15th, April , 2021
Up to 70 million Americans suffer from some kind of digestive problem, running the gambit from heartburn to constipation to irritable bowel syndrome. Those collective gastrointestinal issues lead to a whopping 28 million doctor visits each year.
If you suffer from tummy troubles, you know how they can interfere with your quality of life by causing pain and discomfort and even disrupting your social life from time to time. You need a doctor who understands how important good digestive function is to overall health.
At Lifestyle Physicians, we take a naturopathic approach to treating digestive disorders and healing the gut that helps our patients with several health conditions like autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia, IBS, and many others.
The bacteria living in your digestive tract, mostly in your large intestine, are called your gut microbiome. There’s lots of research going on right now to study the relationships between the gut microbiome and different diseases. Scientists say about three-fourths of the body’s immune system is in the gut, and they think changes in the gut bacteria contribute to health problems.
Keeping your gut bacteria happy goes a long way toward feeling good, and there are things you can do to keep your digestive tract functioning smoothly. Dr. Asad offers these tips for a healthy gut.
It seems like a no-brainer that eating well makes for a happy tummy. But the truth is, many of us have good intentions about eating healthy, but don’t always actually do it.
For overall health, including gut health, eating whole, natural foods is your best bet. That means fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil and avocados. For protein, go with organic poultry, fish, eggs, and grass-fed grass finished beef.
Unfortunately, our food supply is full of unnatural substances that can harm our bodies, starting with our digestive systems — and most of that junk is found in processed foods. On average, Americans get 63% of their calories each day from processed foods.
One of the worst offenders may be artificial sweeteners. More and more research shows that artificial sweeteners disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut, causing inflammation that can lead to disease.
Fiber is the stiff stuff that gives plants their shape, so you’ll only find it in plant-based foods — fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Hmm, does that list sound familiar? If you tolerate grain foods, then go with whole grains, which still have their natural fiber intact.
Most plant foods contain a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble kind sort of mixes with water and makes a gel that helps keep things moving through your digestive tract. The insoluble fiber, sometimes called roughage, helps give your stool bulk. So fiber helps prevent constipation, and it also feeds your gut bacteria and cut out the pathogenic bacteria.
Your good gut bacteria have all kinds of jobs, from synthesizing vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids to help with digestion. Eating foods with probiotics — such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, and fermented foods like kimchi — can help replenish the friendly bacteria. Watch out for frozen, sweetened, or processed yogurt.
Feeding the bacteria with prebiotics is important, too. Prebiotics are complex starches and fibers in foods that fuel the probiotic bacteria. You’ll get prebiotics by eating bananas, oatmeal, onions, beans, garlic, and berries, to name a few sources.
Stress aggravates many gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. Make an effort to knock out stress by taking care of yourself in lots of little ways.
To get help with your digestive issues, call one of our offices in Warrenton, Virginia, or schedule your appointment using the online booking tool.
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