Top 5 mistakes people with gut problems make.
(Number 4 may surprise you!)
Whether you suffer from occasional bloat or full-blown IBS or IBDs, these are the most common mistakes I encounter in my practice:
- Eliminating too many foods. I meet many people in my work who suffer from malnourishment and blood sugar imbalances, after years of eliminations and eating bland, beige diets. They rely on comfort foods, sugar and caffeinated drinks to get them through the day, deepening their depletion and digestive problems.
- Shovel food down. We’ve all done it: eating in front of a computer, answering emails, texting etc. We forget to chew, speed up and realise at the end of our meal that we’ve eaten on automatic pilot. By not chewing your food enough, you miss the first stage of the digestive process which involves mixing your food with enzymes found in your saliva. You’re then more likely to overeat, leading to discomfort, bloat, indigestion, reflux and overweight.
- Stress! Signals of stress will trigger your body to stop producing vital digestive enzymes and gastric juices. It’s part of your survival instinct: if you face a tiger, your body’s priority will be to fly or fight – not digest your tuna sandwich. This will cause your food to sit in your stomach, where it will ferment and produce gas, cause bloat, indigestion, acid reflux and in the long run may lead to IBS and other more serious digestive disorders.
- Exercise – Is your exercise regime leaving you exhausted? If so, it is hindering good digestion and efficient nutrient absorption. If your life is busy, with constant juggling and non-stop demands on you, you may want to re-establish balance by choosing lower-energy, relaxing routines. Yoga, gentle walks and swims, Qi Gong, Tai Qi etc. These will rejuvenate your body rather than push it into deeper stress and distress.
- Ignore the signs. Your body is constantly sending you signals of imbalance. Listen to them and learn to recognise what they mean. Pay more attention. If need be (when symptoms persist) take note in a food diary and investigate. The likelihood is, if you catch an imbalance early, you’ll be able to rectify the issue quickly and stop it from progressing into a deeper problem.
Want some help clarifying what you might be doing ‘wrong’ or help to put you on the right track?
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