Tummy troubles can often be a head-scratcher for doctors because there’s such a wide range of possible causes and treatments. This can make the recovery and/or management process of gastrointestinal issues very difficult for patients.
If you break down what gut health is, it’s essentially the bacteria present in your digestive tract and the way they’re balanced. When things get unbalanced, this is when you experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, etc...
To help you get to the bottom of your sore stomach and on your way to relief, let’s take a look at these 8 digestive issues and science-backed solutions worth considering.
Contents:If Nothing Works, Here's What to Do...
Have you ever heard that too much of a good thing can be bad? This is the case when it comes to antibiotics and even the disinfectant cleaning products found in your home. (1)
Research shows that cleaning products can affect the gut microbiome. Lachnospiraceae is a type of bacteria in the gut that can ultimately lead to obesity and/or type II diabetes. This bacteria was found to be present in much higher amounts if the person was more regularly exposed to disinfectants. (2)
Houses still need to be cleaned and messes will still be made, so instead of the name-brand disinfectants, opt for more eco-friendly or natural variations.
If acid reflux is what you’ve been suffering from, consider looking into prokinetic agents!
When we eat food, it has to move (or, more accurately, be moved in a process called peristalsis) through our digestive system to its final destination where it’s excreted. However, sometimes the muscles and nerves in charge of pushing the food through are weaker than they should be. (3)(4)
Prokinetic agents improve the strength of the muscles and nerves in charge of peristalsis so the process can go on unimpaired, giving you relief from your symptoms. (5)
These are all the available types of prokinetic agents:
- Cholinergic Agonists, such as bethanechol
- Dopamine Antagonists, such as metoclopramide and domperidone
- Serotonergic Agonists, such as cisapride, tegaserod, and prucalopride
- Macrolides, such as erythromycin and azithromycin (3)
To break it down simply, enzymes are proteins created by your body that aid in breaking down your food. They’re found in your stomach, saliva, small intestine, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver, but when your body doesn’t produce enough of them it can cause uncomfortable symptoms and malnutrition. (7)(8)
The 5 main types of enzymes are:
- Amylase: breaks down carbs
- Lipase: breaks down fats
- Protease: breaks down proteins
- Lactase: breaks down lactose
- Sucrase: breaks down sugar (9)
Another way to increase your enzymes is through enzyme supplements, such as these digestive super enzymes!
For a more in-depth look into enzymes, check out this ultimate guide to digestive enzymes.
If you prefer a more holistic approach to boosting your digestive health, consider injecting more chamomile, liquorice root, and ginger into your diet. (12)
Research shows that liquorice can improve digestion. A study done between late 2009 and early 2010 provided scientific evidence to show that the patients who received an extract of G. glabra (liquorice root) showed an impressive decrease or improvement in their symptoms. (13)(14)(15)
Chamomile is known to have relaxing effects as it applies to digestion. It soothes the stomach, helps you pass gas, and even aids in the process of moving your food through your GI tract. (16)
Ginger has also been shown to increase the speed with which food passes through your digestive system, leading to a decrease in the discomfort that results from delayed stomach emptying. (17)
Your spinal cord is what connects the brain to the digestive system through the enteric nervous system. So, when you’re stressed out or panicking about something, your brain sends signals out to the rest of your body, including your digestive system. Once these signals are received, your digestion slows to a stop so this energy can be better spent handling the stress you’re experiencing. (18)
Therefore, it’s easy to see that a constant pattern of being overstressed can result in a specific pattern of digestive behavior, as well. In these cases, behavioral therapy through biofeedback (teaching a person how to control their bodily functions) has been shown to provide desirable results. (19)
Studies show that biofeedback is most effective against gastrointestinal issues when compared to any other type of medical issue. This treatment has also been applied to cases of constipation, fecal incontinence, IBS, dyspepsia, and aerophagia, the benefits of which have been seen to last up to 12 months. (20) (21)
Gastrointestinal motility disorders stem from your body struggling to move food through the GI tract and numerous animal studies show that electrical stimulation significantly speeds up this process. (22)
Neuromodulators work by regulating the digestion process through the electrical stimulation of nerves. This treatment has been proven to be effective in cases of fecal incontinence and is somewhat effective against gastroparesis, IBS, IBD, and nausea. (23)
Painful spasms and tummy trouble got you down? Maybe an antispasmodic would help!
Antimuscarinics and smooth muscle relaxants, such as peppermint oil, are the two main types of antispasmodic medications. They work by relaxing the natural spasms of your intestines, which can sometimes get out of control and become painful. (24)
Studies have shown that antispasmodics are highly successful when it comes to reducing the painful cramps/spasms associated with IBS or IBD and gastrointestinal motility disorders. (25)
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating digestive issues. In fact, in certain cases you may want to try many different approaches to getting the results you desire—this is called adopting a multidisciplinary approach.
Researchers found that a multidisciplinary approach was most effective in treating a wide array of gastrointestinal issues. The study included 144 patients, where half of them received treatments from gastroenterologists, dieticians, psychiatrists, and physiotherapists, while the other half only received treatment from a gastroenterologist. The results showed that the group receiving the multidisciplinary approach experienced ‘superior symptom relief’. (26)
If Nothing Works, Here's What to Do...
I know there’s a lot of information for you to digest here (pun intended), but the moral of the story is there’s still a lot we don’t know about gastrointestinal discomfort and what causes it.
Be it biofeedback, dietary changes, supplements, or something as simple as switching out your cleaning products, this list should provide you with a good starting point to improving your digestive health on your own.
And if you’d like to destroy your bloat once and for all, there’s a solution you won’t want to miss. The Bloat Banisher was designed to help you put an end to your digestive problems, such as bloating and gas, and recover the worry-free life you used to have. Would you like to know more about how this supplement can help you? Here’s all you need to know!