Generalised symptoms of pain and discomfort associated with digestive imbalances have become all too commonplace in western society. Many people regularly suffer from symptoms such as abdominal pain and discomfort, gas, bloating, belching and heartburn, yet rather than seek to identify the underlying causes, simply accept them as a natural part of 21st century western living. Healthy digestion is possible for everyone.
Of course, there are many different potential underlying causes associated with any or all of these symptoms, and the first port of call towards dealing with them should always be your GP. When the only treatment offered though is symptom management, it may be time to explore other options.
Good digestion is at the root of good health – and whilst dietary choices are of prime importance, nutritious food can do little good if it isn’t first digested and absorbed. The 5R Programme is an effective protocol to use when dealing with digestive issues in clinic. If you aren’t familiar with it, then it is definitely worth a look. As a gentle starter though, here are 3 simple first steps you can take to support this essential process that can deliver rapid results:
Digestive Enzymes – A shortage of digestive enzymes can lead to large particles of undigested food passing through the digestive tract. This can lead to gas, bloating and belching, and further down the line can also contribute to food sensitivities and imbalances in the intestinal microflora.
Friendly Bacteria – It’s a staggering thought that you have 10 times more bacteria in your gut than cells in your body. The GI Microbiome is almost like an organ in itself and is delicately balanced to support overall health; unfortunately though, a typical 21st Western diet and lifestyle can wreak havoc on this balance. High antibiotic use, stress, high alcohol intake and poor diet easily disrupt the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria so that disease-causing microorganisms can proliferate instead, causing symptoms such as gas and bloating. A course of high strength probiotics, with tested strains of Lactobacillus strains and Bifidobacterium can help to restore a healthy balance and quickly reduce these symptoms.
Relax, Slow Down and Chew Every Mouthful – Fast-paced 21st century living means that for many people, meals are eaten on the run and often under stressful conditions. When the body is under stress though, energy is shunted away from the digestive system and towards the muscles preparing you to ‘fight or take flight’ – without digestive juices flowing, food will stay, undigested in the stomach and digestive tract for longer, leading to symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, gas and belching. The simple action of making time for meals, slowing down and taking time over each mouthful is perhaps the most important step you can take to support optimal digestion. One of those simple changes that can have dramatic results.
Getting to the root cause of digestive health is one of our specialities using often the 5R programme which is extremely effective at resolving IBS and Inflammatory bowel disease. Please see for a detailed breakdown of the process for a condition such as IBS.
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The London Clinic of Nutrition is a multi-disciplined health practice offering personalised nutritional medicine and naturopathy using the functional medicine approach.
100 Seymour Place
020 3332 0030