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Digestive health questions to think about. What is it? How is yours? Do you have problems? Well I know I have problems and they started when I got pregnant with the twins and seem to be hanging around three years on. People don’t like to talk about it and feel embarrassed. I got over that part when pregnant I was so fed up I was willing to talk to anyone to get any tips and advice I could. This made me realise its not that embarrassing after all and that lots of people suffer with digestive health issues.
My problems started when I was pregnant with the twins and I ended up on daily laxatives prescribed by the doctor. Most days I was doubled over in pain unable to go to the toilet. When I finally could go I was there forever. Nothing I did helped, the laxatives made me have diarrhoea but without them I was extremely constipated. I just couldn’t find a happy medium. I tried to manage my problems through diet but having hyperemesis I struggled with food and actually keeping anything down without being sick. Being pregnant I struggled to exercise and because I was having identical twins I was a high risk pregnancy which came a lot of worry and anxiety which certainly didn’t help. Nothing I did seemed to help and I just muddled through and hoped that once the babies were here things would get back to normal.
Well three years on you would hope things were back to normal. Nope how wrong would I be. I am not as bad as I was when pregnant and don’t need any daily medicine to help anymore but I am far from feeling like I was pre pregnancy. I find my symptoms are worse depending what I eat and when I eat. Being a mum of four I live a very hectic life and we are always on the go. I try to eat healthy and make sure I have lots of fruit, vegetable, fibre, a balanced diet but sometimes things get in the way and its those days I feel it. My body feels sluggish, lethargic and tired along with that comes the cramps and bloated feeling.
I have learnt to manage my symptoms through my lifestyle and I have made changes to my diet, exercise and daily routine. It has helped me massively both in terms of how I feel physically and mentally. I do sometimes need medical intervention in the form of over the counter medicines and I usually speak to the pharmacist about my symptoms as and when needed to ensure I get the correct products. You will be surprised what they have heard before so do not feel embarrassed to have a chat and most pharmacy’s have a private room you can use.
Below are a 5 things I now do to help manage my symptoms.
- Make sure I eat fibre everyday
- Drink lots of water and stay well hydrated
- Exercise even if it’s just a gentle walk
- Try to stay away from fatty foods
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
Digestive health symptoms may include but are not limited to: stomach cramps, discomfort going to the toilet, bloating/gas, heartburn, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and incontinence.
You can get advice from your doctor and pharmacist and use online forums to get to know others in the same position. Also listen to other people’s stories on the IMODIUM® website. Do not suffer in silence for something that you could maybe manage yourself.
When doing some research so I could point you to a few websites I came across this on Bupa. It’s for indigestion problems but is a great idea for gut issues as well. I know my body and what foods flare my symptoms up so a diary of your food is a good way to see if certain foods or times of day are contributing to your symptom’s you can then easily make changes to your diet to avoid or reduce those foods that don’t agree.
You may find the internet a good source of support; websites like the NHS are good. IMODIUM® has pages on lifestyle tips and also where you can watch other digestive health sufferers talking openly about their conditions. I just searched digestive health and gut problems and there was so much information and advice to read through.
Speaking from experience of suffering poor digestive health the best piece of advice I can give is speak to someone about your symptoms. Don’t suffer on your own and whilst you might not be able to get rid of them altogether you could dramatically reduce the severity and frequency like I have. Instead of suffering daily I can now go weeks without having to much pain and discomfort. I am strict with my diet and keep processed foods to a minimum, I try to eat lots of fresh produce and avoid foods I know will cause me issues. I don’t however stop living my life and enjoying the nice things like cake and chocolate I am just more aware of how much I eat and when.
You should seek you own healthcare professional advice and make joint informed decisions. I am just sharing with you what has worked for me. Everyone’s body is different and this can mean what works for one wont work for another. Don’t be scared or embarrassed too talk to your pharmacist about digestive health they can help with lifestyle changes and also over the counter medication to relieve symptoms. Don’t suffer any longer if you have been to embarrassed to talk.
Imodium Instants for diarrhoea relief, contain loperamide. Always read the label.