Digestive Problems Symptoms, Causes, and Diet Tips

Specialty: Internal Medicine

Dr. Jess (Dr.Jessica Peatross) is a western trained medical doctor who began her journey into healing in 2009 when she graduated from the University of Louisville internal medicine residency program. She is passionate about teaching people ... more

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Geneti... more

All of us experience digestive problems from time to time. Thirty-four million people in the US suffer from digestive problems. Be it from eating too much too quickly, eating the wrong food constantly, or dehydration, they all can surely give you stomach problems. However, the good news is, there are some simple home remedies for digestive problems you can try to treat the symptoms. In this article, we look at the causes of these issues and a few preventive tips you can try to further avoid digestive problems.

What Are Digestive Problems?

The digestive system is a complex and vital part of your body, and it spans all the way from your mouth to your rectum. It helps your body absorb various essential nutrients and facilitates the excretion of waste.

Digestive problems are of different types and may show varying symptoms. When left attended, these issues can lead to complications and chronic illnesses. We have discussed some common digestive issues below.

Types, Causes, And Symptoms Of Digestive Problems

The following will give you an idea about the different digestive problems:

1. Chronic Constipation

This is when your digestive system cannot get rid of the body’s waste for an extended period.

Cause

It occurs when your colon is unable to pass stools through the remaining of your digestive tract.

2. Food Intolerance

This happens when your digestive system cannot tolerate certain foods. Unlike food allergies, food intolerance solely affects digestion.

Cause

A common form of food intolerance is Celiac disease, which also is an autoimmune disorder. It causes digestive problems upon gluten consumption. The causes range from the absence of a particular digestive enzyme in the body to the presence of certain chemicals in food.

3. GERD

Frequent heartburn (a digestive problem) can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that eventually damages your esophagus.

Cause

Your stomach acid going up the esophagus can cause pain and a burning sensation in your chest. This is referred to as heartburn. Frequent and untreated heartburn leads to GERD.

4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can affect one or more parts of the digestive tract. It can be

classified into two types:

• Ulcerative colitis, which affects only the colon • Crohn’s disease, which affects the colon and the small intestine

Cause

Although the exact cause is unknown, IBD is most often associated with genetics (a family history of the disease) and problems with the immune system.

Symptoms

Now that you have a fair idea about the major types of digestive problems, let us see how they can be resolved by using simple and natural home remedies.

Why This Works

Chamomile is an age-old remedy for various digestion problems like cramps, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome – thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties (1). The tea can soothe your intestinal muscles and relieve abdominal pain and discomfort.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily, preferably before meals.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar stimulates the secretion of digestive juices that assist in digestion by breaking down food. It also relieves common digestive issues like heartburn and indigestion (2).

Caution

If you have problems with gastric emptying, stay away from apple cider vinegar as it can aggravate the issue.

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this 2 to 3 times before meals or before bed.

Why This Works

Ginger is a multifaceted herb that alleviates digestion problems. Its carminative nature can help relieve bloating and gas and ease symptoms of nausea and vomiting (3).

Why This Works

The carminative effects of coriander seeds help heal an upset stomach and ease digestion, gas, and even bowel spasms (4).

How Often You Should Do This

You must consume pumpkins once daily for a few weeks.

Why This Works

Pumpkins are rich sources of fiber and low in starch and sugar. They are easy to digest and great for digestive problems like diarrhea and constipation (5).

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this tea 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Menthol in peppermint exhibits anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic activities that help relieve digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (6). It can also alleviate the associated abdominal pain and discomfort.

Caution

Do not follow this remedy if you are suffering from nausea or heartburn. Your condition may get aggravated.

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this mixture 2 to 3 times daily prior to your meals.

Why This Works

Fennel is often used as a carminative and digestive aid. Its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties relieve stomach pain and abdominal discomfort associated with bloating and colic (7).

What You Have To Do

Add ground black pepper to season your favorite dishes and salads.

Why This Works

Piperine in black pepper has antispasmodic effects that alleviate digestive problems like diarrhea and constipation (8).

Why This Works

Aloe vera contains laxative compounds like barbaloin, aloin, and aloe-emodin – which promote normal bowel movements. They also help treat indigestion, bloating, and flatulence. The anti-inflammatory activities of aloe vera protect the gastrointestinal lining and alleviate intestinal discomfort (9).

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this once daily to see the desired effects.

Why This Works

Curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that boost digestive health and protect your intestines from further damage (10).

Why This Works

Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics, which are the good bacteria similar to your gut microflora. These act as the first line of defense and protect your intestine from infection and disorders (11).

Why This Works

Vitamin D, like probiotics, restores the healthy gut bacteria. It also improves metabolism and helps treat digestive problems like inflammatory bowel disease (12).

Why This Works

Green tea is an excellent source of polyphenols. Once inside your gastrointestinal tract, green tea activates intracellular antioxidants, which prevents damage to your gastrointestinal tract (13).

Why This Works

Lemon juice flushes toxins out of your body and refreshes and rehydrates it. The juice also boosts metabolism, thereby aiding digestion and helping curb obesity (14).

What you eat and don’t eat has a major role to play in treating your digestive problems. In addition to the remedies listed above, the following diet tips will also help.

Diet Tips

There are foods that boost digestive health, and there also are foods that can aggravate an existing condition. So, you must be conscious about your eating habits. We are here with two food lists – one that you should eat more of and the other that you need to avoid – to successfully combat digestive problems.

Best Foods For Treating Digestion Problems

Foods that you need to avoid as they can worsen your digestive issues are as follows.

Foods That Can Aggravate Digestive Problems

You also need to make a few changes to your daily lifestyle choices to prevent the recurrence of digestive issues. Here are some tips that will undoubtedly help.

Prevention Tips

Waste no time. Begin treatment right away. Any delay can cause permanent damage to your digestive system. In some cases, you may even have to opt for surgeries that involve the removal of your gallbladder, colon, or rectum. These can have a serious impact on your digestive health and further result in several other complications. If the home remedies are not effective, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Hope this article has helped you make wise choices about your digestive health. For any questions, get in touch with us via the comment box below.

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