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Digestive Problems

It seems that you can't turn on the TV without yet another commercial touting the benefits of yet another product to resolve problems with gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Some of these products may indeed be helpful. However, my assertion is that these products are unlikely to provide the kind of benefits that are being advertised.

In this article, I'm going to suggest a few steps that are likely to yield a much better result. And, of course, reading this article is free.

First, have your doctor evaluate your particular issue. This is always the first step. Also, discuss any planned changes first with your doctor; I don't want to make things worse.

Second, do your own research on the internet. Look for reputable sources like WebMD.com, MayoClinic.com, ConsumerReports.org, and DrWeil.com. You should be able to find some useful information. Be cautious though—there's a lot of health advice on the internet that is wrong or even dangerous.

Third, eat a healthy diet. This is essential. Read my article: Diet & Mental Health.

Fourth, exercise. This can be as easy as walking up a few flights of stairs at work, riding your bicycle or jogging. Why would you expect to not have digestive problems if you don't exercise?

Fifth, consider whether or not you are creating your own problem as a result of the pills you are taking. The offending pills can be illegal drugs, over the counter medications, excessive vitamins or other supplements, or even the medication that is being prescribed by your doctor!

Some examples, in my own experience, follow.

My mother had Parkinson's Disease. She was prescribed medication for her Parkinson's which dramatically improved her condition. However, she began having stomach pain. The doctors ordered expensive and sometimes painful tests—none of which produced any results. The pain continued.

It wasn't until it was too late that it became clear what was causing her pain: It was the pills prescribed by her doctor. My mom died when her intestines ruptured as a result of her Parkinson's medication.

Another example: When I was young, I used to take the vitamin Niacin for anxiety. It did work for a short period of time. However, I began having some pain in my abdominal region as a result of taking excessive amounts of this vitamin. I later learned that excessive Niacin can cause liver damage. Luckily, I stopped in time to prevent any permanent damage.

One more: One of my clients stated that he was having excessive gas as a result of taking his psychotropic medication: "Bloating or farting?" I asked. His answer: "Both."

Sixth, avoid quack remedies. Stay away from those providing "colon cleansing," "colonic irrigation" etc. You don't need more problems. Any medical services provided should only be done by a licensed physician. There is a place for natural remedies. However, these should be carefully researched from reputable sources. Supplements and herbal preparations are independently evaluated at ConsumerLab.com.

Seventh, consider the impact of stress. This is a key point of this article. Your digestive system cannot function properly if you are living with continuing stress, anxiety and anger. The result is bound to be gas, diarrhea, constipation etc.

Find a way to reduce your stress. And find a way to reduce your anger. Make full use of the articles published on this site. Your digestive problems will probably diminish or disappear if you can make progress in these areas.

Don't allow yourself to worry about your digestive problems. I know that's a lot easier said than done. However, worrying will only make things worse. In fact, if you spend a lot of time worrying, that may make any real progress impossible!

Eighth, try taking a probiotic supplement. It may help a lot. "Probiotics are safe for most people, but you may need to avoid them if you're pregnant or nursing, have a serious acute or chronic illness; or have weakened immunity. Check with your doctor."1 Yogurt, with active cultures, may or may not help.

Ninth, stop drinking soft drinks. To be healthy, your digestive tract needs an abundance of beneficial bacteria and a minimum of harmful organisms. The carbonated water in soft drinks impedes the growth of all bacteria. In the end, this gives an advantage to the harmful organisms.

Tenth, I have written two related articles on the topics of constipation and flatulence. Read these articles if they apply to you.

Finally, pray. And get others to pray with you and for you. God is fully capable of doing miracles today. And He does.

So these are my suggestions. I have no medical training. However I think, if you follow these steps, you can make real progress—even if you've suffered with these issues for a very long time.

1 Consumer Reports, November 2011, Page 12.

 

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