Intestinal pain and bloating are often a result of how you eat . . . And sleep . . . And even breathe. Get on your gut’s schedule by eliminating these triggers.
Between the billion-dollar probiotic-supplement push, probiotic additives in food (probiotic chips!) and recent studies linking gut health to everything from mental wellbeing to cancer, the gut – those 7.5 metres of intestines sitting inside your core – seems to be the seat of all good health. Despite what manufacturers would have you believe, getting your insides in shape isn’t as simple as ingesting a bunch of products.
Everything you eat – and plenty that you do (even sleep) – can affect the microbes in your gut. Down a fibre-filled salad and they produce helpful waste products that speed digestion along. Narrowly miss a car crash on your way home and your body unleashes hormones with a cascade of effects that can alter the microbes’ environment and cause digestive distress. Microbes are like the office managers of your gut, involved in all that happens inside you in a day. Nothing goes well if you piss them off. If your gut isn’t happy, nobody’s happy. It gets grumpy – in the form of gas, bloating, constipation, general discomfort – and nothing good flows from there.
Experts are beginning to see that gut trouble tends to spring from a fairly simple concept: an imbalance of helpful and unhelpful bacteria. “The gut contains over a trillion different bacterial organisms, which play a much bigger role in how your body functions than we used to think,” says Dr Kara Gross Margolis, an associate professor at Columbia University Medical Center and spokesperson for the American Gastroenterological Association.
Here are six top triggers that can make a healthy gut go awry.
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