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Brunswick-Naturopathy-digestive-problems

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, reflux, constipation, or diarrhoea can hugely affect our day-to-day life.

Some people put up with gut issues for years and think it’s just normal for them.  No – it’s never too late to get support for digestive problems.

A naturopath can help to identify causal and contributing factors and design an individual programme to restore gut health.

What causes digestive problems?

Many things can contribute to digestive problems. Food intolerances, allergies, poor dietary choices, poor digestive function, chronic stress, lack of movement, medications, environmental toxins, and infections can all contribute to gut injury, and digestive problems. IBS is a medically diagnosed condition, but can often be used as an ‘umbrella’ term for a collection of unpleasant and unexplained digestive issues that may be a result of other underlying conditions, and some may require further investigation.

Gut healing foods for digestive problems

brunswick-naturopathy-healthy-foods-for-digestive-problems

Your digestive needs will vary depending on your condition.  At first you may only be able to tolerate cooked foods or low fibre foods, and you may need to do an elimination diet or food allergy testing. However, eventually we want you to be able to tolerate and enjoy all foods.

There are some great fruits and vegetables that support gut health:

Apples – are high in soluble fibre which promotes stool bulk and movement, and improves digestion

Jerusalem Artichoke – a prebiotic that increases good gut bacteria and bowel movement

Garlic – is anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic in the gut, and along with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties has a range of health benefits.

Ginger – improves blood circulation around the body, reduces nausea and flatulence, and is also a potent anti-inflammatory.

Asparagus – a prebiotic that feeds good bacteria, contains B vitamins and antioxidants

Banana – is rich in potassium and magnesium, high in fibre and aids against gut inflammation

Beetroot – is high in antioxidants and fibre that promotes healthy gut bacteria and movement

Broccoli – is high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, that support bowel regularity and a healthy microbiome

Fennel – has antispasmodic properties that relax the digestive tract and reduce spasm, cramping and bloating

Papaya – contains digestive enzyme papain which aids protein digestion

Pineapple – contains digestive enzyme bromelain which aids protein digestion

Gut healing nutrients

These are a few of the supplements that may help with digestive problems.  Of course, you won’t need them all, and you may need others, it’s always best to get some individual advice.

Vitamin D

Helps to regulate and maintain your gut microbiome, reduce inflammation, and protect the gut lining

Turmeric

A strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, enhances liver detoxification pathways to help remove toxins and pathogens

Vitamin C and Zinc

Both are required for collagen synthesis and the repair of all body tissues including the digestive tract.  They also support a healthy immune system

Glutamine

An amino acid required to repair the gut mucosal lining, and intestinal permeability.

Quercetin

An antioxidant, shown to reduce intestinal permeability, reduce inflammation and improve gut barrier function.

Probiotics

These help to increase the abundance, diversity, and activity of bacteria in your gut. This results in a thicker gut mucosal wall, a healthier and stronger gut barrier, and reduced inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.  Everyone’s microbiota is unique and will benefit from different strains of good bacteria depending on your health issue.

Prebiotics

These provide food for the good bacteria to help repair to nourish the gut lining and reduce inflammation.  To increase these, you can supplement with specific fibres and eat a diversity of vegetables, fibres and starches.

Herbal teas for digestive problemsHerbal-teas-for-digestive-problems

Teas are an easy way to support digestion at home and can be very effective for many digestive problems

Chamomile – is anti-spasmodic and helps to settle the gut, relieving cramping and gas.  Chamomile is also calming and great for gut problems related to anxiety and stress.  It helps promote good sleep

Ginger – helps to stimulate the production of saliva, bile, and gastric secretions.  Drink before or with your meal to aid digestion

Fennel – is great for nausea, gas, bloating and cramps, aids digestion and settles gut pain

Kombucha – helps to boost good bacteria in the gut as it contains probiotic properties from live cultures. Home-brewed is best.

Peppermint – is soothing and calming to the gut, relieves pain and discomfort from gas and bloating

Lemon balm –helps settle stomach pain, gas, bloating and cramps, and aids digestion

Liquorice root – is soothing and calming for the digestive tract and helps with reflux and indigestion.

Many digestive problems pass quickly, but if yours are ongoing or if you have issues of concern, you may need to get some naturopathic advice.  We can assess if you need further support, or if any further testing or investigations are needed.  If you think you need digestive support, or have some queries about how we can help, feel free to get in touch.

Angela McTaggart
Qualified Clinical Naturopath
Brunswick Naturopathy

www.brunswicknaturopathy.com.au
facebook.com/BrunswickNaturopathy

 

Angela McTaggart - Naturopath, Brunswick Naturopathy
angela@brunswicknaturopathy.com.au