Digestive Health

Digestive health problems can interfere with your life. It is important to keep your digestive tract operating smoothly as to avoid issues concerning your overall health.  Here are seven tips on improving your digestive health.

1.  Stay Hydrated:  Drinking too little water slows down your digestive system.  You should drink plenty of water and other fluids, especially after you exercise.  You will know you are hydrated when your urine is crystal clear.

2.  Physical Activity:  Physical activity speeds up digestion as well as increasing blood flow to all of your other organs.  It also stimulates muscles in the GI tract which helps your organs work more effectively.  You should aim for about 60 minutes of exercise every day.

3.  Limit Fat Intake:  Fatty and fried foods are hard for the body to digest and slow the process down.  To cut down on fat intake, choose meats that are lower in fat such and chicken and turkey.  You can also switch from whole or reduced fat dairy to low-fat or non-fat.

4.  Eat More Fiber:  Fiber helps keep everything moving smoothly in your intestines.  Fiber slows down digestion and absorption so the glucose in food enters your bloodstream more slowly, keeping your blood sugar at a more even level.  Fiber also helps stool pass quickly through your system.

5.  Maintaining a Healthy Weight:  If you are overweight, losing a few pounds eases some of the pressure in your abdominal area and can help reduce heartburn and other discomfort.

6.  Take Your Time Eating:  It takes time for your brain to signal to your stomach that you are full.  Slow down when you eat and chew each bite around 20 times.  This gives your stomach plenty of time to prepare and properly digest the nutrients you are intaking.  It also allows your body to tell you that you have had enough to eat.



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Endoscopy – What is Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is a medical procedure that allows doctors to see the inside of the body without the need of major surgery.  The procedure is done with an endoscope (fiberscope), which is a long flexible tube with a lens at one end and a video camera at the other.  There are a variety of endoscopic procedures that examine the lungs, colon, stomach, bile and pancreatic ducts, uterus, and bladder.  The patient is usually sedated while the procedure is done in order to increase comfort.  It is a very safe procedure that has little to no complications.  However, with any medical procedure there chances for medical risks.  You should consult your doctor to evaluate your overall health before the procedure is done.

Why Get an Endoscopy?

An endoscopy is done for a variety of reasons.  Doctors are able to take biopsy samples from organs in order to determine the presence of cancer.  If found early through an endoscopic procedure, the patient has a better chance of beating the disease and survival chances increase.  Doctors also recommend endoscopy to evaluate things such as stomach pain, ulcers, digestive tract bleeding, changes in bowel habits, and polyps.

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