You can experience pain, swelling, diarrhea, constipation, pain or bleeding in bowel. The inflammation attack the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to tissue scarring and build up to the point of narrowing the passageway in the digestive tract.
Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ulcerative Colitis are autoimmune diseases whereby the body immune system is triggered by some allergen in the digestive tract, causing inflammation and the immune response attack the body itself.
During a flare up, the normal medical treatment is to control inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids. Other treatment could be immune suppressors and in extreme case surgery to remove tissue build up.
However, such medical treatments are normally accompanied by side effects such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn. Steroids can lead to osteoporosis and weight gain, while immune suppressors will reduce your ability to fight infections.
There is no cure for these digestive tact problems, but you can manage with the following healthy lifestyle tips to reduce flare up and make the symptoms much better.
1) Healthy eating
You should firstly identify what food cause flare up in your digestive tract, and then avoid them.
Tissue build up in the intestinal tract can cause malnutrition due to inability to absorb nutrients. So, eat a high calorie and high protein diet.
Eat small frequent meals to maintain energy, fight fatigue and lessen the chance for bloating and gas. Skipping or eating large meals can wreak havoc on the digestive tract. Eat healthy snacks such as banana, nutrition bar and cereal.
Iron deficiency is a concern due to the inability to absorb iron. Have iron supplementation or take food rich in iron
2) Limit fatty food
Consuming oily, fried food can cause bloating and nausea. Fat slows down digestion and may cause diarrhea.
3) Limit salt
Steroid medication can cause water retention, which is further aggravated by salt intake. Avoid processed foods, which are loaded in salt and fat. Instead, eat whole grain foods.
Nutrients necessary to calm the immune system and increase the ability to fight infections:
- Vitamin E and Vitamin C – manage the macrophages and T-suppressor, which are major components of the immune response system.
- Co-enzyme Q10 – provide energy for the cells.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – help with inflammation in the body in general.
- Zinc – helps increase the T-cells, which cause inflammation.
5) Smoking and Alcohol
Quit smoking as it cause increase in flare up occurrence. Limit alcohol intake, as alcohol is associated with gastrointestinal upset.
There is no doubt in the benefits of regular exercise. Regular exercise helps to increase the immune system, fitness and fight stress. Just ensure that you do not exercise during flare up or after any surgery.
7) Manage Stress
Stress creates free radicals, which trigger inflammation in the body. Take enough antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and supplements to fight the free radicals. Have enough sleep and a social support circle will help in managing the condition.
Chronic digestive tract problems cannot be cured, but they can be managed using the tips above to the point of having a quality life.
How are you managing digestive tract problems? Share with me in the comment box below.
If like this post, you can receive more by filling in the form at the right side and you will get more tips and information coming your way.