Tips for the tummy! Stomach diseases can be controlled, says health and well-being expert Denise Kelly

Tummy Tips

Life can work in strange ways sometimes. Just after I gave birth to my first child (17 years ago now, and she’s just passed her driving test! Yikes how time flies!) I developed a chronic stomach disorder. I spent a year searching for answers, living in constant pain, and losing so much weight I looked anorexic.

I had medical investigations, was prescribed endless medication and continued to feel terrible. That’s until I started to take my health into my own hands and do my own research into nutrition. Slowly, but surely I started to feel better. I had always eaten a fairly healthy diet, but didn’t know exactly what I was doing. That was my ‘light bulb’ moment when I decided to study nutrition.

I never in a million years expected my passion/interest to turn into a career. That is why I have a special interest in digestive disorders, because in my experience, more often than not, it is unnecessary suffering.

Stomach disorders are getting more and more common. These disorders bring misery and pain to peoples lives, but from a ‘nutrition’ point of view, they are the easiest diseases to correct, so don’t lose hope. But rather than correct, how about trying to avoid it happening in the first place?

The last thing you want is to be on regular medication to put a ‘plaster’ over your condition. Any medication is going to have a toxic effect on the body and, as we all know, can cause some side effects. If you can treat your stomach condition naturally and gently to ease discomfort and pain, surely it’s worth the time and effort to feel well again?

Contrary to what you may have been told, found or read, diverticulitis is a disease that CAN be controlled. Many people have small pouches in their colons that bulge outward through weak spots, like an inner tube that pokes through weak places in a tire and each pouch is called a diverticulum.

When the pouches become infected or inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis and symptoms may include mild cramps, bloating, and constipation. Other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and stomach ulcers cause similar problems, so these symptoms do not always mean a person has diverticulosis.

The most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain and the most common sign is tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen.

Although not officially proven, the dominant theory is that a low-fibre diet is the main cause of this type of disease. Many processed foods contain refined, low-fibre flour. Unlike whole-wheat flour, refined flour has no wheat bran.

Diverticular disease is much more common in developed or industrialised countries, particularly here in the UK, the USA and Australia where low-fibre diets are common. Interestingly the disease is rare in countries like Asia and Africa, where people eat high-fibre vegetable diets.

Fibre is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest. Some fibre dissolves easily in water (soluble fibre). It takes on a soft, jelly-like texture in the intestines. Some fibre passes almost unchanged through the intestines (insoluble fibre). Both kinds of fibre help make stools soft and easy to pass.

Fibre also prevents constipation, but keeps it natural and uses foods and super foods to keep everything moving. Vegetable smoothies are the best when it comes to your digestive health. Avoid getting constipation at ALL COSTS! Constipation makes the muscles strain to move stool that is too hard. This is the main cause of increased pressure in the colon. This excess pressure might cause the weak spots in the colon to bulge out and become diverticula.

This can easily be avoided if you focus on a good healthy diet and lifestyle. With great health anything is possible.

About the Author

Denise Kelly
Denise is an experienced nutritionist, writes columns and articles for corporate companies and news outlets, such as Chichester.News, delivers health seminars all over the world and runs two busy health clinics, one in Chichester, and one in Harley Street London.