Living with a gastrointestinal issue can be a nightmare. Various issues, painful gas, heartburn, and the dreaded acid reflux can all stem from a GI problem. Many people aren’t aware that they may have an underlying GI issue until a doctor diagnoses it and it’s in full swing. While reaching for antacid tablets is often the first choice, you can’t fix a serious digestive problem with antacids alone. If acid and heartburn are common in your life, try these three tips to alleviate the issue:
- Identify GI issues
- Lifestyle change
- Go gluten-free
Like most medical issues, it is necessary to identify all of your symptoms first before taking any action. For most problems, small lifestyle changes can have huge benefits.
A gluten-free diet might be a fad for some people but for others, it is necessary and serious. Please note that while the tips suggested here can provide relief, seeing your doctor is always best when something seems “off” with your body.
1. Know what you’re dealing with
Identifying what you have is something that needs to happen before you can remedy it. Simply self-diagnosing digestive problems with a quick Google search isn’t the answer as you will likely match misleading facts and symptoms.
While genuine medical websites like Healthline and the Mayo Clinic have excellent resources for checking symptoms, always seek professional medical advice if you believe you need it.
There are many conditions that link with GI health. Some examples are heartburn of varying intensity, acid reflux, and daily diarrhea. Heartburn might not be considered a problem by those who have never suffered from it but it can be debilitating when it reaches a certain level of pain, causing problems in your daily life and when trying to sleep.
Acid reflux is a very serious condition that usually accompanies heartburn. It can cause acidic substances from the digestive system to push into the mouth. That causes a burn to the tongue and throat, as well as the threat of choking.
Different treatments are necessary for the many GI issues out there. Leading medical professionals often advise that GI issues aren’t only in the obvious digestive areas like the mouth, throat, and stomach.
It can also extend to the liver, pancreas, and colon. Therefore, if you have other serious symptoms like bloody stool, hemorrhoids, or suspected IBS, see a doctor.
2. Try some lifestyle changes
Many people with common GI issues, such as heartburn, find that simple lifestyle changes help their acid issues. Many foods contain acids and chemicals that can exacerbate the symptoms of a GI problem, so cutting them out can improve physical discomfort significantly.
Spicy foods, citrus fruits, and tomatoes are notorious for making acid problems worse, as are some meats, coffee, and especially alcoholic drinks. Leaving out the chilies and foregoing a coffee every morning has been shown to decrease the amount of excess acid in the system while living an alcohol-free life has shown great results.
There are many websites with acid-free recipes and plenty of advice on the dangers of alcohol. If you feel you find it difficult to stop drinking alcohol then consult a local support team from one of the many amazing organizations out there.
3. GI issues? Do your best to avoid gluten
A gluten-free diet was seen by many as a fad diet a few years ago. But it stems from the many people out there who genuinely suffer or could possibly die from being gluten intolerant or afflicted with celiac disease.
Being gluten intolerant is no laughing matter. Products containing wheat/flour, barley, or rye can wreak havoc in the digestive system. It can cause issues like lethargy, poor concentration, and diarrhea.
Those who have celiac disease can even die from complications relating to digestive problems. Recent research shows gluten-containing ingredients can be a major contributor to GI-related issues such as acid, heartburn, and trapped gas.
Going gluten-free can significantly reduce the symptoms related to GI issues and prevent them from reoccurring. However, going gluten-free isn’t easy since most foods, especially pre-made, pre-packaged, or processed food contain some form of gluten.
To ensure a gluten-free lifestyle, check everything you buy to see if it contains gluten or any associated ingredients. At first, you will likely find that you can’t have most of your favorites.
But this will force you to make more fresh food for yourself, which is the most healthy way to live and better in the long run. Plus, there is a growing selection of foods available that don’t have gluten in them and actually taste good!