We all experience symptoms of digestive distress from time to time, but many of us who have chronic symptoms write them off as “that’s just who I am.
Frequent digestive symptoms include heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas. Actually, this is our bodies’ way of alerting us that something isn’t right. The use of medications may mask the symptoms, but what about the actual cause? Ignoring our bodies’ warning signs may result in a more serious condition because we let it spiral out of control.
Your gut health is one of the most important indicators of overall health as it contributes to a wide range of conditions such as migraines, acne, arthritis, depression, fatigue, and the list goes on. The standard American diet (SAD) pays no attention to supporting health, but with some basic dietary and lifestyle changes, you may prevent illness and disease from becoming a lifetime struggle.
One of the most basic and necessary nutrients our bodies require is water. Increasing daily water intake can often resolve heartburn, constipation as well as other symptoms.
How much water is right for you? That depends on your activity level, outside/inside air temperature, and your weight. The more active you are in a day, the more water you’ll need to drink to replenish what’s lost through sweat and respiration. The hotter the temperature or the drier the air, the more water you’ll need to stay hydrated. The greater your body size, the more water you need to flush your system. A basic rule of thumb to gage your water intake is half your body weight in ounces plus additional water if you exercise or the day is very hot. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water. Of course, that means drinking it throughout the day so you can absorb it and not guzzling it all at once which will make you feel full and nauseous.
Water is just a first step. Depending on your symptoms, lifestyle, genetics and more, the next steps will vary for everyone. It takes time and learning to listen to your body to help heal yourself. Often people need to work with a nutritional professional for guidance and suggestions for the next steps to get on the path to better health. In the short-term, listen to your gut, knowing that it’s trying to tell you something!