Signs and symptoms of poor digestive health
Our digestive system is responsible for breaking down the food we eat into smaller molecules of nutrients that the body can use to build and nourish cells, provide energy and perform hundreds of normal bodily processes. If our digestive systems aren’t working well, it means that we may not be breaking down our food properly and absorbing the nutrients our bodies need to function at their best. Signs and symptoms that your digestive system may be out of balance include:
- Abdominal discomfort during or after eating1
- Burning or discomfort in the upper abdomen1
- Regular bloating – an uncomfortable feeling of tightness
- Constipation – Less than three bowel movements a week or stools that are hard or dry making them painful or difficult to pass2
- Excessive gas – flatulence and burping It may sound like a lot but passing gas around 13‐21 times a day is considered normal. More than this is excessive.3
- Stools that are very dark or pale, contain undigested food or have an especially bad odor.
- A feeling that a bowel motion is incomplete
- Poor appetite
- Poor overall health – Good nutrition and digestion is essential for good health and energy. Without it, you may experience frequent colds and fatigue, and your hair, skin and nails may be weak or lackluster.
Alleviating symptoms of poor digestion
Certain dietary and lifestyle changes may help alleviate the symptoms of poor digestion in many cases, but if you experience these symptoms regularly and they’re affecting your normal life, it’s important to consult your healthcare professional to rule out any underlying problems. Dietary and lifestyle tips for good digestion include:
- Eat smaller more frequent meals and chew your food carefully
- Exercise regularly as it helps reduce digestive sluggishness4
- Eat fiber‐rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and wholegrains
- Manage daily stress
- If you suffer from regular digestive upsets, start a journal and record what you eat and drink and the daily events to see if there is any connection. Once you know your digestive triggers, you can avoid or at least prepare for them.
- Consider a digestive support supplement with supplement with digestive enzymes and ginger.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
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Published May 16, 2014
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