The intestine serves to eliminate unusable or harmful food components. On average, it transports an unbelievable 30 tons of food, 50,000 liters of liquid and 1.5 kilos of bacteria as well as kilos of pollutants and toxins out of the body.
In addition, a large part (around 80%) of the cells of our immune system are located in the intestine. A healthy intestinal flora is extremely important for our immune system, so you should react quickly to any intestinal problems.
This article aims to give you an understanding of the most common causes and symptoms of intestinal problems. You will also receive valuable tips on how to successfully treat intestinal problems and how to take preventive measures in this regard.
the essentials in brief
- Gut problems are not normal and should not be ignored. The body often wants to signal to us that something is wrong. That's why it's important to watch your body in time
- In many cases, the symptoms disappear on their own after a short time. However, many people complain about recurring intestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation.
- An important approach to correcting or preventing intestinal problems is to change your diet. Drinking more fluids and eating the right foods can quickly relieve symptoms.
Background: What you should know about intestinal problems
In the following sections we have answered some useful questions about women's problems.
What are the symptoms of bowel problems?
In order to get to the bottom of intestinal problems, it is important to recognize their symptoms. The most common intestinal problems include:
- stomach pain
It can happen that several symptoms appear at the same time. In many cases, however, they disappear on their own after a short time. If you have recurring intestinal problems, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
What are the causes of bowel problems?
The causes of intestinal problems can be different. We have listed the most common ones for you and described them in more detail.
Permanent stress is an enormous influencing factor that has a negative effect on health. In particular, because stress encourages the body to a kind of emergency management. Adrenaline is released during stress, which is intended to sharpen the senses, but can lead to neglect of digestion.
In this case, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation can often be the result. Symptoms usually subside after the stressful situation has been dealt with.
If you don't drink enough fluids, you can expect constipation, among other things. You should drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily. If you lose fluids, for example through sweating in summer, you should increase the amount you drink.
In many cases, intestinal problems go away on their own after a short time.
Food intolerances can also cause intestinal problems. Flatulence, abdominal pain or diarrhea can result in people who do not digest milk sugar (lactose) or fruit sugar (fructose) properly.
Too low a fiber content can also be a reason for intestinal problems. Constipation and slow digestion can be a red flag, especially when the diet is high in processed and sugary foods.
Intestinal problems can also be a side effect of an illness. Constipation is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis(1). It can be similar with Parkinson's(2), depression(3) or chronic kidney disease(4). In this case, the symptoms will be treated by the doctor.
Some medications can unbalance the intestinal flora. (Image source: Volodymyr Hryshchenko / Unsplash)
In diseases treated with antibiotics, diarrhea can be a side effect of the therapy. Antibiotics are powerful drugs that cannot differentiate between disease-causing bacteria and healthy microorganisms. Accordingly, you can burden the intestinal flora.
What are the consequences of ignoring the complaints?
Intestinal problems are often not taken seriously. However, ignoring it can have dire consequences. In some cases it can lead to what is known as 'leaky gut syndrome'(5). This is a permeability of the intestinal mucosa for substances that would not normally penetrate it.
In addition, intestinal problems can be a signal for colon cancer. If detected early, colon cancer can be cured. Therefore, if you have recurring or long-lasting intestinal problems, you should urgently consult a doctor.
How can I prevent intestinal problems?
Drinking the recommended amount of fluids of 1.5 - 2 L, paying attention to your diet and exercising regularly will help keep your intestines healthy. In itself, the intestines in healthy people clean themselves, accordingly, they do not need additional help.
Nevertheless, there are some home remedies that can be useful for cleaning the intestines. When it comes to preventing intestinal problems in people with underlying health conditions, they should pay attention to the recommendations of the treating doctor.
Intestinal problems: The best tips & tricks against intestinal problems
In the case of acute intestinal problems, you want to get relief as quickly as possible. There are many remedies, both home remedies and medications, that you can use in this case. In this section we show you the best tips and tricks against intestinal problems.
A healthy diet is the be-all and end-all for a healthy gut. (Image Source: Ola Mishchenko / Unsplash)
Eliminate intestinal problems with home remedies
Before you run to the medicine cabinet out of habit to relieve your intestinal problems, you should first use these proven home remedies.
Probiotics can restore the microbial balance of the intestinal flora. Probiotic foods contain microorganisms that help regenerate and stabilize the intestinal flora. (6) They occur, for example, in fermented or lactic acid fermented foods. Some of the most popular probiotic foods include:
- Pickled cucumbers
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Miso (Japanese soybean paste)
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
An important approach to correcting or preventing intestinal problems is to change your diet. As already mentioned, intestinal problems can be solved primarily by eating a high-fiber diet(7).
Dietary fibers, often called prebiotics, are indigestible food components that are very useful for the intestines. Above all, they promote the growth and activity of the colon bacteria and strengthen the intestinal flora and promote digestion. They also prevent irritable bowel syndrome and constipation(8).
Here it is advisable to use whole grain products, legumes, vegetables and fruit that are rich in fiber.
You should drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily. If you lose fluids, for example through sweating in summer, you should increase the amount you drink. In the case of intestinal problems, unsweetened teas are recommended in addition to water(9) .
A popular home remedy for intestinal problems is and remains tea. (Image source: Kira auf der Heide / Unsplash)
They soothe the gastrointestinal tract and, when drunk warm, also have a relaxing effect on the intestinal muscles. In addition, they are cheap and available everywhere. The following are particularly effective for intestinal problems:
- Caraway seeds
- lemon balm
Many appreciate the beneficial effects of warmth. This type of pain relief is particularly effective for abdominal pain. A warm hot-water bottle, seed pillow or hot bath soothes the intestines and helps to relax the mind and muscles.
Did you know that the intestine is the largest internal organ in the human body? It can be up to 8 meters long and only a few centimeters in diameter.
When it comes to 'gut', mental health is just as important as physical. As you have already read, stress has a negative effect on your (intestinal) well-being.(10) Accordingly, relaxation is highly recommended as a stress reliever.
If you have long-term intestinal problems, you should urgently consult a doctor.
Everyone understands relaxation differently, so you have to decide for yourself what helps you 'wind down' best. Give yourself time just for yourself to restore the balance of body and mind.
It doesn't matter whether you're meditating, doing gentle exercise (e.g. going for a walk, yoga, etc.), reading your favorite book or taking a power nap - your intestines will thank you for regular recovery phases!
Eliminate intestinal problems with medication
Taking medication can also help you with intestinal problems. You can usually get these without a prescription in the form of drops or capsules. However, you should note that medication can cause unwanted side effects.
When choosing the right medication, the symptom is crucial. In the case of constipation, mild laxatives can help. If you have diarrhea, you should resort to medications with charcoal and electrolyte solutions. For abdominal pain, remedies with chamomile or mint help.
|constipation||macrogol, sodium picosulfate or bisacodyl|
|Diarrhea||Loperamide, Lopedium, Perenterol|
|stomach pain||Scopolamine butyl bromide, paracetamol, ibuprofen|
For symptoms that last longer than 3 days, you should consult a doctor instead of treating them alone, because medication should not be taken long-term.
A healthy diet, regular exercise and the right stress management are the be-all and end-all when it comes to intestinal health. If the symptoms recur, the cause should be investigated.
Underestimated intestinal problems can have unpleasant consequences. These are not only a physical strain, but can also lead to new diseases such as Leaky Gut Syndrome. In the worst case, failure to diagnose or treat it in time can even lead to death.
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