First Signs of Digestive Discomfort
What is digestive discomfort?
YOU’RE NOT ALONE EXPERIENCING DIGESTIVE DISCOMFORT
Over 50% the population worldwide experience digestive discomfort from time to time. The frequency and intensity varies from person to person, but it’s more prevalent in women. In Australia,87% of women are affected. Symptoms include bloating, flatulence, constipation and a feeling of heaviness. Despite suffering from these symptoms, research shows that 40% of people worldwide who are affected don’t know that digestive discomfort isn’t normal, so they don’t do anything to try and improve it.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON SYMPTOMS?
Bloating is your stomach feeling stretched and uncomfortable. Some people only feel like this after they’ve eaten a really big meal, but for others it’s a more regular occurrence. Common causes of bloating include trapped wind, constipation, swallowing too much air while eating, and specific food intolerances.
Feeling bloated is more common in those who are stressed, and an unhealthy diet or eating certain foods can have an effect.
Changes in the consistency or size of your stools, or in the frequency that you feel the need to pass them, is a sign that your digestive system is in distress. Often referred to as diarrhea or constipation, bowel issues can have a big impact on the quality of your day-to-day life.
Bowel trouble could be the result of a recent change of routine or stress and anxiety, but food allergies could also be a trigger.
Although flatulence can be embarrassing, it’s a completely healthy bodily function. As our bodies break down carbohydrates and proteins, they naturally produce gas, which we need to expel. We also swallow small amounts of air when we eat and drink, that collect in the body and need to be released.
Flatulence is exacerbated by eating food high in unabsorbable carbohydrates (such as beans, lentils and cauliflower). Chewing gum and swallowing large pieces of food quickly could also cause you to swallow more air, creating a larger build-up of gas.
Borborygmi is the scientific term for a noisy stomach and comes from the Greek word meaning ‘rumblings’. It’s caused by contractions in your gastro-intestinal tract, called peristaltic, which move food through your intestines.
Although usually inaudible, eating foods that are hard to digest is known to cause borborygmi to become louder, and swallowing air could also have an adverse effect.
An ache in your stomach, often referred to as cramps, can leave you feeling sore and uncomfortable. However, the pain is often short-lived and not serious. Stomach aches can be linked to bloating, but being stressed and eating an unhealthy diet also contribute.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.