A good digestive system does not just happen, it is a matter of eating the right food when you’re hungry and the good sense to stop eating when you are full. That is easy to remember, but not all do. With all the pesticides & herbicides sprayed on crops to rid them of damage done by insects, chemicals pumped into canned food to preserve the shelf life, and steroids given cattle to help them go to market early, is it any wonder that our gut suffers in this process?
To escape chronic illness like ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease check out the 6 ways to maintain excellent colon health with these simple basic steps:
1. To have proper stomach acid at mealtime Dr. Rubman suggests against “grazing”, a term used for snacking throughout the day. Constantly snacking during the day signals the stomach to pump acid rather than saving it for mealtime.
2. The good doctor recommends thoroughly chewing your food introducing salvia and getting the digestion process off to a good start.
3. During your meals do not drink very much, not more than a few sips because the liquid will dilute the acid in your stomach. Limit fluids 30 minutes before you eat and up to an hour afterward. The general rule is one fluid ounce of water for every two ounces of food.
4. Change your eating habits. Eat only until you feel full, then stop. Do not overeat, skip dessert until later.
5. Eliminate refined sugars from your diet because it tends to destabilize digestion, decreasing efficiency of digestion, and nutritional value. Eating refined sugars with meals also will increase gas output.
6. To maintain your gut to the best optimum condition avoid caffeine and fried foods. Caffeine will stop starch digestion. It will also impair acid production during the digestion of your meal. This also speeds up the aging process of your gut. Fried foods are not healthy to eat all the time because of the oil used to fry may be dehydrogenated. This is cancer causing that may lead to stomach disorders.
Practice this Between Meals
Sometime during your life you may develop a sour stomach between meals due to something you ate that was disruptive to your stomach acids. Learn to put something in it that will quall this disturbance without triggering more acid production. Dr. Rubman has several well practiced suggestions. Dr. Rubman says, “A time tested folk remedy, believe it or not, comes from Europe, eating sauerkraut. In Germany you can even buy sauerkraut juice in cans just for this purpose. Five or ten minutes after eating sauerkraut, your stomach will relax and you’ll feel great. Sounds weird, but in fact, the enzymes released during fermentation of the cabbage as it turns into sauerkraut actually help break down and neutralize the inflammatory components of a sour stomach.”
If sauerkraut is not your cup of tea, there are herbal remedies that will also soothe and normalize the stomach without suppressing acid production. Dr. Rubman recommends Gentian, a herb that comes in tinctures, capsule, and fluid extracts. Just 8-10 drops in a sip of water will do the job he advises. Use this as you need it rather than prophylactically.
Glyconda, a traditional herbal combo including turkey rhubarb root, cinnamon & goldenseal, is another old fashioned folk remedy that came out of Italy during the time of the reformation. Grandmothers have been giving this remedy for many years. Just dissolve 10 to 20 drops in two ounces of warm tea or water, and drink before a meal. The results are simply fabulous taking care of the problem almost all of the time.
Gastric-Gest, a combination mixture of plant derived enzymes can be taken as needed as an antacid substitute. It is available from Priority One (800-443-2039).
Compound Herbal Elixir, a botanical mixture that can be used as needed as a “tummy tonic” is available from Eclectic Institute (800- 332-4372) or go to http://www.eclecticherb.com.
Both of the above are also available at quality health-food stores.
Could Be Yeast Infection
On rare occasion when a more severe stomach problem causes between-meal acid production the reason could be something in the stomach lining stimulating it the same way food does. Typically, the cause is a yeast infection much like the culprit found in vaginal or oral thrush. You can avoid it by following the above preventive steps that should nip it in the bud.
If you have gastritis that persists for more than 10 days or recurs more than once a month you should be tested for the bacterium level during meals.
It could possibly be an ulcer that might require special treatment. Rubman states, “Having a gastric or duodenal ulcer is one of the few problems that calls for prescription antacids to suppress acid production while the lesion heals properly.” If the problem persists see your local health care provider to rule out a more serious illness.
Remember, when it comes to acid indigestion do not let the cure be worse than the disease. Always maintain healthy eating habits by using a strategy to work with the body’s natural digestive function. This will go a long way in calming the grumbling pain of acid indigestion and the start of irritable bowel syndrome. A healthy gut requires close attention to detail because of all the irritants put into foods these days along the food chain. Always read the labels of anything bought in the supermarket and check up on what you don’t want there. It can sometimes be a matter of life and death.
Information for this article was gleaned from “More Ultimate Healing” page 21-23. Andrew L. Rubman, ND, director, Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, Connecticut contributed the main quotes.