Having poor digestion can make your life miserable. It can affect your overall wellbeing as well as your daily activities, which can lead to issues such as anxiety and depression. Even if you try to monitor what you eat, the smallest of things can trigger a problem.
Due to the sensitivity of your gut, you may find you avoid social situations as well as eating out for fear that an episode may be triggered. Your body gives you signs and symptoms that you need to listen to. There are ways to heal your gut and improve your digestion.
Balancing your gut flora can be done with some lifestyle changes, making your bowel habits regular. Did you know that some health conditions that plague Americans are caused by a poor diet and a lack of good bacteria in their gut? Altering your diet and lifestyle can have a significant impact.
Eleven Signs That Your Poor Digestion Needs Evaluating
Some people have fought with poor digestion their entire life, and they don’t think much about it. They’ve learned to live with their symptoms as it’s become a new normal. However, you don’t have to live with these issues when you can control them by making some lifestyle changes.
Here are some symptoms that indicate you need to evaluate your poor digestion further.
One of the first and foremost signs of poor digestive health can be seen in your feces. Your bowel movements come in all shapes, colors, and consistencies. However, it shouldn’t be loose and watery or odd color.
If your excrement is black, then it’s a sign of old blood in your digestive system. However, if it’s white, then it’s a sign of significant issues in your biliary system. If something doesn’t look average or typical for you, then you need to seek medical attention, as there can be serious issues when the biliary system is involved.
Sadly, many cancers are observed by changes in bowel habits, and the quicker you catch a malignancy, the greater your chances of recovery. According to an article with the Cleveland Clinic, 85 percent of all colon cancers are preventable if you have routine colonoscopies.
Did you know that you should have at least one bowel movement each day? If you go two or more days without passing stool, then you’re considered medically constipated. Many folks think that IBS means loose stool, but you can have IBS-C, which means you also have constipation with it.
Many things can trigger irregularity, including a high-stress lifestyle. It’s essential that you get rid of any build-up as it can cause issues such as an impacted bowel.
3. Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can often be one of the most unrecognizable symptoms of IBS. According to a study conducted by Lauren B. Gerson, MD for Everyday Health, over 40 percent of those with this common bowel issue also have acid reflux problems. The overlap in these two conditions is often missed, but those who have anxiety triggered by poor gut health may also suffer from GERD.
4. Foul Taste in Your Mouth
It will help if you distinguish what is causing the foul taste in your mouth. First, it can come from the things you eat, like garlic, onions, or other spices. Second, it can be from something internal that has nothing to do with your food intake.
For instance, a sour taste or one that is metallic in nature might come from digestive issues. Unless you’re plagued with halitosis, then it’s worth investigating this unsavory taste.
5. Painful Bowel Movements
Going to the bathroom is never a pleasant experience, but sometimes it’s painful. Pain while pooping is a sign of poor digestion and IBS. If you find that you suffer when using the restroom after you eat a meal, it needs to be investigated.
Your gut flora needs to be balanced. You can help provide clues to what’s causing this by keeping a food journal. Whenever you notice that you have painful bowel movements, you can notate what foods triggered this response.
You may have a gluten intolerance as well as allergies to corn, soy, dairy, vegetable oils, or the stress in your life might be affecting your digestion. Did you know there is a direct link between mental health issues and your gut flora?
According to an article written on Harvard’s medical blog, they state that many of the nerves between your gut and brain are connected, specifically the vagus nerve. There is strong evidence that poor diet may be a contributing factor to anxiety and depression, though more research is needed.
Chronic fatigue is something that accompanies many illnesses, so you might not relate it to your digestion. However, your digestive system can have a significant impact on your energy levels. When you deal with bloating and frequent bowel movements, it can drain your resources.
Another common issue with IBS is that you don’t get adequate sleep. If your trips to the bathroom become so frequent that it interrupts your rest, then it can affect your overall energy level. Don’t be so quick to think there’s something else going on with your health if you have an irritable bowel and you’re exhausted all the time.
7. Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations are a broad term used to describe any issues with the beating or rhythm of the heart. Palpitations occur when the heart is beating too fast or too slow, or you feel like it’s doing flip flops. It’s startling that heart palpitations can be a side effect of poor digestion and irritable bowel, but it’s true.
Anxiety is another major cause of heart palpitations, so it’s often challenging to distinguish between the two. However, it can be digestive issues and an irritable bowel that’s causing your heart problems. When your heart is acting abnormally, it’s essential to have it checked out.
8. Swelling and Bloating
The foods you’re eating are triggering an allergic reaction in your digestive system. The problem is that this causes you to have frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain, and you don’t get the nutrients you need from your food. All this inflammation and other chaos going on in your bowels can cause bloating.
A classic way to tell if this issue is food-related can be identified right after you eat. Your stomach can become distended even if you haven’t eaten a large meal; you will feel like you finished a feast. A gastroenterologist can quickly identify if the issues with bloating are food and IBS-related or coming from another problem.
9. Loss of Appetite
When you have issues with chronic diarrhea, and your body is losing the vital nutrients and electrolytes it needs, it can affect your appetite. While you probably think it wouldn’t hurt you to turn down a few meals for weight loss, it’s the nutrients you need to help your system thrive.
It would help if you tried to eat as many meals as possible as the loss of nutrition can be very problematic for your health.
10. Frequent Urges to Urinate
Do you constantly feel the urge to pee, even if you just urinated? It could be your bowels that are causing the issues. This urge has nothing to do with your bladder being full, but you’re having spasms caused by problems in your digestive system.
Running to the bathroom constantly can disrupt your day, and you can alleviate some of these issues by simply changing your diet and lifestyle. Nothing is worse than being stuck somewhere and feeling these sensations, so knowing you can fix it gives you a glimmer of hope.
11. Chronic Diarrhea
You already know that your bowel habits are one of the most significant indicators of poor gut health, but people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome often struggle with diarrhea. In fact, diarrhea may be so common that you usually don’t have a solid stool. Many symptoms accompany loose stools, such as urgency, frequency, or just softer than normal feces.
When you think that you’re eating habits and lifestyle can make a difference in your digestion, it’s a frightening thought. When you don’t eat the proper foods, your body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs; thus, you lack things to make your system function properly.
However, conditions like IBS can have genetic links, but they can be managed through lifestyle and diet changes. Poor digestion can certainly mess with your gut and even your brain health, but it can cause many other issues throughout your body that shouldn’t be ignored.
What you put into your mouth has a significant impact on your total well-being. While sugar sweets and carbohydrate-laden foods taste delicious, a diet full of these items can cause you to feel bloated, miserable, and have health issues that impact your quality of life.
While there’s no cure for IBS, you can control it with diet modification. You will feel so much better when you are free from bloating and pain.