Slow Digestion Problems
The truth is, digestion is hard work for your digestive system, even normal digestion. The digestive system supplies the body with everything it needs and at the center of this system is the intestinal tract (GI tract). This is about 30 feet of tightly packed coil running from mouth to anus. Food is eaten, processed, essential nutrients get absorbed, residue is propelled to the end of the GI tract and finally eliminated. A lot can go wrong, or even slow this entire process down, when it does, slow digestion problems can occur:
- upper abdominal pain
- spasms in the stomach
- feeling full after only a few bites of food
- weight loss
- abdominal bloating
- high and low blood glucose levels
- lack of appetite
- acid reflux
For a single bit of food to travel throughout the digestive system from beginning to end can take as long as 12 to 15 hours, and even longer depending on what type of food it is. Red meat goes very slow, grains go much faster.
Foods that are easily digested
Generally speaking, whole and natural foods are easy on the digestive system, whereas highly processed foods which are full of unhealthy animal fat and refined sugars are harder to digest. In other words, foods supplied by mother nature are good, food made by industrialized man are bad.
Some excellent food choices that your digestive system will love:
- raw vegetables
- fresh fruits
- whole, unrefined grains
- chicken (roasted or baked, not deep fried)
- nuts and seeds
Foods that are hard to digest
Greasy foods and snacks. Anytime a food is dipped into a batter and deep fried in oil consider it to be hard on the digestive system, which follows our above rule perfectly.
Many dairy foods are difficult to digest because they contain the sugar lactose which about 75% of our population has a hard time digesting. Lactose will reach the colon undigested and cause problems such as bloating and gas.
Gastroparesis – A more serious reason for slow digestion problems
Gastroparesis is when your stomach takes too long to empty it’s food. Food moves along the GI tract by a movement called peristalsis, which is a muscle movement done automatically by the stomach and intestines. When these muscles do not work properly food will stay in the stomach for a much longer period.
There are many ways to treat this problem and if you have it you obviously will be discussing it with your doctor. Prescribed drug medications will be recommended and although some people naturally jump to this at the mere recommendation from the doctor, it is possible to treat it with dietary changes.
Eating six small meals throughout the day, including foods that are easily digestible may cure the problem.
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