4 Common Digestive Issues and How to Deal with Them

Health Fix – Common Digestive Issues

Your digestive system can be rather sensitive. Even people who feel like they have an iron stomach and can eat anything can sometimes find that their gut isn’t that healthy. It can really disrupt your life if you’re dealing with digestive issues, especially if the problem is ongoing. You might even be worried about leaving the house in case you need to suddenly find a toilet.

However, many digestive symptoms are only temporary and the best way to deal with them is to treat them to relieve them until the problem goes away. Of course if a digestive issue isn’t going away easily with an over-the-counter medicine your pharmacist recommends then you will need to consult your GP.

Your GP will check your medical history, your lifestyle, and your symptoms and begin the steps to diagnose your problem. Your GP might be able to identify your issue by means of stool sample results, or it may take another step such as having an endoscopy carried out. But don’t worry, you’ll be sedated and most likely won’t remember a thing. The most important factor in all of this is to get yourself checked out – don’t let symptoms fester, and don’t ‘get used’ to not feeling 100 percent.


4 Common Digestive Issues and How to Deal with Them

In the meantime, and the reason you’re reading this article – take a look at these ‘4 common digestive issues’ and what you can do about them.


4 Common Digestive Issues and How to Deal with Them - Indigestion


Common Digestive Issues #1 – Indigestion, Heartburn, and Acid Reflux

Indigestion can cause a number of symptoms and might be the result of various eating and drinking habits. Here are some common causes of indigestion:

  1. Overeating.
  2. Eating too quickly.
  3. Eating fatty, greasy or spicy foods.
  4. Drinking too many caffeinated drinks.
  5. Drinking too much alcohol
  6. Chocolate or carbonated beverages can also cause indigestion.

Indigestion can affect us all at certain times, especially after eating a heavy meal. But it’s usually just a temporary thing that you experience once in a while and will go away on its own.

You can take medications like antacids that neutralise the acid in your stomach. These can come in the form of chewable tablets like Rennie or soluble tablets such as Alka-Seltzer. They’re designed to deal with indigestion and symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux or feeling bloated. However, if you experience these issues frequently, it’s a good idea to see your doctor about it. They can determine whether there might be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

And remember as the Irish HSE puts it ‘Stomach ache or back pain are usually not symptoms of indigestion.’ So be sure to contact your GP as soon as possible if you suffer from either. And always know the signs of a heart attack and know that heartburn can accompany other symptoms of heart attack.


Further Reading: Cardiovascular Health – 4 Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Heart


4 Common Digestive Issues and How to Deal with Them - Gas and Bloating


Common Digestive Issues #2 – Gas and Bloating

Feeling bloated or gassy is also something we can all experience now and then. It might simply be caused by the normal process of eating, especially if you eat quickly, as we all swallow air as we eat.

It could also be caused by eating certain foods or drinking carbonated drinks. Some foods can lead to you being particularly gassy and flatulent. The UK’s NHS lists these foods and drinks as being culprits of flatulence.

  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • pulses, like beans or lentils
  • dried fruit, like raisins or apricots
  • onions
  • food or drinks containing the sweetener sorbitol
  • fizzy drinks and beer

If you experience these problems often, cutting out some types of foods and drinks can help. Sometimes bloating can be a sign of something more serious, although it’s much less common. But if you have a worry, make an appointment with your GP.


Further Reading: 6 Embarrassing Health Problems And What To Do About Them


4 Common Digestive Issues and How to Deal with Them - Staying Regular


Common Digestive Issues #3 – Problems Staying Regular

Digestive issues can also include issues with going to the toilet. Problems such as constipation or diarrhoea can really disrupt your lifestyle, especially if they occur frequently.

People often turn to treatments such as Coloxyl with Senna to help keep their bowel movements regular and healthy. These can be good remedies in the short-term or might be recommended for more long-term use too. Changes to your diet can also help to deal with these issues. For example, having more fibre in your diet can help you to stay regular.

And as mentioned before, if symptoms persist consult your GP. In the long run, you could be looking at changing your diet completely. And if you have the likes of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), it might be a case of following a Low-FODMAP diet and following a technique of elimination of certain foods until your find out what does and doesn’t suit your digestive system.


Common Digestive Issues #4 – Nausea and Vomiting

Feeling sick and throwing up can be caused by many things, from stomach bugs to stress. Vomiting a couple of times is usually nothing to worry about but it can become concerning if you’re not able to keep any liquids down.

If something is making you vomit a lot, you could be at risk of dehydration. Likewise, regularly feeling nauseated and throwing up could indicate a more serious issue, so it’s important to get it checked out.


Having stomach problems is never pleasant, but there are ways you can address the issues that you’re having. And the first step is to talk about them.


Photos by Toa Heftiba – CCO Licence


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Edwina O'Connor
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