It’s no secret that digestive issues are a source of persistent discomfort. Digestive problems run the gamut from “mildly inconvenient” to “outright excruciating,” and regardless of what category yours fall under, you’d do well to get a handle on the problem. Despite how much discomfort digestion problems can cause, effectively treating these issues is often easier than people think. As such, anyone looking to curb digestive distress for the foreseeable future should put the following pointers to good use.
Slow Down When Eating
Many of us have a tendency to wolf down food as quickly as possible. In some cases, expedient eating is a byproduct of relentlessly busy schedules. Other times, it stems from extreme hunger. Regardless of the root cause, eating too quickly can facilitate a host of digestive issues.
Luckily, there are a number of simple fixes for fast eaters. First off, if you’re too busy to sit down and savor your meals, make some adjustments to your schedule. For example, if you often rush through breakfast, try getting up a little earlier than usual and giving yourself enough time to enjoy a proper meal. Secondly, if you tend to ravenously consume your dinner because you’ve gone the entire day without eating, make a point of taking snack breaks throughout the workday. Well-timed snack breaks can effectively tide you over between mealtimes, thus ensuring that you’re not on the verge of collapsing from starvation every time a plate of food is placed in front of you.
Identify Your Triggers
Because everyone’s digestion issues are different, there’s no “one size fits all” solution for combating these problems. That being the case, it’s important to identify your specific triggers and take measures to avoid them. If you notice that certain foods or beverages facilitate bouts of stomach pain, indigestion or diarrhea, make a point of avoiding them. Should you discover that you have a fair number of triggers, you may want to consider keeping a comprehensive list of them on hand at all times, as this will help ensure that you don’t accidentally consume something you shouldn’t.
You also stand to benefit from finding substitutes for foods that trigger digestion problems. For instance, if you’re lactose intolerant, consuming dairy products stands to leave you in absolute agony. You can nip this in the bud by switching to assorted dairy substitutes, like almond milk, oat milk and dairy-free protein powder.
Plan for Emergencies
If your digestive issues are severe, it’s in your best interest to plan for emergencies. Since you never know when digestion problems may strike, you can provide yourself with peace of mind by keeping a number of emergency items on hand at all times. Fast-acting medication designed to help with bloating, gas or diarrhea can prove helpful when you find yourself dealing with digestive distress at work, at a restaurant or in any other type of public setting. Furthermore, if you suffer from IBS or have easily-triggered diarrhea, you may want to consider keeping an extra pair of underwear handy.
Overeating is something we’re all guilty of on occasion. Sometimes, we eat too much because we’re famished. Other times, we do so purely for enjoyment. However, while overeating may bring us pleasure in the moment, it can also cause a plethora of gastrointestinal issues.
In the interest of curbing overeating, take care to eat three balanced meals a day and engaging in healthy snacking between meals. This will ensure that your hunger is consistently sated and help eliminate the desire to overindulge at mealtimes. Additionally, if you regularly dine at buffet restaurants or other self-serve establishments, try to keep portions sensible and avoid taking too much food simply because you can.
Digestive issues stand to interfere with every facet of your life. Whether you’re at work, at home or hitting the town, digestive distress can leave you feeling terrible and put a damper on whatever you’re doing. While some people have accepted digestion problems as an inescapable fact of life, such issues are often far more manageable than we realize. A willingness to try new things and change certain behaviors can do wonders for your efforts at beating digestive distress. With the measures discussed above at your disposal, getting your digestion in order will no longer be a fantasy.