Bloating is when your stomach feels bigger or fuller than normal. It can sometimes be accompanied by discomfort, flatulence, or rumbling. something that every one of us has experienced at some point.
It is very common to experience bloating, and usually nothing to be concerned about. However, a largely bloated abdomen should not be recurrent after every meal, and we advise seeking the care of a healthcare professional if you experience frequent, uncomfortable bloating, or if it is impacting your quality of life.
Diarrhoea is passing stools that are loose and watery, or more frequently than is normal for you. Usually, diarrhoea can be brought on with a sense of urgency, where we feel we need to find a toilet immediately, and can also be accompanied by cramping or pain in our stomach.
To explore the causes of diarrhoea and how you can manage it, read on.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder of the digestive system. The wide range of symptoms can be difficult and embarrassing to deal with, but can be controlled to an extent with particular lifestyle habits and a considered diet. IBS often appears for the first time between the ages of 20 and 30 and 1 in 5 in the UK are thought to experience it at some point in their lives. It is more common amongst women than men.
GERD is short for gastroesophageal reflux disease commonly called heartburn, acid indigestion or reflux disease.
Between the bottom of your throat (the esophagus) and your stomach you have a valve that separates the two called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
In GERD what happens is that the LES valve is weak, or relaxes at the wrong times, allowing your stomach contents (partially digested food mixed with stomach acid and bile) to flow back into the bottom of your throat. This is what is called reflux disease.
A prebiotic is a non-digestible food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Fibre is a good example of a prebiotic.
The digestive system relies on a wide range of vitamins and minerals in order to function optimally. Unfortunately, our modern diets often lack these essential nutrients. This leads to numerous issues, as the digestive system is central to the entire functioning of the body. So health really does begin with good digestion.
Digestive problems occur as a result of bad digestion, poor absorption and insufficient elimination.
It sounds silly doesn't it but many people don't really know what 'normal' bowel functions are. Ideally you should pass a bowel movement after each large meal or at least once a day. And what should they look like?
One way of helping to determine this is to use the Bristol Stool Scale.
Ulcers are sores that can happen in your digestive tract, including your lower throat (oesophagus), stomach and intestines. Ulcers are usually caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori that many of us have in our bodies already. The symptoms can be made worse by your stomach acid.
It is not entirely clear why ulcers start but stress and diet, especially a fatty diet, are big contributing factors. A higher intake of fat can greatly increase your chance of getting an ulcer in the first place and cause other gastrointestinal problems. High salt intake is also implicated.
Helicobacter pylori is a nasty stomach bacteria that is now becoming antibiotic resistant.
The conventional approach is to treat it with a triple antibiotic therapy. However, not all people can tolerate this therapy, sometimes experiencing colitis and other side effects.
One of the digestive problems we now regularly encounter is Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a blanket term for a wide range of symptoms including abdominal cramping, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, wind and bloating. IBS can be considerably helped by herbs, probiotics and nutrition.