Good digestion

The process of digestion is an everyday miracle, as the foods we eat are efficiently used by our body to maintain health and provide energy. It is a process we often take for granted until something goes wrong, so it is worth understanding the basics. The digestive system is a collection of glands and muscles and like any other part of the body, responds to your diet and lifestyle.

Digestion begins when you pure food into your mouth Saliva is the first of the digestive aces to prepare your food for processing by your body chewing food thoroughly allow it to come into contact with as much saliva as possible and gets digestion off to a good start Swallowing sends the food down the gullet or esophagus, the tube that leads to the stomach. The average adult stomach can hold about one and a half liters/two and a half pint, and can take from two to seven hours to process a meal in the stomach, too is churned with different digestive juices to become a smooth, acidic paste. When the paste is are the correct consistency and acidity it passes, a little at a time, through the pylon sphincter, a muscular ring at the last of the stomach, into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

Here, the Tinkers adds its digestive enzymes and insulin, the gall bladder adds bile (for the digestion of fat, and the food is helped on its way by waves of involuntary muscular contractions known as peristalsis Most of the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients takes place along the six meters/twenty feet of the small intestine, where further digestive enzymes are secreted. Digestion is completed in the large intestine colon or towel. But the bowel is not just the lose stage in the process, it houses bacteria which synthesize energy, vitamins and minerals More recently scientists have found that these bacteria, along with certain rods. help the body to produce substances that protect it against cancer and heart disease. Finally, any leftover matter in shifted to the rectum, ready for expulsion.

It takes between two and thirty-six hours for food to pass through your body, depending w the type of food and its fiber content, your water intake and whether you have also been dunking school, coffee, tea or other caffeine contemning drinks. Your general body envier mint ablur affects the digestive process this is partly genetic – time people guts are just more sleigh than others- partly hormonal, animals related to sourwood, exercise habits and whether you are taking any fin of medication

Vomiting

Sometimes, unfortunately, food does not stay in your gut very long. Vomiting is often caused by bacterial or viral infection; it is your body’s way of rejecting the bugs before they gain a foothold. Overindulgence in rich or spicy foods or alcohol is another common cause of vomiting again, your body is rejecting what it cannot handle. Nausea may also be caused by hormones, as pregnant women are well aware and we have all heard tales of actors or musicians being physically sick before a performance because of stress hormones. Unpleasant as it is remembering that most bouts of sickness are soon over. Don’t force yourself to eat, but if you feel you need a little something to avoid feeling weak,

try nibbling plain bread or an oatcake. Some people find that sucking a fruit sweet help. Take frequent sips of water to rehydrate yourself. If you are losing a lot of fluid, try sipping a rehydration fluid, available from your pharmacist, or make some yourself P If you feel sick with nerves’, the homeopathic remedy aconite 6 is good for calming anxiety on occasions. Some medication can also make you nauseous, consult your doctor to find out whether it would be possible to adjust your prescription, because if you are ill it is important that your intake of nutrients is maintained.

Because of their immature digestive system, unwanted babies seem to vomit small amounts of milk quite frequently – and happily. It is only when vomiting is profuse, usually accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or diarrhea see below) that you need to take further action.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is often associated with vomiting; in that it can be a sign that your body needs to get rid of an unwanted substance quickly. Hormonal changes can also cause diarrhea – many women experience it once a month as part of their natural menstrual cycle moto five watt Sometimes your gut simply reacts badly to being overloaded, whether it be with fruit, dairy product or sugary, fatty or spicy foods, a well-balanced dire with a variety of different foods should help prevent this. There are a number of things you can do to help your body get over a bout of diarrhea:

• Remember that, as with vomiting, diarrhea causes your body to lose more water than usual, so if you’re not careful you can become dehydrated. Try to drink at least two and a half to three liters/four to five pints of water a day

• Avoid caffeine-containing drinks such as coffee, tea and cola. Caffeine can irritate the gut; it also inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals, which is the last thing you need when you are losing them rapidly through diarrhea.

* Although you might think that high fiber foods would be the answer, the fiber acting as a ‘sponge’ within your bowel, in fact they can be difficult to digest, so the gut expels them. Natural binders include lower fiber white rice, pasta and potatoes, base your meals around these foods.

• Raw fruit and vegetables can be tough on a sensitive gut, but you may find you can tolerate baked or poached fruit, boiled, steamed or puréed vegetables. However, a banana is usually a good snack when you have diarrhea

• Fatty foods are particularly difficult to digest, and if fat builds up in the bowel it can caste or aggravate diarrhea Kelp to naturally lower fat foods such as bread and other cereal products, politics, fish, shellfish and lean proteins,

• Spices can irritate the bowel instead, we fresh herbs to flavor your foods.

TODDLERS TUM

Diarrhea is a common problem in babies and young children. It may simply mean that their gut is a little immature. Mothers of breastfed babies sometimes think that their child has chronic diarrhea because the motions are so liquid and regular. I always advise them that as long as the stool hasn’t changed and the baby is otherwise well, there is no need to worry, But if there are other signs of illness such as pain, excess wind or vomiting then you should consult your doctor:

the diarrhea may signal a minor problem such as an ear infection, but it could be the start of a stomach infection or a more serious illness, There is no specific age at which a chill gut will mature, with some children it can occur when they are two, while others don’t manage to produce a well-formed stool, or suffer from bouts of unexplained diarrhea, until they are four. We call this toddlers tum, and it can be down to the foods they eat.

When child is born the gut is very sensitive, and it takes longer to tolerate some foods than others. I most frequently see toddlers tum in families who eat a healthy. high fiber diet with a lord of whole meal bread, fruits and vegetables. This diet is fine for adults, but for a young child you need to make a few adjustments, as their body cannot cope with too much fiber. Give them white bread, rice and pasta as well as the wholegrain versions, with a few vegetables and fruits alongside sources of fats and proteins It is most important to consult your doctor if your baby has acute diarrhea.

With an infant under the age of four months I suggest you contact u doctor after twelve hours of vomiting or diarrhea with older children it is usually fine to wait for twenty-four hours, but if you are worried, seek medical advice The most serious problem with diarrhea is dehydration. Nutritionally the best way to deal with diarrhea is to stop all milk and solid foods for twenty-four hours. However, it is vital to make sure that the body is getting enough fluid.

For babies and small children, I always recommend a commercial rehydrating fluid such as Dehydrator Dora lie, as their bodies need very finely tunnel quantities of sugars and salts. Aim to give a baby the same volume as the quantity of fed you normally give them, or more if they still appear to be thirsty. Reintroduce a baby to his or her usual feed, made up at half strength. If this is tolerated for a day you can go back to a full-strength feed. Continue replacing lost fluid with extra water. It is possible to continue breastfeeding a baby with diarrhea, but you must make sure they are given extra water If the diarrhea and/or vomiting reappears, return to clear fluids. If things don’t settle down in another twenty-four hours, seek the advice of your doctor For older children, you may need to encourage them to drink water, diluted fruit juices or fizzy drinks, taken in small mouthfuls. If the diarrhea and vomiting stop, reenrolled solids gently a piece of toast, a plain biscuit or a little mashed potato. I the symptoms recur pro back to plain fluids

INFECTION

Mild cases of stomach upset, or gastroenteritis, usually correct themselves within a few days. Children seem to suffer more frequently partly because their immature gut finds it more difficult to cope with infection, and partly been they don’t understand the importance of washing their hands, Bug, can spread like wildfire through playgroups because the most common mode of transfer is from an unwashed hand to food.

Always wash your hands after you have used the lavatory or changed a nappy, and before you deal with food. If children are taught this by example from infancy, they will not have to be nagged later on Severe gut infections, known as dysentery, produce frightening symptoms such as raging diarrhea, which can be caused by bacteria (or occasionally amoebae) invading the gut. The drugs your GP prescribes will depend on whether the upset is caused by a bacterium or a virus.

The majority of stomach upsets are caused by viruses, son antibiotics will not be any use. You should never give a child anti-diarrhea drugs meant for adults, such as kaolin and morphine, Imodium or Dismal If your child is aged one or older and is prescribed antibiotics it is a good idea, if they are able to tolerate dairy products, to give them some live yoghurt. containing bifid us and acidophilus, every day, as these will promote the growth of ‘good bacteria in their gut. Sometimes a bout of gastroenteritis can cause a child to become intolerant of certain foods. If you suspect this,

  ALCOHOL

When diarrhea is caused by bacterial or viral pathogens, the French believe that claret freed Bordeaux) or Beaujolais act as cures, they also believe that travelers’ diarrhea, where a traveler is caught out for not being immune to the local organisms, can be prevented by drinking these red wines. In 1995 an American report suggested that red wine, even when diluted, can help prevent food poisoning from organisms such as E. Coli and salmonella.

However, not all alcohol suits people with bowel problems. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a multi-symptom disorder that causes diarrhea in some people, constipation or even both in others, is often aggravated by alcohol. With IBS it seems to be the type of alcohol that determines the effect: darker drinks such as port, brandy, whisky, red wine and beer all seem to have more of a laxative effect than white wine, champagne or clear spirits.

Constipation

While vomiting and diarrhea are, for people, occurrences, constipation seems to be a constant Constipation, the condition of infrequent or difficult emptying of the bowels, with a hard which is painful or sometimes impossible to pass, has a number of causes, but in most cases responds extremely well to a few adjustments to your diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, the dread of constipation makes some people spend a small fortune on and parents worry that there is something seriously wrong if their child is not passing a stool every day.

In our weight-obsessed society some people take laxatives regularly to help their bodies feel light and cleansed, or even undergo colonic irrigation. In many cases, this worry is in order to work out you have a problem, the first thing to do is to keep a food and symptom diary plotting when you feel constipated or bloated and when you open your bowels. If after a couple of weeks, you can see a regular pattern, you can be reassured that the problem is not as bad as you think. People consider themselves constipated when in fact their normal bowel habit is three to four days. The timing between movements is not that long as you feel well.

If you are in pain or your bowel habits have changed, should mention this to your doctor, so that he or she can investigate and ensure that nothing untoward is happening. worst, constipation may be a symptom of an under lying disorder, such as an obstruction of the bowel tumor or structural deformity. However, it is more likely that the problem is simply that the bowel has become lazy, losing its normal, propulsive It needs a nutritional overhaul to get it going You cannot really expect the bowel to behave and feel well if you don’t look after it properly.

Patients come to me with chronic, crippling constipation, but when we look at their eating habits we usually agree that is hardly surprising Going for long periods without and then having a huge meal in the evening, foods with very little nutritional value and full of non-nutritious additives, or bombarding your body with antibiotics every time you get a are typical lifestyle habits that will hinder the There are a number of common causes of constipation and know the you are halfway to a in many cases laxatives and other medication be stopped at least reduced once the bowel receives the nutrients it and is not filled with foods that compromise its performance

LACK OF FIBER

This is the common cause of constipation in adults. Fiber in the presence of water forms a soft stool, which stimulates the bowel into stool strain when it comes to expelling the can lead to piles start off another cycle of problems and remedies If is the answer to preventing or curing your it clearly must form part of your daily eating plan: try to have some fiber provider, five times a day. Fiber is part of the cellular structure of plants grains (cereals), nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and pulses. In order to gain maximum benefit from the fiber, the plant cell wall needs to be intact: the highest fire Foods are those which have not been heavily processed.

For example, whole meal bread has more fiber than white bread, fruit has more fiber than fruit juice There are plenty of delicious ways to include fiber in your daily diet. The best way to begin is simply to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole meal bread and pulses (lentils, beans and peas), and fewer ready-made foods. The Taste Good section of this book is packed with recipes for high fiber meals, from breakfasts to main meals and desserts, and there are also some healthy snack ideas Fruit is a perfect snack fresh, poached, stewed, mixed into a fruit shake, or enjoyed with a small piece of cheese. Look afresh at the vegetables in supermarkets and on market stalls.

They are simple to cook, full of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, and you can ring the changes by serving them with a variety of sauces and dressings Grilled baked or burlesqued, they are delicious with herbs and a good olive oil drizzled over the top. Pop vegetables into soups or bake them with a rich tomato sauce to make a hot pot. Leftover hot pot can be liquidized and turned into a high fiber soup, adding some beans or pasta shapes to boost the fiber content further Don’t be drawn to readymade food breakfast cereals are a good example just because the manufacturers have decided to label it Hugh fiber’ lay many cases there is so much sugar and salt in high fiber cereals that they are not altogether healthy.

Consider having a family health day as this can give a good state to your new lifestyle, in which you and your family learn to enjoy fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables, as part of your daily eating habits. If there is a drawback, it is that high fiber foods contain substances that tend to hind vitamins and minerals in the gut. However, as long as you have u good balance of different foods, they don’t all have to be high fiber your nutritional requirements should be met. One final point to remember is that high fiber foods tend to be relatively low in calories.

For most people this is a bonus, as they will feel healthier all round, but children und anyone who is underweight needs to balance their intake of file with energy-giving foods. Simple ways to increase the calorie level of your healthy meals include sprinkling extra grated cheese on a vegetable or pasta dish, enriching a sauce with a few tablespoons of cream, serving fruit puddings with custard, thick yoghurt, cream or real dairy ice cream.

LACK OF WATER

The second most common cause of constipation is lack of water. Central heating and air conditioning can cause our bodies to lose water through evaporation without our realizing it you don’t need to swear profusely. Constipation is one of the first signs of an imbalance in the amount of water in the body Many people eat some fiber, but they don’t drink enough water to enable the fiber to swell within the gut, form a soft stool and stimulate the bowel into moving, Fiber is useless unless the water is there to help it swell.

If your fiber intake is high and yet you still feel constipated, check that your water intake is at least two and a half liters/four to five prints every day Children should drink as much as they can in excess of the recommended half a liter/just under a pint for two-year-old and three-quarters of a liter/one and a quarter pints for three year-olds. If you boost your fiber intake you need to take in extra fluid. Get into the habit of having water on your desk at work, carry a small plastic bottle around with you and always have a glass by the bed at night Increase your water intake gradually, so that your bladder does not complain. and you will be amazed at how great you feel.

EXCESS CAFFEINE

Although coffee can help correct constipation as a short-term measure the caffeine it contains is a diuretic. Diuretics make your body lose water and hence aggravate constipation, so try to stick to no more than two or three cups a day. It’s not just coffee that contains caffeine tea, cola drinks and hot chocolate all do too, so any of these drinks, taken in excess, can have a similar effect. Experiment with herbal teas and alternative hot drinks.

LACK OF EXERCISE

Exercise tones up your whole body, including your bowel muscles. Make some form of exercise part of your weekly routine. Thirty to forty minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week must be considered the minimum; four or even five days would be ideal.

EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL TENSION

Some adults suffer from stress related constipation. Since the bowel is a muscle, it is very receptive to stress hormones such as adrenaline. Fluctuations in the levels of stress hormones can upset your normal bowel function. Some people find that when they are stressed or upset their bowel goes into shut down and they become constipated. While the nutritional advice given above can help minimize the adverse effects, the underlying stress issue needs to be addressed if there is to be real improvement.

INAPPROPRIATE USE OF LAXATIVES

People who use laxatives on a regular, even daily, basis are making a big mistake instead of helping their bowel muscle to work efficiently, they are encouraging it to be gluey, which can actually cause constipation When laxatives – including the plant or fruit-based preparations sold in health food shops – are overused, the bowel can start to rely on the laxative to stimulate it into action. Overuse can also cause diarrhea, which may ultimately result in malnutrition Only if all avenues of the diet have been explored should one turn to lava ties;

they should never be given to children unless prescribed and supervised by a pediatrician. Even adult should seek medical approval, for reasons I shall now explain. The choice of laxative is very important, as an inappropriate choice can potentially aggravate rather than help. It all depends on the cause of your constipation and your general diet, there are three types of laxatives:

The gentlest are the bulking agents, which contain gels that swell within the bowel. Their action is very similar to the way in which fiber works. These can be useful for adults who are unable to eat a high fiber diet, for instance if they have a gut problem or certain food sensitivities.

• Irritant-based laxatives work by irritating the bowel and making it expel the food examples are the laxatives made from the leaves or pods of the Senna plant. Too many irritant laxatives can cause your bowel to become very sensitive, which can ultimately lead to hemorrhoids (piles) and bleeding

• Propulsive laxatives affect the muscle function of the bowel; they cause the muscles to contract and relax, like normal peristalsis. Intent or propulsive based preparations are more appropriate if you know that you do not lack fiber, but your doctor will be able to assess your specific needs.

WEAK BOWEL MUSCLES

As with any other muscle in the body, it is important to train the bowel. You can keep your bowel muscles strong by allowing them to empty when they give you the signal. Constipated people have often developed the habit of ignoring their urges, don’t hold on too long, as this can cause increased pressure in the rectum, which can ultimately lead to problems such as incontinence and piles.

SHORT-TERM MEASURES

Many people ask me what they can do nutritionally to get over a bout of constipation. The best short-term cures are prunes and coffee. You can nibble the delicious, moist, ready-to-eat prunes or chop them into yoghurt or have a glass of prune juice (for other ideas, see margin). Prunes have no side effects, but you have to be a little careful with the coffee.

A cup of strong black coffee causes the smooth muscles to relax and kicks the bowel into action, but if you come to rely on it may have adverse side effects such as decreased absorption of iron and other nutrients, which may in turn cause anemia and palpitations. Keep your intake of coffee to a minimum in cases of severe and chronic constipation I see no harm in occasional colonic irrigation, as long as it is done under strict medical guidance and no more than two or three times a year.

CHILDREN’S CONSTIPATION

Most children are constipated from time. especially common after a of illness, even cold. It can be hard stool causes child’s anus to rip, going to the loo can painful, and they put Some times it is more of a psychological problem. Some children just don’t feel relaxed about using the loo, especially if they feel something to rushed before they go out. Let them their own and try not make them feel they are being watched and bowel habits noted.

In the worst scenarios, untreated constipation can go on for weeks, and because serious child becomes severely constipated, such mass matter builds up that their bowel muscles become distended and they fail recognize the feeling that they need to go the loo. If they then soil their they may be told off, as parents think they are being careless naughty. scolding them, take the time to remember when they last opened their A food and symptom diary can be this will help you stay objective. If you are worried, your doctor’s advice, the child may to admitted to hospital so that their bowel can be emptied carefully and toilet habits established.

TREATING CONSTIPATED CHILDREN

Nutritionally, as with adults, you need to encourage them plenty high fiber foods. Try to make these foods tempting is selection of high fiber puddings in the Taste Good section of this book); meals become or a battle the child will become more which won’t help them relax go to the loo. Don’t forget that children also need plenty of energy-giving balance their intake of high fiber foods with white bread and pasta, cheese and other dairy products, fish, poultry and Make sure that they drink plenty of fluids, as dehydration can cause patio, especially during the summer months. Encourage them drink fresh fruit juices, possibly diluted with sparkling water.

Some canned drinks contain so much sugar that the sugar slows the gut down and aggravates constipation. Never give a child laxative, except under the guidance of doctor.

Wind

Wind can be excruciating. After an operation, the pain be severe that you need to take medication to help relieve the pain of trapped wind. When people suffer from wind, they usually down eating pulses vegetables such cauliflower and broccoli, but there are other reasons why therefore different nutritional measures to help relieve it.

HOW TO PREVENT WIND

• Keep a food and symptom diary help you discover whether particular foods seem trigger the wind. Eliminate the suspected foods for a few days and see if notice any differ once. If this simple step solves the problem, suggest you keep the diary going for a further week and then compare overall intake with the information in the chapter on Understanding your nutritional to make sure your body is receiving all the nutrients needs. you remove foods, need to replace them with suitably nutritious alternatives. For instance, if you remove pulses you should eat plenty of other sources of protein (if are fiber and B vitamins Alternatively, you may like to experiment with different cooking methods, different pulses, people find these just as effective in relieving

• Your fat intake may be contributing to the large loads of undigested fat cause wind in the gut. The enzymes that digest fat are produced by the liver and are normally stored in the gall bladder. In young children, these digesting enzymes are slow to develop. Older people do not escape: anyone who has their gall bladder removed or is born without (as I was) relies on their liver to secrete bile directly into the gut, which it does at constant they can only tolerate small amounts of fat.

The best way to deal with this is to cut down your intake of fatty foods, and to accompany the small amounts do eat with a fiber provider. For example, eat cheese with an apple or an accompany fried foods with a slice of whole meal bread. The fiber holds the food in the stomach for longer, allowing the bile to digest it gradually.

Another scenario, which applies to everyone, is that the body regulates its production of fat-digesting enzymes according to the food you Periods of abstinence from fatty food cause your liver to reduce amount of bile it produces, and after a while the gall bladder will reduce the amount it Fat leaving the stomach enters the small intestine, where it sends message to the gall bladder to release bile. If the bile is not available,

the undigested fat the wall of the small intestine, causing food to pass quickly into the colon before it is fully digested, where it whisks up This explains many feels windy after an unusually rich, fatty meal, and also why some people suffer unduly when they temporarily lapse from low fat diet. The problem is sometimes in very rare cases the result of an enzyme deficiency, for example if you suffer from cystic fibrosis.

The majority of people can avoid wind by staggering their intake of fat in a well-balanced diet, which naturally includes small amounts of fat (dairy products, eggs, oil for cooking, hidden fats in meat and oily fish). Consider whether your gut bacteria are healthy. The bowel is home to colony of good bacteria that help your body in several ways, but if bad bacteria gain the upper, they can produce wind and bloating.

You could be encouraging the bad bacteria by eating foods high in additives, sugars fats, or by taking medication unnecessarily, rather than allowing your body to recover naturally from minor to bacterial balance, try taking a daily dose of acidophilus and bifid us, the redress bacteria found in live pot day would be If you cannot tolerate dairy products you take these two as tablets, available from health food • Sparkling drinks can aggravate wind some people. Try replacing them with fruit juices and still mineral waters

• Wind can be due intolerance, as wheat or dairy If your food diary suggests recommend that you read the chapter on Managing allergies, so that you can learn about eliminating certain • Eating quickly is a common of you end up swallowing a lot of Slow down and relax when the earlier you instill good eating in your children, the healthier they will stay • Allowing your body time to digest food and not rushing around after you have can alleviate wind, because the is very sensitive to the or stress

TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE WIND

Taking painkiller sometimes but various herbs can calm the intestine and reduce the production of wind. Mint and chamomile are two of the most successful and are easily made into soothing teas, using either the whole herb, or herbal tea

• Some people find that tot of a certain alcohol, such as brandy or Scotch, can help reduce wind. Don’t drink coffee or tea, as the caffeine and tannins in these drinks irritate the gut, and can further aggravate wind.

Indigestion

Sales of indigestion remedies continue to rise, as we bombard our bodies with food and eating habits that hinder rather than help digestion. Adults or antacid remedies around with them, fall into bed at night feeling heavy in the stomach and awake far from rested, children complain of tummy the symptoms of both chronic and acute indigestion can be frightening, people may feel as if they are having a heart attack, that they’ve dislocated a shoulder, or if their gut is going to explode.

Indigestion is a symptom many stomach and intestinal problems, some more serious than others. If you or your child regularly suffer from indigestion or tummy ache or have any other you should consult your who will investigate the three may be something that needs to be corrected surgically or treated with Once you have established that there is nothing more sinister than simple indigestion, you will be relieved to hear that lot can be done,

both nutritionally and in your general lifestyle, to reduce the Medication has its place, for occasional relief, but if you rely on indigestion tablets and take them every day, they can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the gut, as they neutralize the acid these nutrients need for their absorption. If, after following the advice in this chapter, you still find yourself having to chew them regularly, see your doctor to ensure nothing more serious is happening.

Don’t encourage children to rely on indigestion remedies The term ‘simple indigestion usually means that you become uncomfortably aware of the acidity of your stomach: you may also tend to suffer from wind or belching. The acidity may either be felt in the stomach itself, in which case it is called gastritis, or further up the esophagus, the feeding tube that leads to the Stomach, the latter condition is called esophagitis, but is more commonly known as heartburn.

The reason for this nattier is that the pain is felt round about the area of your heart, if you experience this it is most important that you get the all-clear’ from your doctor and not simply suffer in silence, assuming that it is indigestion. Heartburn occurs because the acid contents of your stomach leak up into the alkaline environment of the esophagus. This may be the result of a hiatus hernia, in which part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm at the esophageal opening. Heartburn can occur either before or after eating, as a reaction to something you have eaten or drunk, or as a result of not eating. Indigestion can also cause an acid taste in the mouth, which in extreme cases can cause you to be physically sick.

HOW TO AVOID INDIGESTION

• Make sure that your main meals are high in fiber, Fiber helps to keep the food within the stomach for the maximum amount of time, hence reduces the time the stomach is left empty and prone to acid attack. When planning your meals, you should try to include some wholegrain bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or another high fiber cereal, along with fresh vegetables or fruits. However, some people find large amounts of vegetables or fruits hard to digest. If you find this, try eating regular smaller amounts.

. Avoid having fatty foods on an empty stomach. Fatty foods can cause the valve at the top of your stomach to become lazy, allowing stomach acids to leak upwards. This happens because the hormones released when you ingest fat make the muscles in this valve relax. Instead of crisps or chips, look to lower fat snacks such as wholegrain crackers. If you do want to eat something fatty such as cheese, make sure you eat it with a high fiber food, such as wholegrain bread, as this diminishes the adverse effects.

• Eat a little something every three to four hours. Eating something, even if it is a light snack such as a biscuit, a slice of bread or a scone, will help keep the acid produced by the stomach away from sensitive areas. For those of you who worry that you will put on weight if you start eating every few hours, remember that you need less at main meal times if you have regular snacks. Over a twenty-four-hour period, your intake does not increase.

• Avoid foods that you find hard to digest. This may sound an obvious thing to say, but some people don’t put much thought into what they are eating. especially if they are under stress. When pushed for time it’s tempting to fill with a Choose something such as a pasta dish. people acidic foods citrus fruits upset them; others salad vegetables can be little hard to digest. Either the time, making sure your diet is still well balanced, just when you feeling under pressure. 

Try to eat do not gulp large amounts food, water Forcing food, fluid into your stomach will disturb the gentle digestive People who dine business can prone rush through their food, can children who want dash off play. Sitting still and eating slowly helps reduce indigestion. Remember that your digestive system needs oxygen work efficiently. Rushing off after meal leaves the stomach lacking oxygen and prone to cramps and indigestion. All you need minutes relax. 

• Avoid spicy foods. will come no surprise many people that spices as chilies and ground coriander can aggravate and inflame the ever, there are many other flavors you can use enhance flavor your food. Try fresh herbs such dill mint, some roasted baked which has subtler effect than raw fried. Avoid excessive coffee, tea and other caffeine and tannin-containing such as cola and hot chocolate.

These irritate the stomach lining. One patient had been suffering tremendously with but when removed caffeine from his diet he said goodbye the pain. Include plenty other drinks such herbal teas, especially chamomile and mint for other caffeine-free drinks, especially ginger tea, which good after-meal 

• Avoid drinking large while you eat. Lots liquid around the stomach makes more likely that the acid contents will leak into esophagus. Take small sips help the food down and refresh your palate. Some people find that fizzy drinks upset them, so choose still rather than sparkling mineral Avoid excessive amounts Too much alcohol irritates the muscular valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus, causing acid leak into the esophagus.

Alcohol can also irritate the stomach, especially stressed, have an empty stomach, have eaten something which could also aggravate the stomach. Heavy drinkers sometimes skip meals, which increases their risk of digestive problems, including indigestion. The effect alcohol very some people cannot take stronger spirits such whisky and brandy, whereas others find them helpful after-meal some people find drinks such champagne white wine suggest that you avoid drinking on empty stomach and choose small amounts of your favorite drink with Give up Smoking severely aggravates the stomach and weakens the stomach valves and aggravates indigestion.

• Make sure that you are not carrying too much fat. Excess body fat around your middle can squeeze your stomach and cause acid to be nudged into your esophagus, Frequently, if you lose this excess fat you will find that the indigestion disappears; see the chapter on Achieving your ideal weight. Don’t crush diet or starve yourself for long periods of time, either way you will aggravate your indigestion: 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE INDIGESTION

• Resist the temptation to drink milk can seem the natural, perfectly inoffensive cooling drink, and many people with a tendency to indigestion believe they should spend their days citing milk puddings and having endless glasses of cold milk This is outdated and potentially very damaging Substances within the milk cause the stomach to produce more acid, which means that the initial cooling effect is quickly followed by extreme indigestion. Therefore, in the majority of cases, milk is best avoided. However, a small number of people have an ulcer in the jejunum, an early section after the duodenum) of the small intestine. In these cases, milk can help, but I suggest you avoid it unless you have been given this diagnosis. Instead, try to have small. regular, starchy snacks which don’t have the same knock-back acid effect.

• Peppermint and ginger are very soothing Try drinking boiling water infuser with mint leaves or a slice of fresh ginger, or you could use a minor ginger tea bag. It is best served warm, rather than very hot or icy cold, as extreme temperatures can cause the stomach to go into spasm. Chamomile is another calming ten, especially as a bedtime drink

• Large amounts of fruits, vegetables, fatty or sugary foods are difficult for the body to deal with, so avoid these when you have indigestion. You would be better off with a starchy snack such as potato soup or a sandwich • Avoid highly spiced foods when you have indigestion. Spices irritate the stomach wall and valves leading into and out of the stomach, making it much cashier for acid juices to leak where they are least wanted.

• Ear slowly and take small mouthful and sips of food and drink. Try not to gulp, as air inside a sore stomach can be very painful.

• Have a rest. Rushing will aggravate your acid stomach and encourage the contents to leak into your esophagus. Resting in a comfortable chair should help to keep the acid down in the stomach. Reading or playing some calming music will help. Tell a story to a child, and discourage them from playing taxing games, where they run around or become competitive.

Try applying a little warmth over your stomach. Warmth can help the stomach muscles to relax and become less painful. Use a hot water bottle, or have a warm bath. Aromatherapy oils such as lavender, rosewood, orange and ginger can relax the body and ease the pain. Add a few drops to the warm bathwater, or use an aromatherapy burner while you’re soaking in the suds.

Ulcers

Stress undoubtedly increases the body tendency towards indigestion and ulcers of the digestive system. Simply speaking, an ulcer is an open wound on the surd take of the muscle lining. Through the lens of an endoscopic camera, it looks very similar to a mouth ulcer leers can be very painful and, if untreated, can burst and cause internal bleeding.

However, there is much you can do to avoid getting ulcers, and with improved medical understanding and treatment the situation of a burst ulcer shouldn’t arise. When stress is constant, acid level in the stomach tend to be rather high which can make the stomach more sensitive than usual, poor eating habits, which you may have got away with for years, suddenly start to cause problems.

In times of extreme stress, the stomach he comes severely inflamed. The inflammation is tide worse if the stomach is left empty for long periods, which can easily happen if you have other things such as work or family on your mind. If this situation develops one stage further, an ulcer can appear, as a result of the acid wearing away the protective lining of the organ, whether this is the stomach, esophagus, duodenum or elsewhere in the intestine. Astonishingly, ulcers can occur in young children, especially if they are being bullied or are really worried about school work Ulcers can also plague people taking strong anti-inflammatory medication for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

I advise that this medication should not be taken on an empty stomach, and you could ask your doctor whether it could be taken by suppository to avoid affecting the stomach Traditional remedies for ulcers relied on decreasing acid production or neutralizing the acid. Medical treatment of ulcers has improved dramatically wince the discovery that the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is frequently found at the site of ulceration.

This means that doctors can now prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria and enable the ulceration site to heal. Killing Helicobacter pylori also decreases the risk of stomach cancer The nutritional and lifestyle guidelines for indigestion and ulcers are very similar. You may feel that some of the suggestions in the preceding section do not apply to you, but consider them individually and you could save yourself a lot of pain. Above all, try to find ways to relieve your stress Exercise is one of the best stress busters, either in the fresh air or in a gym or workout class