5 Signs your digestion needs attention
Most of us can probably attest to a time we've been overdoing it on the food front. Christmas anyone? We're often left feeling over full, uncomfortable and bloated, possibly even a bit windy. Others may suffer burping, indigestion or reflux, perhaps even racing off to the loo as the body tries to rush through something it's not happy with!
When these symptoms occur regularly without an obvious reason (such as overdoing it on the meal front) or are an everyday reality, it's time to seek help. These are signs something is off kilter- a signal from within that balance has been disturbed.
Lets explore a few common signs a little further and see what they might be telling you.
Bad breath or Halitosis
Bad breath can commonly be caused by tooth decay, gum disease and mouth infections but can also be triggered by non-dental causes. I find it's not uncommon in patients presenting with under acidity (fermentation) as well as those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD). To me it can be a common sign of digestive distress.
Bloating and distension
It never ceases to amaze me just how much distress bloating can be causing my patients when they first present to the clinic. It can be the difference between clothes fitting in the morning and then not by the afternoon, to creating pain and severe discomfort in others. There are many factors that can contribute; food sensitivities, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), lack of digestive enzymes and dysbiosis are some of the most common ones.
Irregular toilet habits
Rushing to the loo, not going for days, struggling to empty completely or any combination of the lot is often accepted as normal for many of my patients, just because its always been that way for them. Your bowels shouldn't be difficult or painful to move, you shouldn't need to be aware of every public toilet between home and the shops, nor should you not know what to expect from them one day to the next.
It may be driven by food sensitivities, by an imbalance of microbes in your gut (dysbiosis), stress or more. Bowel trouble, whether its constipation, diarrhea or any combination in between can be signs something more is up with your digestion and some support is warranted.
Honestly, as uncomfortable as these symptoms can be,
they can be a blessing.
Letting you know something is not right and offering an opportunity to do something about it.
A little wind is pretty normal; a by product of digestion. However when its excessive, particularly smelly or causing any discomfort or pain then we have cause for concern.
Again, food sensitivities can factor as a driver, as can SIBO, constipation and dysbiosis. Other gut conditions such as coeliac disease, IBD and IBS can also be causes of excessive wind.
This is another biggie, and a common symptom experienced and almost accepted as normal (or just part of aging). The underlying causes of reflux can vary between people and are still not 100% understood, though several factors are thought to be at play. In my clinical experience I have found addressing SIBO, helicobacter pylori, food sensitivities and obesity, should they be present, has supported many of my clients with GORD, confirming for me its another sign of digestive distress and not just something to live with.
Hopefully this begins to show you that these common symptoms can be a sign there's more to the story for your digestion. No one should have to suffer believing its normal or its just something to live with. If any of this has rung a bell for you and you'd like to work with me to investigate further you can make an appointment here.