A good friend of mine loves spicy food. A few years ago, though, he noticed that whenever he ate anything to spicy, he spent the rest of the evening with miserable indigestion. He asked me if there was any way he could enjoy the foods he loved without the unpleasant aftereffects. Fortunately, I was able to give him several recommendations that helped prevent his indigestion.
As you get older indigestion becomes a more common problem. Six million Americans suffer with frequent indigestion. Whether you suffer from gas, frequent heartburn, or bloating these are all signs that something is not working quite right in your digestive system. The gas, bloating, and pain are early signs of what can turn into a bigger problem.
It’s your gut’s job to process the food you eat. It pulls the nutrients out to be absorbed and used by your body, and then it moves what can’t be used right on through. You can imagine if things aren’t working the way they should, it can lead to all sorts of problems.
Fortunately, there are natural, safe, healthy solutions to solve your digestion woes. But first, let’s take a look at the most common causes of indigestion.
Common Cause of Indigestion
Indigestion can be caused by a number of different things. Some are serious, some are less so. All will cause you pain and discomfort.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: This is one of the most common digestive disorders that people suffer from. It leads to pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. The symptoms vary from person to person, and the cause isn’t well understood, although food sensitivities and stress both tend to aggravate symptoms.
Frequent Heartburn: Heartburn happens when the muscle that keeps your stomach acid in your stomach gets weak. It allows some of your stomach acid to enter your esophagus, which leads to an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest.
Diverticulitis: Weak places in your colon can bulge out, creating small pockets in the colon wall. These pockets are called diverticula. The diverticula can become infected causing pain, bloating, and gas. In serious cases, the diverticula can rupture requiring hospital care.
Crohn’s Disease: When you have Crohn’s disease, you experience chronic inflammation in various spots throughout your digestive system. The inflammation left unchecked can lead to painful ulcers.
Ulcerative Colitis: This condition is similar to Crohn’s disease, but where Crohn’s disease affects random areas of the digestive tract, ulcerative colitis tends to be localized to the lower colon and the rectum.
Prevent and Relieve Indigestion for Good
No matter what the source of your discomfort, natural digestive support can help. These remedies work to protect and improve your digestive system. They don’t mask your symptoms, but actually help to improve your condition.
The key to freeing yourself from digestive pain is to make sure your body can adequately absorb nutrients from the food you eat and then to make sure your body can quickly move the waste products out of your body.
Probiotics: The most important thing you can do to support your immune system is to take a good probiotic. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help with digestion. If the number of probiotics in your gut is low then you’ll have a hard time digesting your food. The waste products from your food will also sit around in your gut longer and that leads to gas and bloating. Taking a probiotic supplement can do wonders for your digestion. Just take a look:
• Researchers from Harvard Medical School state that probiotics can help to prevent and cure a wide range of chronic diseases including diarrheal diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, and irritable bowel syndrome.
• Taking probiotics will improve the function of your intestinal barrier and it will improve motility in your gut—that means you’ll eliminate waste products more quickly. The result is less indigestion, gas, and bloating.
• According to studies reviewed by gastrointenstinal specialists, probiotics help reduce inflammation within your digestive tract and promote the overall health of your gut by regulating the production of mucus, inflammatory compounds, and immune reactions within the gut.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. That’s what it’s famous for, but it also contains another compound that is very useful for digestive health. Flaxseed lignans are a compound found within the hull of the flaxseed. The lignans support colon health and good digestion by helping your body to make more of certain compounds that your colon needs. Your colon needs enterolactone and enterodiol to function properly. Flaxseed lignans help your body to produce these two compounds.
Fructooligosaccharides: FOS, for short, works a little like fiber in your colon. It breaks down, but isn’t digested and so it helps to cleanse your colon as it moves through. It also works as a natural regulator of the bacteria in your gut. It helps the good bacteria to grow and it stops the bad bacteria from flourishing. FOS can be tough to find in a supplement, but it’s well worth the search.
Digestive problems are an early warning sign. They cause pain and discomfort and can lead to more serious problems down the road. If you regularly suffer from indigestion, your body is asking you to pay attention. Try some of these solutions and see what a difference they make.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.