Common digestion issues: Can home remedies help ?

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Representational image. News 18 Telegu

Due to the changing lifestyle, digestive issues are very common and start to affect an individual more as they grow older. Aging can have drastic effects on the function of the digestive system such as reduced appetite, change in hormone production, and effects on lifestyle and the digestion process. Problems like slow digestion and constipation are now getting very common even among youngsters.

To treat common digestive problems, home remedies are common practices in every Indian household. These are tried and tested methods for many years and come from the rich history of Indian medicine. These home remedies get effective and harmless relief from different digestive issues which include:

1. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD): In GERD, stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus and irritates the lining of the digestive system, leading to heartburn. Uncontrolled GERD can erode the lining of the esophagus and cause bleeding. For relief, home treatment options include eating a banana which has high potassium that neutralizes heartburn.

2. Crohn’s Disease: It is also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and causes swelling of the tissues (inflammation) in the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. During a Crohn’s flare-up, one can eat yogurt, fruits and vegetables, cereals, potatoes, and low-fiber foods. Crohn’s is serious and can only be managed at home, not treated. For proper treatment, going to a doctor is essential.

3. Chronic Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea can have different causes such as the body’s inability to absorb foods or infections. Chronic diarrhoea can be an indication of a more serious problem that needs medical intervention. For occasional diarrhoea, one should switch to a bland and binding diet to avoid irritating the bowel system further and eat foods with high fiber content like bananas, apples, and rice.

4. Chronic Constipation: Having less than three bowel movements for consecutive weeks or longer would be termed as chronic constipation. It may also be the case when stools are hard and difficult to pass. Adding more fluids to the diet such as water, soups, and yogurt helps relieve constipation.

5. Gastroenteritis: It causes symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. Gastroenteritis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the gut. For relief, it is advised to drink plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration, use good hand hygiene to prevent the spreading of the infection, and eat raw, low-sugar fruits, such as apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruits, peaches, strawberries, and watermelons.

These remedies can work depending on the individual. If the issue persists, then going to a medical expert is required. Digestion disorders can become severe if proper care and attention are not given to them. These diseases mostly start out with symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and fever and get severe with time. Therefore, understanding the early signs of digestion issues and tackling them can prevent long-term diseases.

The author is a Consultant, Gastroenterology, Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram

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