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A Healthy Digestive System

Constipation

Most people find from time to time that they become a little constipated when they open their bowels less often than usual. Ignoring the urge to go, stress and not enough fibre water or exercise are the usual culprits resulting in straining on the toilet with just a rabbit-pellet sized stool the reward. Taking any necessary lifestyle changes are put in place to try and make sure constipation doesn’t happen again. If it is a long term constipation, course of colonic irrigation/hydrotherapy (up to 3 treatments) could help to restart your ability to have normal bowel movement.

Heartburn & Indigestion

It’s estimated that up to 40% of people suffer with heartburn and indigestion. This normally occurs as a result of overindulgence and unhealthy eating habits. Rich, fatty, and spicy food, caffeine, smoking, alcohol and stress all contribute to too much acid being made and this damages the stomach lining, causing inflammation and painful indigestion. Overeating, being overweight, eating late at night and wearing tight clothes put pressure on the stomach, forcing acid back up into the gullet and causing painful heartburn. A traditional remedy for heartburn and indigestion is a glass of lowfat milk. Antacids neutralise stomach acid and work quickly to relieve symptoms. Artichoke extract can help to relieve symptoms of overindulgence, bloating and flatulence, which may accompany indigestion. Peppermint oil helps to relieve the feeling of fullness too.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The number of people suffering with irritable bowel syndrome is increasing and currently it is estimated that as many as one in three is affected at some time with symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, alternating constipation and diarrhoea, mucous in the stools, excess belching or passing of excess wind. Many people know what triggers their IBS. Common things include stress and some foods, for example, wheat, citrus fruits, caffeine and alcohol. These triggers should be avoided as far as possible. Peppermint oil effectively relieves painful gut spasm and bloating. Many people find that taking a probiotic supplement helps to keep their IBS under control. Having extra fibre in the diet or taking psyllium dietary fibre helps some people with IBS; however, for others it exacerbates their symptoms so it’s usually a case of try it and see.