Maybe this is something familiar to you. You are nicely going about your daily activities, maybe you are sat down having a meal or you are walking around with a friend and then, suddenly, without so much of a warning, it strikes. You look frantically for the nearest toilet. You need to get there. F.A.S.T. One of my patient likened it ‘having a volcano in your belly that is ready to explode at any time’.
You are finding that your stools are at best loose, quite often explosive. You may feel bloated and/or tired. You might have had a diagnosis, for example of IBS. But I’m finding that more often than not, my patients are coming for something completely unrelated and this is just part of their symptoms. Many of them have just resigned themselves to the symptoms and are just trying to manage the urgency the best they can.
Loose stools, bloating, tiredness, all these symptoms are the sign that your digestive system is struggling so the best thing you can do is to make it as easy as possible for it to do its job.
1- Take your time to eat.
I’m sure you’ve done it before. You are rushing in the morning catching up with your emails on your phone as you eat your breakfast. Or eating lunch at your desk whilst putting the last touch to a document ‘as you really don’t have time for a break’. Or maybe you’ve grabbed something quickly and haven’t even realised you’ve eaten it (Yep I’ve done that too…). In some ways, eating is never the most important thing, more something you have to do whilst you are doing something else more important. Well, this is time to put a stop to it.
Eat slowly, sitting down instead of rushing around a sandwich in your hand. Stop reading your emails on your phone, working through your lunch hour. In effect, make meal time a nice, relaxing and enjoyable experience. Make it a priority and something to look forward to.
2- Avoid cold foods and drinks.
That means no cold water from a water fountain or a drink with ice cube in. Of course, ice cream is a no-no but it’s also about being careful about foods taken straight out of the fridge such fruit juice or a yogurt for example.
But do drink plenty of warm drinks. A green tea is great or even just warm water. At the very least, go for room temperature food and drink. Have a water bottle on your desk or ask for a drink with no ice when you are out and about (I’m not sure why all drinks are served with so much ice in them when we are right in the middle of winter!).
3- Avoid raw foods that are much more difficult to digest and eat cooked foods instead.
Again, it means avoiding a salad with green salad, tomatoes and cucumber and favouring a soup or a slowly cooked stew. Or you can do a salad with green beans, very slightly cooked tomatoes and peppers (very quickly cooked so they still keep some their crunchiness) and eat it slightly warm or at room temperature.
Over to you:
Have you ever noticed how what you are eating is affecting your digestive system, making you bloated, your stools loser? What has been your trigger?
Are you suffering from digestive problems?
If you suffer from loose stools, have a try at changing how and what you eat and see if that makes a difference.
Sometimes though, just looking at your diet isn’t enough. If you feel you need more support to strengthen your digestive system, just give me a call