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Gastro Intestinal

One third of the UK population regularly suffers from digestive illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, stomach-aches and nausea and almost 15% of deaths in the UK are linked to the digestive tract . . .

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Almost 2 million people in the UK were diagnosed with a digestive disorder last year and one third of the UK population regularly suffers from digestive illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, stomach-aches and nausea.

Over 3.7 million operations were carried out on parts of the digestive system in the UK in 2005/06 
Almost 15% of deaths in the UK are linked to the digestive tract 
GPs prescribed drugs costing more than £562 million for the gastrointestinal system last year in England 
42% of people suffering from digestive problems turn to sources other than their GP for help 
Cancers of the digestive tract account for 23% of cancer deaths (7)

Nutrients vital to body function are absorbed in the gut and toxic by-products are eliminated via the gut. The gut is therefore vital to every aspect of health, unfortunately, gut dysfunction is linked to a huge range of conditions

Most commonly:
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn's disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • bowel cancer
  • peptic or duodenal ulcer
  • coeliac disease
  • diverticulitis
  • constipation
  • gallstones
  • diarrhoea
  • indigestion
Common causes of gut dysfunction include:
  • food allergies/intolerances (such as lactose intolerance)
  • stress
  • insufficient production of digestive enzymes
  • insufficient hydrochloric acid production (for protein digestion)
  • lack of beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
  • use of antibiotics
  • parasites and bacterial infection
  • high sugar/low fibre diets
  • eating "on the run"
If the following symptoms are persistent and without obvious reason, it is wise to see your doctor:
  • Abdominal pain before or after meals
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Continuing unexplained weight loss
  • Diarrhoea, constipation or any alteration in bowel habit
  • Change in stools (bowel motions) especially if they become black, dark red, pale or contain mucus (slime)
  • Bleeding when you pass a stool
  • Pain when you pass a stool
  • Feeling that your bowels are not emptying completely
  • Generally feeling tired, lethargic or unwell in association with any abdominal symptoms

Lifestyle Tips:
  • Eat slowly and chew well.
  • Eat a high fibre, balanced diet, choosing whole grains*, fresh vegetables (raw and cooked), fresh fruit, lean meats, eggs.
  • Avoid common allergens, such as wheat and milk, to see if this improves your digestive health.
  • Drink plenty of clean water, between meals.
  • Try stress management techniques, such as yoga.
  • Allow enough hours for sleep.

Millet, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth are gluten-free, do not feed candida, and act as prebiotics, have a calming effect, and are full of vitamins and minerals.