Getting answers to our digestive issues whether they be GERD, heartburn, cramping pain, constipation or bloating is very achievable. There are some actionable rules and proven tools to help you on your journey to better health.
Because when it comes to health, it all starts with good digestion. Eastern medicine has always approached the gut and digestion first.
Okay, first and foremost is to cut the C,R,A,P.
C – Coffee, Cigarettes, Chocolate
R – Refined carbohydrates (sugar, refined grains Ie. white flour), Rx (medications)
A – Acid foods, Alcohol, Allergenic foods
P – Pop (soda, usually colas), Peppermint, Packing the food in (too much at one sitting)
This acronym was adapted from, ‘No more heartburn’ by Sherry Rogers
Now for some easy tips:
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of pure water each day. The rule of thumb is recognized as such: 1/2 ounce for every pound of body weight. 200 lb. man = 100 ounces of water.
- Eat until feeling 80% full. Many times reflux and burping is from too much food. This added stomach pressure can lead to a hiatal hernia, a risk factor in gastric reflux.
- Supplement with digestive enzymes or acid when needed. As we get older we don’t produce more of anything. This includes enzymes and stomach acid. Although we do tend to complain more as we get older. Joke intended.
- Take care of your micro-biome by consuming probiotics. The bacteria that have been living in us since birth and from nursing have taken very good care of our digestive system. Give them what they need such as soluble fiber and replace them after you take any anti-biotic medications.
- Walk after a meal. Staying seated or lying down doesn’t assist digestion like a good 10-15 minute walk will. This works especially well after a holiday meal. Consistent exercise also reduces the risk of suffering from GERD.
- Don’t eat late in the evening and then lie down for bedtime. The build up of pressure when eating a late meal many times will put pressure on the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Sometimes the pressure is enough to push the food back up the esophagus, called reflux. This occurrence is more common when we are overweight.
Digestive problems are quite common and most can be attributed to our modern lifestyle and poor food choices.
Investigation into the causes of digestive problems is very important since treating symptoms only will eventually lead to disease down the road.
It is not desirable to use natural antacids anymore than over-the-counter or prescription ones. Treating the symptoms naturally is still treating the symptoms, only. All in vain, without getting to the cause of the acid reflux. I hope that makes sense.
Call upon the expertise of a Functional Medicine practitioner to help with the discovery process. This can help you avoid much grief down the road and will help you find solutions to ease the discomfort of this all too common digestive disorder.
Take advantage of a complimentary 10 minute phone consultation to see if Functional Medicine is a good choice for you.