It’s great that gut health is finally getting all the attention it deserves, I also like the fact that you can even read books written by doctors which are simplified, so that even people with no medical background can understand them. I personally read and liked Gut by Giulia Enders when it came out, and it explained a lot of things.
While it is amazing to have an understanding of how things work, I still trust such important issues only to qualified specialists. Hence last summer I went to a private clinic to run all the tests, as a few things were bothering me, and to find out the issue. Long story short, it cost me a quite a lot and I had a strict diet combined with medication for a few months, but it was absolutely worth it.
This is why I am delighted to bring you a collaboration about the gut health, and would encourage you to take it seriously. It’s not just your general health but also your mood and the way your skin looks.
Have a dicky tummy? Here’s how to make sure your gut is healthy
Everyone has experienced the not so lovely feeling of having stomach problems. Whether it’s from a bit of food that isn’t “agreeing” with us, or something in your diet that acts as a trigger for your insides to turn a little crazy, that feeling that something inside is draining all your energy isn’t a nice one.
So how do you know if your stomach or digestive system has issues, if your gut is healthy and what can be done to get your digestive health is such a good condition that it will feel like it can ace any tests?
Here is a short guide to having a healthy gut and what to do to make it better.
Firstly, know what gut health encapsulates
I’m sure for many of us the first genuine interaction with the world of gut health came at the hands of those tiny bottles of yoghurt, or rather the ads that talked about “good bacteria” and why drinking something so sour it makes your tongue feel all weird would be good for you.
But now with the likes of Kombucha available in Boot’s Meal Deals and Katy Perry saying she drinks apple cider vinegar every day for the probiotics, it’s sort of cool to want to have a healthy gut. Having a healthy gut though goes beyond just eating more veg and laying off things that may taste nice but don’t agree with you every time you eat them.
Know where your gut is and isn’t
Without sounding a little sarcastic, you know heartburn isn’t “heart” burn, right? It’s your body reacting to acid reflux travelling backwards from your stomach and up your throat.
A lot of issues related to your gut and digestive system cover a significant area of your body and knowing if it’s your gut having problems, as opposed to kidneys, liver, bladder etc. can help you understand what to look out for.
When GPs were surveyed by GutsUK, 26% of them said that about a fifth of their patients were in for an appointment because of digestive issues. That’s a lot of people with gut problems who don’t know what’s going on.
Something as subtle as weight gain can cause heartburn with added weight putting pressure on your stomach. Knowing the annuities and reading up on the like of NHS guides can make you gut smart.
Realise you can improve immediately
FIBRE. Glorious fibre. According to the NHS, the average person is looking to get “30g of fibre in their diet every day”. If you’re someone who isn’t one for having a bowl of bran flakes every morning (although they are surprisingly pleasant to snack on) you can cheat your way to hitting that target and letting your gut feel the love.
You can take supplements. The word itself (supplement) has taken on a weird meaning in recent years, especially if you follow accounts on Instagram that advertise taking stupidly oversized shakes and calling them supplements. But you shouldn’t think of them as something you take to lose weight or need for the gym all the time; they’re simply something you have when you might lack a particular vitamin or mineral in your diet.
And you don’t even need to be a medical expert to find out what ones to take. A simple trip to the likes of Holland & Barrett or your local health store will put you right in front of hundreds of tablets, oils and powders that make your gut feel better. From there, you can do a little pick and mix to see what natural products can slowly help you build a stronger gut. It’s important to know what to take though, and checking with your GP is always a good idea, instead of going in and taking anything in the hopes you’ll feel better.
Be proactive and get help
If you think you need help, get it. Visit a GP if you have symptoms like a recent lifestyle change making you feel ill, or if you realise you’ve been having heartburn frequently without any reason for it.
Write down everything you eat for a few days if your stomach is continually having issues and see if there’s a pattern. Common trigger foods like tomatoes, oranges and vinaigrettes can cause your gut problems if it’s not in good health. Eliminating certain foods for a few days at a time can help you pick up on what could be the culprit.
You can also go and see a digestive health specialist privately when your problems have been going on for a long time, and it’s become the norm for you. Instead of taking over the counter medicine with no real improvement, you can have an endoscopy and let a specialist see what’s going on.
Oh, and keep drinking water
Think of your gut like a car engine. It needs oil to go smoothly. Your body is the same way about water. Your body loves taking water and using it to break down food, especially your intestines who use it to push food along.
Now you don’t need to be someone who has a bottle of water by their side 24/7, but if you want to help your gut, remember to have water with every meal, or right now!
That’s the post over, so congratulate yourself with a big glass of cold water. Your gut will thank you for it.