As someone who lives with a family member who suffers from Diverticulitis, the problems faced when it comes to digesting foods are apparent. In this case, or in similar diagnoses of Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc., what one eats has to be carefully planned out. Of course, the symptoms of indigestion, constipation and bloating effect us all at some point and can be very uncomfortable; they can ruin a great meal with friends or be an ongoing problem that ought to be checked out. Below are a few simple tips to follow if you have been suffering from these common symptoms:
(1) Include more fibre in your diet. It’s simple enough advice which any nutritionist will spout, but they do so because it works. It may take a week or two to regulate your system and allow the body to adjust but once it does you will notice the difference. Including vegetables in your daily diet also decreases your chances of colon cancer. One way to get your daily intake is through smoothies which combine several ingredients and can be made in advance in bulk (though to get the most, only consume after a few days of making).
(2) Being on the move means not only ridding yourself of that sluggish feeling psychologically, but kicking start your metabolism so it breaks down food quicker. If you want to picture it as your stomach and colon being jostled around as you walk, it will process food quicker rather than simply laying down and it just sitting in your stomach. Even if you are sat down, gently rub the area below your belly button to move things along. I’ve found that having my cat paw around my tummy did the same job and was a bit more fun. Walking upwards meant that my thighs would often be raised above navel, and as the point below attests, this actually helps your colon
(3) When going to the toilet, ensure your knees are level or even raised slightly above your belly button, rather than sloping down. This helps ease your sphincter muscle so it relaxes. While sat on the loo, gently massage your stomach. Alternatively breathe in and hold your stomach for about ten seconds and then release, repeating a few times.
(4) There is a stigma with laxatives like sucrose that they are associated with eating disorders which can make them embarrassing to purchase; others are simply embarrassed to buy them because of what it brings to mind and their purpose. As long as you don’t become reliant on them or use them excessively, sticking to what the instructions say, they are a perfectly acceptable way of relieving constipation. Alternatively, you can make your own home-made, completely safe laxative by consuming a mixture of crushed cinnamon bark (or powder) with honey, which is also used to relieve colds and other ailments.
(5) A hot water bottle is probably one of the most undervalued inventions ever, and it is no different in this case. Applying it to the abdomen can instantly relieve bloating, not just through applying light pressure to the area but by also taking your mind off the discomfort.
(6) Though it does seem to negate any good of eating well, some find that alcohol can actually help relieve trapped wind. Most swear by a combination of port and brandy, though I’ve found that whiskey with a sweet mixer, like coke does the same. Usually just one drink won’t do too much harm occasionally for this purpose. Many find that after a night out of drinking beer, they often experience diarrhea the next morning, which can be explained by the grain that beer is made from being rich in fiber (though this is no excuse to dive into a six-pack to relieve constipation).
If you have been experiencing problems persistently, you ought to consult a doctor if there is indeed an underlying cause. At home, you can consult the Bristol Stool chart to compare what you’re producing directly and find a suggestion yourself quickly.