If you're experiencing issues such as stomach ache, bloating or gas, constipation, diarrhea, or acid reflux, you may be suffering from a sensitive gut.
Having stomach aches once in a while is fine but how can you diagnose a sensitive gut and deal with the same? Well, if you have the above questions on your mind, you've come to the right place.
In this blog, we'll talk about everything about a sensitive gut, from what it is to how you can ensure a healthy gut or digestive health.
What is a sensitive gut?
Most people think of the gut as a single organ, but that's not how it is. The gut is a set of organs including the colon, small intestine, stomach, esophagus, and mouth. And a sensitive gut is nothing but a set of organs that easily get upset.
What are the signs/symptoms of a sensitive gut or stomach?
Although your gut contains several organs, your stomach is the most impacted when it comes to sensitivity. So, here are some signs/symptoms of a sensitive stomach:
- Intestinal gas
- Acid reflux
- Occasional abdominal pain
What leads to a sensitive stomach?
Sometimes, people are just sensitive to foods such as alcohol, dairy, fried foods, or spicy foods. On the other hand, some people are allergic to a specific kind of food, and consumption of such foods can lead to numerous issues such as stomach ache, vomiting, or nausea.
While in most cases, food sensitivity or allergy is the reason behind a sensitive stomach, sometimes, the issue can be a lot bigger. Let's discuss the same below:
IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you're experiencing regular stomach issues or discomfort, IBS /Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease could be the possible victim. After all, it has almost the same symptoms that you notice in a sensitive stomach. However, irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by chronic bowel pain, which is caused due to inflammation in your intestines.
IBS sometimes leads to chronic constipation and:
- Abdominal Pain
- Trapped Gas
- Changes in Bowel Habits
Also check: Non-ulcer stomach pain
IBD: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
In some cases, if the above symptoms are severe and don't seem to go away, it could be an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. However, being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease is quite rare.
Still, if you're worried or have questions, you can always get in touch with a doctor and get yourself diagnosed. Symptoms related to GI stress vary greatly from patient to patient, as does treatment.
Apart from IBS, your doctor may need some tests to diagnose or rule out the following conditions :
- a virus
- food sensitivity/allergies/intolerance
- autoimmune disease
- parasitic infection
- colon cancer
Also check: Can stress and anxiety lead to abdominal pain or discomfort? (Irritable bowel syndrome)
How can you deal with a sensitive stomach?
1. Chew your food and eat slow
Chewing your food properly is essential for easy digestion. However, most people don't know this and thus don't chew their food properly, leading to poor digestion, upset stomach, and gas. So, if you want to avoid this, consume small bites of food, eat slowly, and chew properly.
2. Avoid having heavy meals
Eating extra food at once can cause gas, bloating, and even indigestion in some cases. So, try eating less but more frequently. It means you should take less food on your plate than usual, but you can eat multiple times a day. This way, you'll lower the burden on your digestive system and ensure good gut health.
3. Avoid consuming irritating foods
First, you need to identify the foods or food items that irritate your stomach or your gut. Once you do, you should start eliminating them completely from your diet. Although this may seem tough, it can significantly improve your gut health and prevent a sensitive stomach.
4. Keep yourself hydrated
Staying hydrated is quite essential when it comes to gut health or digestive health. And, without ample water in your body, you can experience difficulty in passing stool, which can lead to stomach aches and constipation. So, drink 2-3 liters of water each day to stay hydrated and to pass stools comfortably.
5. Reduce stress
Your mind is related to your stomach, and your stomach is related to your mind. For instance, if you feel stressed, it can impact your stomach's regular functions leading to discomfort. And constant discomfort in your stomach or stomach/gut sensitivity can cause you more stress and anxiety, which can be harmful.
So, try to manage and eventually reduce stress. And, you can do that by practicing yoga, meditation, or going to therapies.
Foods for sensitive stomach
You can also try some soothing foods that are meant for people with a sensitive stomach:
- Low-fat dairy products like curd
- Lean protein
- Cooked vegetables
- Digestible grains
- Fermented food
Unless we notice constant discomfort or symptoms, we never pay attention to our gut or stomach. And this can be detrimental to both your mental and physical health. Fortunately, as you know the symptoms, you can easily diagnose the issue and follow the above solutions to deal with gut/stomach sensitivity.
And in case the above methods don't work, you can always call your doctor for expert supervision. He'll help you diagnose the problem better and devise a better solution.