At some point, everyone has experienced a digestive issue,from common ones such as cramps and acid reflux toserious conditions like appendicitis, ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Mild or severe, all of these gut problems require appropriate and up-to-date treatment.

The diagnosis and treatment methods for IBD are changing. For this reason, doctors take IBD continuing education (IBD CE) courses to gain a deeper understanding of the disease and to properly inform and guide patients suffering from it.

Whether you’re a healthcare provider or patient, learning ways to keep your gut healthy is a must. You can start by avoiding these bad digestive habits.

Not Watching What You Eat

Stop for a moment, and think about what you had for lunch. If you wolfed down a burger or two, indulged in a plate of fries, and finished it all off with a sugary drink, you just might have set yourself up for tummy trouble.

Fatty and fried foodsdon’t make for good digestion. High-fat and greasy meals are often low in fiber, making them harder to digest. What happens to them? They stay in your digestive tract longer than they should. And you wouldn’t want to store any more undigested food in your body if you’re already experiencing constipation.

Acidic beverages and foods, including limes and oranges, can irritate your stomach. But you might argue that citrus fruits are healthy. Yes, they are, until you’ve had too many. As with all types of food, the key is moderation.

Reminder: Nutritional needs and restrictions vary from person to person. A specialized diet may be recommended for patients with IBD. If you were diagnosed with such illness, consult a doctor. It’s also helpful to turn to healthcare providers taking IBD continuing medical education (IBD CME). They have a better understanding of the condition and tools to optimize care.

Forgetting to Slow Down

Picture this – You have a jam-packed to-do list. Today, deadlines are looming, and errands are getting out of hand. Actually, it’s not only today, because it feels like you’ve been running around since the beginning of time. So, just like yesterday, a quick lunch should do.

Unfortunately, you’re not doing your body a favor by eating too fast. Instead, you’re putting yourself at risk of digestive issues, such as bloating and indigestion. That said, the next time you sit down to eat, take your time, and truly enjoy the meal. Make sure to chew your food thoroughly as well. Why? The more you chew, the less work your stomach has to do.

Not Drinking Enough Water

You’ve probably heard enough about drinking 8 glasses of water a day and the wonders it can do for the body. Yet, here you are, reading another reminder to keep yourself hydrated at all times. But have a little patience; this might explain your chronic constipation.

When you’re dehydrated, so is your colon. As a result, it tries to absorb as much water as possible from the undigested food in the digestive tract. What happens next are dry stools that are hard and, sometimes, painful to pass. If you’re having a hard time with bowel movements, chances are, you aren’t drinking enough water.

If, however, you’re experiencing more severe discomfort and symptoms, such as bloody tools and abdominal pain, visit a healthcare provider immediately, preferably one who’s taking IBD CE. Managing IBD can be complicated since treatments and diagnosis change over time. It’s best to seek the help of a doctor armed with the latest knowledge on the disease.

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