Even if you don’t have a chronic condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may well have ongoing issues with your digestive system. Experts estimate that some 60-70 million Americans do. Happily, there are many steps you can take to improve your gut health and reduce issues.
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, our expert providers find that many people have issues with gut health, and often they aren’t even aware it’s a problem that can be solved. You may think that heartburn runs in your family and you just have to live with it, or perhaps you think gassiness is normal for most people, most of the time. Our approach to healing is through functional medicine, and it includes addressing your lifestyle habits and nutrition to help you reach your optimal level of health.
In this post, we present common habits that worsen your gut health. Making a few simple lifestyle changes could mean you no longer feel nauseated, gassy, or uncomfortable after eating.
1. You eat too much fat and too many sweets
A diet high in sugar and fat is damaging to your gut biome, which is how researchers describe the complex community of bacteria in your gut. When your gut biome is healthy, you have fewer issues, and eating too much fat and sweeteners is not healthy for your gut biome.
2. You don’t get enough sleep
Inadequate sleep is associated with a long list of chronic health conditions, including digestive problems. Like consuming an unbalanced diet, lack of sleep damages the bacteria and flora in your digestive system.
3. You’re sedentary
Exercise is good for your body for a number of reasons, including improving your gut health. Exercise improves your circulation, and helps you maintain a healthy weight, both factors in good digestion.
4. You don’t eat enough fiber
It’s no secret that fiber is good for digestion, but most Americans don’t come close to eating the recommended daily amount of fiber. Eating more vegetables and whole grains is the best way to raise your fiber intake.
5. You live with chronic stress
Stress causes inflammation, and inflammation in your gut leads to discomfort. It’s easy to say, “reduce your stress,” but actually doing so may present difficulties. Some practical suggestions include scheduling time for exercise, practicing meditation, even if only for a few minutes each day, letting go of commitments such as volunteer opportunities, and working to improve the amount and quality of your sleep.
We may be able to help you reduce stress as well. Therapies like acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine are all effective methods for reducing stress.
Gut problems like gas, heartburn, and bloating are common, but you’re not optimally healthy if you have them. We can help you improve your gut health, and offer strategies for changing the habits that are causing gut issues. Schedule an appointment today to learn how we might be able to help you live with better digestion.