Flatulence, diarrhea, constipation: Stimulate digestion: This is how you get gastrointestinal problems under control again

According to a survey on the frequency of stomach or intestinal problems in Germany, eleven percent of those surveyed suffer from digestive problems such as abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea several times a month (as of 2017).

Flatulence, diarrhea, constipation: Stimulate digestion: This is how you get gastrointestinal problems under control again

According to a survey on the frequency of stomach or intestinal problems in Germany, eleven percent of those surveyed suffer from digestive problems such as abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea several times a month (as of 2017). The most common causes that throw our intestines out of sync include fatty food and stress or an inflammation of the gastric mucosa, known as gastritis for short. The solution is already obvious: If you want to relieve the symptoms and get the discomfort under control, you have to stimulate your digestion. This article summarizes how this works best, which foods should help and what else you can do to bring your intestinal flora into the green zone.

The bad news first: As we age, our gastrointestinal tract becomes more sluggish, making digestive problems more common. But the good news is: We can do something throughout our lives to stimulate our metabolism. The most important cornerstones for a healthy intestinal flora include a balanced diet, plenty of fluids, regular exercise and balancing phases of rest. And that's exactly what you should focus on if you're constantly suffering from abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Which foods even help you to stimulate digestion is explained in the next section.

As already mentioned, our diet has a major impact on digestion. In order to counteract or even prevent possible symptoms, you should rely on foods rich in fiber that swell up in the intestinal tract and stimulate digestion and thus also the excretion of food - this will prevent possible constipation and flatulence, for example. These include oatmeal, wheat bran and wholemeal bread, kefir and yoghurt, fruit and dried fruit such as raspberries, oranges and plums, lettuce, nuts such as almonds, legumes, flaxseed, psyllium husks and sauerkraut. In addition, it is important that you drink enough fluids, ideally at least two liters of water a day. But herbal and fruit teas without sugar and coffee also stimulate digestion.

We can stimulate digestion from the inside through nutrition, but there are also a few helpful tips and tricks on how you can influence your gastrointestinal tract from the outside - for example with heat or a massage: To do this, lie relaxed on the Back and use your fingertips to gently apply pressure to the right side of your abdomen under your ribs. From there, work your way to the left side of your abdomen in a circular motion. Alternatively, you can also stimulate your digestion with a walk: The movement promotes blood circulation in the intestines, so that the food in it can be chopped up faster and better and transported further. You can achieve the same effect through sport, although it is not advisable to jump on a bicycle or go jogging in the case of acute symptoms. In principle, however, sporting activities can help to boost your digestion.

Did you know that we take 30 minutes to digest the food we eat? The technical term for this is "gastrocolic reflex", meaning the reaction of the intestine to irritation of the stomach. From a purely biological point of view, this process cannot be accelerated. Not even if you rush to eat. For this reason, it is important to digest in peace. If you wolf down your meals quickly to save time, you are doing your digestive tract a disservice. Instead, it often overreacts with abdominal cramps or diarrhea. So always take your time when eating, the same applies to going to the toilet. If you "have to" go, go - if you hold back your bowel movements, you'll get constipated faster than you'd like.

Medicines or home remedies do not always help with digestive problems, so it can be advisable to consult a doctor. Especially if, for example, you cannot go to the toilet for several days in a row in combination with severe abdominal cramps, have blood in your stool several times, constipation lasts for a few weeks or you suffer alternately from diarrhea and constipation. These are all important indications that something is wrong with your gastrointestinal tract and that you should have it examined.

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