Are my stomach issues part of the human condition? Is constipation part of being a human? Did human 500 years ago get bloated all the time? Do other animals have these stomach issues?
Seriously ponder these questions for a moment. Now think about them some more.
Why have, we as a global society accepted these notions, the notion of having our stomach and digestion impaired, as being a part of the human condition. We take medicines made in a lab some where, who's goal as a company, is to sale more of there products to people; getting them to believe that they need this medicine now for the rest of their lives. Most medicines are a band aid. A band aid when stitches is required.
How come we have put our faith into these drug companies as a cure for our ailments. I will speak frankly now, it is due to laziness. We need to take our health into our hands by doing the appropriate research. Reading this article is a good first step, but there is much more reading that we can do. This article is intended to speedup the research process for you. Here is a list strategies that I have researched and experimented with myself personally after years of researching ways to correct my stomach woes.
The world is changing with free trade, and globalization is taking over and our food products are produced all over the world. What has not changed is our diets. We still want to eat the same healthy foods that our moms and grandmas used to make for us. The only difference is that these same foods are not the same as our grandmas used to make. Sure they may look the same on the outside, but on the inside they are far from the same. The United States, in all its glory, has exemplified the quintessence of capitalism. The problem of capitalism is that past a certain point the cons start to outweigh the pros. In the food production industry, in the US, capitalism has reached that tipping point. Ever wonder why America is one of the most obese countries in the world? It's because their main stream food has not been healthy like grandma's, for a long time, right around 50 years. American food production practices are starting to spread, so our knowledge of harmful foods must keep up with this “expansion of philosophy,”in terms of main stream food production. So now that you know a little as to why your stomach could be irritated, lets talk about simple strategies to get it back on track.
These strategies are for the short term. To get rid of your constipation, and get your digestion in order.
The Water Breakfast:
It is literally exactly what it sounds like. Have nothing but water for breakfast. That seem easy until I say how much. You should consume your daily supply of water, all eight glasses of it, equalling at least 64 ounces. Sit down and for however long it takes you drink 64oz of water. If you drink hot water it will be even better. I sit and make a meal out of it by heating up a big pot of water, and creating my own concoction. I mix herbal teas, ginger, honey, lemon peals, cinnamon, and/or whatever else you want to put with it. It does not matter really what you put into it. I put the things I listed because they are known to aid digestion, put whatever is going to get you to drink it. Remember, not to much sugar or sweeteners.
After the water breakfast, if you haven't produced a bowl movement, the next one should.
Eat raw, with no fats:
Eat a completely raw leafy green salad with raw vegetables after your water breakfast. I don't know what it is, but for whatever reason this works really well for me. A scientist would tell you it is because our stomach sends signals to the brain when an adequate amount of our nutrient levels are met. Our brain then tells our digestive track that we have new and improved food, so out with the old. If are nutrient levels are not reached then our brains tells our bodies to hold on to the food, as a natural surviving technique; that is why foods that are hard to digest, and have a low nutritional value are so hard to digest. Go eat a McDonald's cheese burger in the US, and you will know what I am talking about.
Do not eat the salad until 2 to 3 hours after you consumed that water. We have good bacteria in our stomach that produces the necessary acid required to break down the food. If you try to stuff food on top of water, your food will not break down correctly, because the the bacteria will be to diluted. (Remember that for when you drink ice water with your dinner. Usually a small amount of Hot water with a meal is better for digestive purposes.) I am not suggesting that fats are bad for you. I believe the exact opposite actually. I believe healthy fats are really good and that is why sometime they can be exactly what we need to be healthy, just not when we are trying to fix our digestion and/or our irritable bowel syndrome. Make sense? Good. Next...
Skip a meal:
For whatever reason some people have began to form the opinion that skipping a meal is really bad for us; that eating unhealthy food is healthier than eating nothing at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As a species we were built for intermittent fasting, we actually can think at higher levels, if done properly. Did you know that some US presidents do not eat at all the day they give the State of the Union address? Imagine one hundred thousand years ago, people did not have grocery stores, so intermittent faster was just a way of life. I just ordered off Zomato, and had them bring me a raw juice while writing this blog post, something tells me that wasn't around back then. Delivery was not an option, so human ate what was literally in their immediate proximity. Since we are a species that evolves to our environments to maximize our “level of fitness.” (Level of fitness, is a scientific term to describe the strong bodied) If the theory holds true, then humans would have evolved to have intermittent fasting serve us in some way. Whether that is to increase intelligence or strength, with the ultimate goal of increasing the chance of our off spring's survival. The point is is that skipping a meal is not going to kill you and may have some other benefits besides helping you fix your irritable bowl syndrome, and constipation.
I believe that if you are going to skip a meal it is better to skip dinner, but it really depends on your personal schedule. If your schedule is not an issue, then, it depends on what is inside your stomach currently as to whether you should skip a meal for lunch or for dinner. If you had high fats, breads, and legumes the night before then skip lunch to allow extra time for food to break down because those foods takes longer to digest.
Don't eat different food types in the same meal:
I know this could be hard for some people to consider, but that is whyI am only saying to keep an open mind, just for a few days about it. SO lets define what I mean when I say food types; they include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. I mentioned earlier that our body has different types of healthy bacteria in the stomach. Well our stomachs are smarter than we give it credit it for, because it knows what food type we put into our stomach. If we put proteins, our stomachs starts producing the necessary chemicals to digest protein. If we put in starches it knows we put in starches. Same goes with fats. The problem is, is that when we put in two at the same time there is a cancellation that takes places, so the food just sits in our stomachs, and gets past into our small intestines partially digested. Since our digestion is slowed we begin to form gas due to the fermentation process that takes place inside our stomachs. When food sits in a heated area, like a stomach, it produces gases, and the dreaded and pain acetic acid is produced, which gives us indigestion, heart burn, and acid reflux. This is basic chemistry 101.
There who is so much more a person could write about proper dieting practices, but these are specifically the strategies that work best for me while trying to produce a bowl movement and relieve constipation. Relieving constipation is the first step in order to get back track, and heal our stomachs. So why is a physical therapist telling me about ways to heal my stomach. Its simple. The body is a complete system. If our stomachs are out of balance then our stomachs become inflamed. When our stomachs become inflamed our immune systems are on high alert and working in over drive to heal that part of the body, then the immune system is not able to focus and fix another part of the body; the part of the body that we are coming in to the physical therapy clinic in the first place. My job, as the physical therapists, is to make sure I perform proper physical therapy on your body, and your job is to make sure you heal your stomach and get your stomach's chemistry back to a state of homeostasis. Combined together our efforts will get the best physical therapy possible.