Dr. Veronica Broton, Family Medicine Physician at Edwards Elmhurst Health shared that these days, it seems more people than ever are experiencing digestive issues, such as gas, bloating and upset stomach. This is often due to lifestyle factors – convenience is king and people are dining out more and consuming processed foods.
However, there are many issues that play into digestive health. Here are eight simple things you can try to feel better:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid processed, fatty foods
- Eat fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit
- Stay hydrated
- Get regular exercise
- Quit smoking
- Avoid or limit alcohol
- Lower stress levels
Probiotics are another option that may help improve digestive health, but studies aren’t conclusive.
If you’re experiencing digestive health issues, a good starting point is keeping a food journal. I recommend people record everything they eat and drink for a few weeks to look for patterns. For example, you may notice you don’t feel well every time you eat a fatty snack before bed. Keeping a food journal can also help you develop more balanced nutrition. By logging what you eat and drink, you’ll be able to identify opportunities to make better choices.
If you have persistent digestive issues or abdominal pain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your primary care provider. He or she can review your food journal, do a medical exam and, if needed, refer you to a specialist for additional screening tests or treatment.
Edward-Elmhurst Health uses a team approach to tackle digestive issues. Our doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and personal trainers work together to help patients learn more about weight loss, healthy eating and starting an exercise routine. We also incorporate integrative medicine to provide homeopathic therapies that can help improve digestive health.