over at Jan de Vries to supply us with a top quality one. My personal favourite is Floradix's Magnesium Liquid Mineral as this is one of the quickest ways to deliver the mineral to the body. As the magnesium comes in liquid form it bypasses the digestive system and is instead absorbed straight into the body.
However, although stress often leads to diarrhoea, we must bear in mind that it is not the only cause so how else can we address the problem?
Well, our Tormentil complex works to reduce irritation in the bowel and so works to ease diarrhoea. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be used if there is constipation present alongside diarrhoea. That’s because longstanding constipation causes diarrhoea so if you suffer from alternating constipation and diarrhoea, it’s best to treat the constipation first.
5. Deal with constipation
Again, from diet to dehydration, there are so many things that can bring on constipation. If you experience this problem my advice would be to drink plenty of water – and no, tea and coffee do not count! In fact, these things are actually likely to make the problem worse so opt for plain water instead.
You can drink this hot or cold but just make sure you do so both half an hour before and after meals, rather than drinking as you eat. This will ensure you do not dilute the digestive juices which risks making the problem worse.
If you need a real blast to get things moving though, I’d advise using a strong laxative containing Linseed, Senna and Frangula. Here you should use a low dose to start with and only for a short time. If the problem persists, make sure you consult a healthcare professional.
6. Tackle candida
Many people are told that they have an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria in their intestines and this is at the root of their digestive problems. In reality though, it is often poor digestion that allows Candida (a perfectly normal resident in the gut) to get above itself and start rampaging about. This means adopting a healthy diet with lots of the tips as mentioned above, plus lots of fresh foods including vegetables, fruit and coconut oil too can be useful.
Also, just as is the case with diarrhoea, stress can contribute to candida because digestion simply doesn’t work very effectively at this time. So, get tackling the things that are causing you stress to help curb candida!
Supporting yourself from the inside can aslo help when it comes to infections such as candida. As Candida albicans is a type of yeast, having sufficient levels of good bacteria levels can help to keep it in check. Prebiotics such as Molkosan act by supporting the internal environment of your gut and can help to do just that.
Finally, interestingly, the immune system also plays a part in keeping fungal infestations at bay so it’s crucial to keep this in tip-top condition! Echinaforce, which contains fresh Echinacea drops, is perfect for this if you feel you need a little extra support.
7. Try Silicol gel
Whilst all of the helpful habits above can help ensure your digestive system is a little happier, flare ups can still happen and when they do, we want you to be prepared.
Here at A.Vogel we often recommend Silicol gel for those suffering from digestive issues like flatulence, heartburn and bowel discomfort. This solution contains silicic acid and oxygen which soothes the stomach and intestine quickly, but also binds to any toxins and pathogens to help facilitate their safe removal from the body.
Article originally published on 27 February 2015 (updated on 13 September 2018)