Guide to Digestive Health

Sanctum Health

Digestive problems are a common ailment at any time of the year. Indeed, some experts suggest that 40% of people have at least one digestive symptom at any one time. But with the festive season well and truly upon us, we’re probably a bit prone to overindulging than usual – and therefore more likely to be experiencing some of the digestive consequences of that second helping of turkey (or third mince pie of the day...)

What are the most common digestive symptoms?

The most common digestive problems are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Excess wind

And these are such common issues that we more or less take them for granted – treating them with over-the-counter remedies to provide quick fixes and getting on with our lives.

Could a digestive symptom indicate a serious problem?

We’re so used to experiencing digestive problems that we often fail to pay much attention to them. But there are some warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • A sudden, persistent change in how your bowels work
  • Bleeding from the back passage
  • An increase in heartburn, indigestion or other stomach pain
  • Sudden, unexpected weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing.

You should also speak to your doctor is you’ve been taking an over-the-counter remedy for a digestive symptom for two weeks with no improvement.

 What causes digestive symptoms?

Digestive problems are usually caused by lifestyle choices – so, the amount of exercise we do and the types of food we eat. Simply, if we don’t get up and move about enough, and don’t manage to eat a healthy balanced diet, we are more likely to experience digestive symptoms.

Other common culprits include medicine that we’re taking for other conditions. For instance, certain tranquillisers, painkillers, iron tablets and cough medicines can cause constipation. Some people get diarrhoea while taking blood pressure pills. And you’ve probably heard horror stories of the havoc that antibiotics can wreak on the digestive system!

What can be done to ease digestive symptoms?

Luckily, it’s usually possible to see real improvement to digestive problems after taking a few relatively simple changes.

  • Eat or drink three hours before going to bed to give your body a chance to digest food properly before lying horizontally for the night
  • Eat three to four small meals during the day rather than having a large dinner or lunch
  • Take regular exercise and eat a balanced diet – this will help in itself, and will also help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is another important factor
  • Quit smoking

Take Aloe Vera capsules – often called ‘the miracle plant’, Aloe Vera has properties that make it a potent anti-inflammatory agent. This helps to protect the intestinal wall, which in turn normalises the digestive system. Aloe Vera has already helped thousands of people worldwide experience tremendous improvements to their digestive problems!