3 tips for a healthy digestive system

3 tips for a healthy digestive system

Many people have experienced abdominal discomfort at some point in their lives, and a common culprit can be air in the digestive tract.

“When air gets into the GI tract, it can cause burping, a full sensation in the stomach or bloating—or excessive flatulence,” says Dr. Dzifaa K. Lotsu, a gastroenterologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “These common occurrences can cause discomfort, but there are ways these symptoms can be avoided.”

Dr. Lotsu offers some helpful tips:

  1. To avoid burping or excessive belching, reduce the amount of air swallowed by slowing down when you’re eating or drinking. Also, chew food completely. Another tip includes drinking fewer carbonated beverages and avoiding drinking from straws, as both can trigger gas. Chewing gum, eating hard candy, having excessive swallowing and forced belching can also be a reason for stomach issues. If you wear dentures, make sure they fit well, as poorly fitting dentures can cause belching.
  2. Abdominal bloating, or a full sensation in the stomach, may be due to intestinal sensitivity or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Bloating can occur when certain fermentable carbohydrates are not absorbed by the body very well.To relieve this discomfort, avoid common triggers like broccoli, baked beans, cabbage, carbonated drinks, cauliflower, chewing gum and hard candy. People with certain food sensitivities or intolerances may also want to avoid dairy, or lactose, and high fructose corn syrup.
  3. Abdominal inflation is when a substance such as gas or fluid accumulates in the stomach, causing it to expand, which can result in discomfort. This can be the result of weak abdominal muscles or swallowing air. For most people, it’s better in the morning and gets worse throughout the day.It can be relieved by maintaining a stable posture, going for a walk, exercising and staying away from foods that trigger gas. To prevent inflation, tighten your abdominal muscles throughout the day by pulling in your stomach several times, doing sit ups or wearing an abdominal support garment.

“Next time you’re experiencing discomfort in your digestive tract, consider what you are eating,” says Dr. Lotsu. “Try tracking your eating habits and symptoms to help identify the foods that trigger your symptoms. Avoiding these foods or eating less of them can decrease abdominal discomfort and help you avoid unwanted gas. If dietary changes don’t help or your symptoms are severe, see a doctor.”

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  1. I am very surprised that no mention was made about taking probiotic supplements. I have had much help using a good brand with at least 20 million count and at least ten different strains of bacteria. I have recommended them for years to my clients with IBS and other digestive problems with much success. It is much better than taking drugs which often don’t work. The best probiotic supplements are available in health food stores. Avoid the ones sold in drug stores like the brand name Align. They have very low count beneficial bacteria and only a few strains and are overpriced !

  2. Joy C Vitiritti May 23, 2016 at 5:52 pm · Reply

    I am a current IBS ( irritable bowel syndrome) sufferer. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for 2 1/2 year’s because of how sever mine is, and I’m pretty much at the point were I can’t eat anything with out a flare up. What can I do?

  3. Thanks for sharing these great tips. Digestion is so important. The old saying “you are what you eat” is not completely right, it should be “you are what you absorb”.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.