Inflammation can leave its mark anywhere in the body. This can show up in many ways, including discomfort in your gut. Symptoms may include diarrhea, cramping, pain, fatigue bleeding or blood in your stools, and even fever.
As long as you are relatively healthy, reducing bowel inflammation can be as easy as making changes in your lifestyle and diet. Here are five easy ways to set you on the path to lower bowel inflammation and keep you there.
One way to balance out the health in your gut is to add more probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria or microorganisms that help promote growth of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract. They are the friendly bacteria.
You can add more probiotics to your gut by adding these to your diet:
- Certain Cheese, such as Gouda, cheddar, mozzarella, and cottage cheese
Another option to consider is to take a probiotic supplement.
Go on an Elimination Diet
You may have clues as to the type of foods that are triggering the inflammation and its symptoms. If this is the case, you can try going on an elimination diet. This will help you identify any food sensitives, intolerances, or allergies you have so that you will know which foods to avoid going forward. Knowledge is power, and knowing what affects your gut in a negative way can add to that knowledge.
An elimination diet usually takes about 5-6 weeks overall. You will be removing certain foods you believe are causing your gut discomfort, then reintroducing them one by one to see if they have any adverse effects on you.
- Make a list of the foods you think may be causing the discomfort. This can be anything from dairy products to seafood.
- Remove the foods from your diet for 2-3 weeks. It may benefit you to keep a food diary to help you remember which foods you are avoiding. Also, keep track of how you feel and if any of the symptoms remain.
- At the end of the third week, begin reintroducing the foods back into your system one at a time. Give each food 2-3 days in order to see if any symptoms return.
Deflate your Stress Level
Like certain foods, your lifestyle can adversely affect your gut health. Stress, in particular, can lead to a compromised digestive system by causing your body to produce less saliva and less stomach acid.
Seek out opportunities and activities that can help you lower your level of stress. These may include:
- Walk in nature
- Deep breathing techniques
Whatever is most effective for you in deflating your stress level will also help to reduce your gut discomfort.
Limit Alcohol Intake
You may think that sipping on a glass of wine each night or several beers over the weekend is a well-deserved treat. Besides, it relaxes you, right? Yet, if you’re having gut discomfort more and more, this wine and beer may be the culprit.
Alcohol consumption can upset the microbial balance in your digestive system. In other words, it can be killing off your good gut bacteria and causing bad bacteria to take over.
Cutting down on your overall alcohol intake will allow your digestive tract to return to its balance of good and bad bacteria, easing your symptoms and improving your health.
Switch to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
To treat your current gut discomfort and to prevent it in the future, now is a good time to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet cuts out highly processed foods, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbs. The main focus is shifted to anti-inflammatory foods, including:
- Fruits, particularly berries and cherries
- Vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts
- Oily fish, like tuna and salmon
- Healthy Fats, especially coconut oil and olive oil
- Spices, as in cinnamon, turmeric, and fenugreek
A few changes in your lifestyle and diet may be the answers you need to gain control over your gut health and control those symptoms in the long run.