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What Is Digestion?
Digestion is the process of breaking down food into energy that can be used by the body.
What Are Common Digestive Issues?
Common digestive problems can include stomach pain, bloating, cramps, gas, and diarrhea. If you are experiencing severe or unusual symptoms, contact Functional Medicine Center of Fort Collins for help or see your doctor right away.
How To Treat Digestive Problems
Treating digestive issues can involve anything from a change of diet, lifestyle habits, or medication. To learn about solutions for digestive issues, contact Functional Medicine Center of Fort Collins.
What Are The Symptoms of a Bad Digestive System?
The most common signs of a bad digestive system are an upset stomach which can involve bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and even heartburn.
What Causes Digestive Issues?
Digestive problems can be caused by a poor, unhealthy lifestyle in terms of poor nutrition and little to no exercise, a food sensitivity or even an infection. More specifically, digestive issues may be caused by:
- Weight and diet changes
- A high-sugar diet
- Sleep deprivation and/or excessive fatigue
- Food intolerances
- Autoimmune conditions
Autoimmune Conditions That Cause Digestive Problems
There are autoimmune disorders which can contribute to digestive issues. This may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the digestive tract, specifically the innermost lining of the large intestine, colon, and rectum.
Crohn's disease is another IBD that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. It can lead to fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, abdominal pain, and severe diarrhea.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is common and affects the large intestine. Only a small number of people have severe signs and symptoms which include bloating, pain in the abdomen, cramping, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both.
What Is Good for Digestion?
If you are looking for help with any digestive issues, here are some functional solutions.
Eat Real Food
Avoid processed foods or anything you might look at and think “Why is the good stuff always the worst for you?” Odds are, anything like that isn’t really good for you to begin with, and especially not good for your digestion. Take care to eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and even sugars to do what’s best for your body!
Plenty of Fiber
It's common knowledge that fiber is beneficial for good digestion. Fiber rich foods can make all the difference if you are experiencing digestion problems and want a more natural approach first. Foods with plenty of fiber include, but are not limited to: avocados, pears, broccoli, bananas, prunes, artichokes, pistachios, and even popcorn! Minus the heavy butter of course. These foods can be worked into your daily diet to help your digestion easily.
Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet
That’s right! Some fats are in fact healthy for you. They’re important for your body’s balance and can help with any issues you may be experiencing like digestion troubles. Some foods with healthy fats are cheese, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, and dark chocolate. Take some time to do your research or consult your physician about which healthy fats may be right for your diet.
Water is everything! We humans need water to help so support so many of our bodies’ important functions. Water helps keep you cool and replenish fluids after a sweaty workout. It keeps your skin clear and your organs running smoothly. And it most definitely helps with digestion and keeping things moving!
Manage Your Stress
Your head and gut relationship can affect you more than you may realize. It’s true that when you are experiencing larger bouts of stress and anxiety, you can give yourself an upset stomach. That’s not just in the movies. If you are experiencing digestion issues and feel like what you are eating is not causing the problem, look holistically at what is going on in your life right now, and consider other factors which may be causing you trouble. If you are feeling particularly stressed or have been for some time, your upset stomach may be a sign you need to reduce and or manage the amount of stress you are experiencing instead.