Digestive problems are among the most common problems in all age groups. Nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn and constipation are some of the most frequent complaints. Why are these symptoms so common? Overeating, a poor diet and stress can all trigger functional digestive symptoms. It's always important to check with your doctor to make sure you don't have a condition that needs medical treatment. If not, there are over-the-counter products that can help you gain relief.
Some digestive issues are due to a digestive tract imbalance. This can happen when there aren't enough gut-friendly bacteria to maintain a healthy balance. One solution that many doctors recommend is probiotics. Probiotics populate your gut with healthy bacteria and help promote digestive health. You can get probiotic bacteria from eating yogurt and fermented food but supplements are more convenient for some people.
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Constipation is another common and frustrating symptom. One cause of constipation is inadequate dietary fiber. Psyllium consists of seeds that aren't absorbed by the small intestines. Instead they pull water into the intestines, acting as fiber, to help ease the symptoms of constipation. Psyllium is available as a powder or husk and also as a chewable wafer. For more immediate relief, glycerin suppositories help to soften dry, hard stools so they pass more easily. There are also natural herbal laxatives that use the power of nature to improve regularity as well as a number of other laxative options you can use at home for occasional constipation.
Gas and bloating are not only uncomfortable - these symptoms can be a source of embarrassment. Anti-gas tablets and strips that contain simethicone help to break up stubborn gas bubbles trapped in your intestines and ease gas and bloating. They're helpful to have on hand after a big meal or after eating gas-forming foods like beans and cruciferous vegetables.
Heartburn is an unpleasant symptom that affects more people at one time or other but for some it's a frequent occurrence. Burning in the stomach and esophagus happens when the flap that separates the esophagus and the stomach weakens so that acid can move backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. This can be brought on by a large meal or by certain foods. It's always important to get this symptom evaluated by a doctor but once you've gotten the okay, there are over-the-counter medications that can ease heartburn caused by eating the wrong foods. These include antacids and acid-reducing medications called H2 blockers. Antacid tablets help to neutralize stomach acid while H2 blockers reduce acid production by the stomach and are more appropriate when heartburn is a frequent problem.
People of all ages have digestive issues including kids. There are a number of products available for children including probiotic supplements and children's laxatives formulated with their special needs in mind. As with adults, it's important that children who have digestive problems get medical evaluation if the symptoms are persistent. BACK TO TOP »
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