Yam Cher Seng, a pharmacist, wrote an article for the New Straits Times that covers a lot of intestinal ground.
INTESTINAL problems are one of the main health issues plaguing our society. They are very common and if you were to ask around, chances are that everyone would have suffered from at least one digestive problem sometime in one’s life.
Common symptoms include bloating, belching, flatulence, indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, diarrhoea and constipation.
Many people find relief in merely modifying their diet to reduce refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white sugar, white bread, noodles and white rice and increasing their fibre intake.
According to the American Dietetic Association, it is recommended that we take about 25-35g of fibre daily.
It is beneficial in regulating bowel movements and adding bulk to the faeces. Regular bowel movements are essential in aiding the body in eliminating toxins, and thus improve intestinal health.
You may achieve this by consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains and pysllium husk. Having regular meal times helps to minimise excessive stomach acid production at any one time and is also good for preventing heartburn and gastric problems.
Excessive gas in the intestines can also be prevented by reducing certain gas-forming food such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and legumes.
This is because they contain indigestible sugars that will be broken down by intestinal bacteria to produce gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane.
Avoiding carbonated beverages may also be beneficial.
Stress management is also important because nervous people tend to swallow a lot of air, resulting in build-up of excess gases in the digestive tract.
Try to find time in your busy social life for exercise.
Exercise is also recommended to keep the bowels moving normally and helps reduce stress.