Most people suffer from time to time with excessive gas, bloating, intestinal pain, stomach cramps or either diarrhoea or constipation. However, when this condition becomes chronic (i.e. lasting for more than a week or two), it’s essential to seek help and investigate the cause of your problems and in doing so, be able to restore your health through dietary change.
This may be through improving digestion, improving your intestinal flora (gut bacteria), or by removing simple allergens from your diet. Once a food allergy or food intolerance has been identified and a diet programme made specifically for you targeting your condition, you will be able to maintain a healthy diet without further symptoms.
Sometimes the cause of these problems can be too much or too little fibre. Or not enough of the right type of fibre.
With irritable bowel syndrome, many people find that eliminating the common causes such as dairy, onions, wheat, coffee, tea, chocolate, fatty and processed foods – can alleviate the discomfort associated with this condition. The offending foods can be discovered by completing an elimination diet over a few weeks.
Some digestive disturbances can also be caused by stress and anxiety. Stress reduces our ability to digest foods optimally, but can also slow down or speed up the rate at which foods pass through the digestive system, interfering with absorption of nutrients which can cause fatigue or sallow, dry skin conditions, or causing constipation or diarrhoea. There are certain foods, teas as well as supplements which can increase feelings of calm and relaxation in the body and in doing so promote digestion. Certain foods and drinks that increase feelings of anxiety and stress in the body need to be eliminated.