Here’s the digestion question. Do you have constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea or heartburn?

Digestive health can be easily changed with simple lifestyle adjustments. Menopause mental note – you can’t eat, drink or even medicate like you did in your 30’s. (Darn).

If you answered yes to any of the above mentioned challenges there are simple ways to start changing how you are feeling.

Simple Changes

  1. More fruit and vegetables, less red meat.
  2. More whole foods, less processed foods.
  3.  Drink freshly squeezed lemons in spring or filtered water. This is alkalizing and helps to clean the stomach of any residual debris.
  4. Do not ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Listen to your body.
  5.  Eat more fiber (#1) Beans, wholesome whole grains (quinoa, brown rice) nuts, sweet peas, jewel like berries (raspberries, blueberries, etc.), spinach, squash are a few examples of the great variety of fiber.
  6. Skip the NSAID’s/non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Traditional NSAIDs include aspirin; ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) naproxen (e.g. Aleve). Regular use of these drugs can cause peptic ulcers in the digestive tract.
  7.  Be careful of use and overuse of other drugs that create digestive problems. Too many antibiotics can strip your gut of good bacteria and you can end up with c-difficile. (Clostridium difficile (klos-TRID-e-um dif-uh-SEEL), often called C. difficile or C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.
  8.  Don’t overeat.
  9.  Use herbs for digestion.
  10. Drink your liquids before and after meals, not during.
  11.  Take your time and really chew-chew-chew. Your body can use energy for other things if you chew your food instead of relying on acid and enzymes.
  12.  Eat slower so you do not swallow a lot of air while you eat.
  13.  Do all of the above and skip the laxatives, as your body becomes reliant on them and they are habit forming.
  14.  Smoking and drinking can cause ulcers and heartburn.
  15. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a specialist (gastroenterologist). You may want to get a referral from a friend or relative. Remember that they are there to diagnose and treat, prevention lies in your hands.

Action Steps

1. Pick the top three things you will focus on and begin to create a change so it will become a habit.
2. Find natural alternatives for headaches (like peppermint oil ). Peppermint oil clinical research backs up effectiveness.

Sources

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peptic-ulcer/ds00242/dsection=causes
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2010/June/clostridium-difficile-an-intestinal-infection-on-the-rise
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipation/#what

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