5 Common Causes of Digestive Problems

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems are very common, with most people experiencing issues like heartburn, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea at some point. While symptoms may be uncomfortable, they often resolve on their own or with simple lifestyle changes. However, ongoing digestive troubles can negatively impact your quality of life and be a sign of an underlying health condition. Here are 5 of the most common causes of digestive problems:

1. Food Intolerance

Food intolerances occur when your body struggles to properly digest certain foods. This triggers an abnormal immune response that can lead to digestive upset. Lactose intolerance is one of the most widespread food intolerances, affecting up to 65% of the world’s population. People with lactose intolerance don’t have enough of the enzyme lactase needed to break down lactose, the sugar found in dairy. This results in symptoms like bloating, gas and diarrhoea after consuming dairy products. 

Other common problem foods include gluten, fructose, eggs and caffeine. An elimination diet can help identify which foods may be contributing to your issues.

2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) impacts the large intestine and causes chronic abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation. The exact cause is unknown, but factors like stress, diet, gut bacteria levels and genetics may play a role. IBS is a functional bowel disorder, meaning there are no observable structural abnormalities. Symptoms tend to flare up periodically and can be triggered by certain foods, stress or hormonal changes. 

Making dietary adjustments, practicing stress management techniques and taking medications to control bowel function can help manage IBS.

3. Candida 

What is Candida? Candida is a type of yeast naturally found in small amounts in the body. When candida overgrows, usually in the digestive tract, it can cause a condition known as candidiasis. Taking antibiotics, which kill both good and bad gut bacteria, is a major risk factor for a Candida infection. An imbalanced gut microbiome allows candida to thrive. Candida symptoms include chronic diarrhoea, bloating, cramps, gas, nausea and fatigue. A low-sugar diet, antifungal medications and probiotic supplements can help treat candida overgrowth. Probiotics help restore healthy gut flora to crowd out the candida. Take a Candida test if you suspect this is your issue. 

4. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid frequently leaks back up into the oesophagus. This can irritate the oesophageal lining and cause burning chest pain, regurgitation, a bitter taste in the mouth and difficulty swallowing. The muscle between the oesophagus and stomach, known as the lower oesophageal sphincter, is responsible for preventing backflow. If this muscle weakens or relaxes inappropriately, acid reflux can occur. Triggers include overeating, certain foods, alcohol and obesity. Medications that reduce stomach acid or strengthen the lower oesophageal sphincter can relieve symptoms.

5. Constipation 

Constipation involves infrequent, difficult or incomplete bowel movements. Stools become hard, dry and difficult to pass due to inadequate fibre, fluid intake or exercise. Certain medications, digestive disorders and pregnancy can contribute to constipation as well. Without proper bowel elimination, waste products can recirculate through the body, causing bloating, low energy and general discomfort. 

Adding more fibre to your diet, staying hydrated, engaging in daily physical activity and establishing regular toilet habits can help resolve constipation. Occasional use of stool softeners or laxatives may be necessary.

Digestive troubles are very widespread but often manageable with lifestyle modifications. Pay attention to any persistent changes and talk to your doctor to identify the underlying cause. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help get your digestive system back on track.

Sanket Goyal

Sanket has been in digital marketing for 8 years. He has worked with various MNCs and brands, helping them grow their online presence.

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