Risk factors that increase your risk for developing digestive problems
Most of us have experienced some form of digestive upset from time to time leading to a host of common symptoms including bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation, or nausea.
In most cases, these symptoms pass in a short period of time. Some people, however experience chronic digestive problems that should be addressed by a healthcare professional.
Common causes of digestive problems include:
- These days, the consumption of processed foods is more prevalent than ever before. Refined sugars, flours and other foods rob the body of essential fiber and nutrients, which often leads to bloating and indigestion. To get your digestive system back on track, it is important to incorporate high-fibre, non-processed foods and to eliminate (or significantly reduce) processed foods and junk foods.
- The modern, busy lifestyle also has led to poor eating habits. Many people eat their meals in a rush, which involves minimal chewing and swallowing food before it has gone through the initial digestive process in the mouth. This habit also leads to bloating, gas and indigestion. Working on chewing your food well before swallowing will improve your digestion.
Food Allergies and Food Intolerances
- Many people experience allergies or intolerance to certain types of foods. For example, dairy sensitivity is very common since many individuals lack the enzymes necessary to digest the proteins in dairy. Food sensitivities also cause digestive problems.
- It is now common knowledge among healthcare professionals that our emotional well-being plays a significant role in our physical health and in the ability of our bodies to digest food properly. Stress and anxiety divert our body’s resources from the digestive process and can cause digestive upset, increased risk of illness, and other negative symptoms. Working on reducing your stress levels may just be the key to improving your digestion and your overall health.
If you have questions about digestive problems and ways to improve digestion, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.