While some may find the prospect of confronting ongoing bowel problems embarrassing or insignificant enough to ignore, getting them diagnosed and treated can be hugely beneficial. You’d be surprised how transformative it can be both to your physical and mental health not to have niggling worries in the back of your mind or persistent cramps that threaten to put a damper on your day.
If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing symptoms of chronic bowel problems, here are a few options to consider.
Visit your doctor
While it might feel awkward to detail your symptoms to a medical professional, you shouldn’t hesitate in visiting your GP. It’s important to remember that they’ve seen it all before and that your symptoms are not embarrassing to them.
Visiting your local GP will help you to obtain a professional and accurate diagnosis, and ideally, get a sense of what’s causing your symptoms. You may need to undergo a test to discover what you’re intolerant of, or you may even need to visit an IBS clinic.
Keep your fluids up
This is incredibly important for both treating issues such as constipation, but also the side-effects of bowel problems, such as diarrhoea. Keeping your fluid intake high will not only help to improve your digestive health but also stop you from becoming dehydrated.
It’s important to know that increasing your intake of fluids such as coffee and tea may not be entirely beneficial. Instead, you should consider sticking to liquids such as water, which do not have unhelpful diuretics in them.
Improve your diet
If you’ve been living off pizza and cheese for a long time, your cravings might be satisfied, but your digestive health certainly won’t be. One of the best things you can do for your digestive health is to improve your diet and begin including healthy alternatives, such as whole foods. Introducing foods that are high in fibre, and plant-derived will leave you feeling far less congested and uncomfortable.
If you want to improve your diet for the long-term, you’ll need to do the following:
- Stop purchasing unhealthy snacks at the supermarket
- Cut down on red meat and processed foods
- Try and fill your trolley with plenty of colourful, fresh or frozen veg and commit to cooking it
Taking supplements with your diet can also help to ease your symptoms. For example, taking peppermint oil can help to ease bloating, and probiotics may be hugely beneficial for those who know what gut bacteria is the source of their ongoing issues. This can help alleviate any mild discomfort you have been experiencing as a side-effect of your bowel problems.
Tackling your bowel problems might take a multi-faceted approach. It may partially require you to intervene on any unhealthy eating habits, but you may also need to remedy any short-term symptoms. Trying out new fruits and veg can help improve your overall digestive health, while supplements can help control any discomfort you may be feeling in the interim.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome