If you ever suffer from digestive pain, you are most likely already aware of how not fun it can be. And for those of us that suffer from this type of pain and discomfort regularly, we intimately know the harrowing toll it can take on both our physical self and the rest of our existence too. Yes, intestinal distress can sneak up on us and ruin something as simple as a trip to the market or even cause us to miss work. And when being home to spend time with the toilet while downing Pepto Bismol becomes more urgent than getting to work, we know we are in trouble...
I got to thinking about intestinal pain this past week, as I picked up the bottle of Pepto Bismol that my Cauldron Boy seems to be using a bit more frequently lately. I suppose my increased concern with his discomfort along with the fact that I have a papaya tree outside my new front door seemed to warrant a post. If that makes no sense to you, just know that papaya is rich in papain which helps with digestion;-).
My Cauldron Boy comes from a long line of people that just don't seem to have the best digestive systems. Even so, a lot of the distress seen in his family is due to poor diet and individuals who are less than keen on admitting such. Hence an array of pharmaceuticals are used in place of lifestyle and bad habit changes. However, there are also folks in his family that eat quite well while exercising regularly who still seem to suffer with almost constant symptoms of pain, abdominal burn, indigestion, bloating, painful gas, nausea, and mixed bouts of constipation and diarrhea. You name it, they got it and regularly too!
If you also feel like you suffer from regular/chronic intestinal distress and don't know why due to either not ever seeing a professional about the issue or seeing one and feeling you were improperly diagnosed, here is a short list of somewhat common intestinal disorders in which you may want to familiarize yourself. Keep in mind that some of these problems are diet related while others are genetic and/or even just down right mysterious.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-a bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, and alteration of bowl habits without detection of any organic cause. Note, Dearies, that some professionals believe that IBS is caused by stress and psychological problems.
2. Celiac Disease-a disease characterized by the inability to process the gluten protein in wheat. Symptoms are abdominal pain, cramping, rectal bleeding, undigested food in stool, and often weight loss. Only 1% of Celiac sufferers worldwide are diagnosed!
3. Crohn's Disease-a quite mysterious inflammation of the intestines that can range from the mouth down to the rectum. Symptoms are all of those listed above to include fever, skin rash, eye swelling, mouth sores, and unintended weight loss.
The three situations above are obviously quite serious not only due to pain, but also due to the possibility of malnutrition. They are all also a real possibility for someone experiencing regular intestinal distress. Before jumping onto the Crohn's bandwagon or any other wagon though, consider everyday diet and habits. Do you feel that you eat a lot of fat, for example? Fat wreaks havoc on our stomachs causing pain, burning, and often diarrhea. Plus, we all know what else it does! Or maybe you don't get enough whole grains and whole foods into your diet. If processed foods, white bread, white rice and the like are your staples, bloating along with pain, gas, and constipation will be a regular part of life.
Often, a simple analysis and plan change in reference to diet and lifestyle can set us in the right direction for curing intestinal pain and problems. Be sure to also include your favorite pro-biotic rich foods (yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, etc.) in your diet on a regular basis. These foods keep our digestive bacteria rich and balanced, and are especially important after a round of antibiotics. Oh, and here is a tip right from my doctor's mouth, which I did verify through research 'Eat slowly and properly chew your food. Over 50% of intestinal pain and discomfort can be alleviated by this simple act/good habit'. Amazing...!
Amazing this last bit of information is, indeed, my lovelies. I will have to tell my
wolfman Cauldron Boy to slow down a bit and chew while also monitoring his intake and personal habits. I hope any of you out there who suffer the way my Cauldron Boy does will do so also while analyzing food choices in reference to pain in the quest for intestinal comfort. Oh, and don't hesitate to see a professional when all else fails. They can be useful sometimes (smile).
p.s. plain, organic yogurt with papaya and whole grain granola is quite a gut tonic;-), Dearies!