Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Stomach health: An overview
The stomach comprises a complex structure, and maintaining its good health is important for your body’s overall well-being. Scientific studies have proven that good stomach microbiome health aids in safeguarding your immune system, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, mood, and even aids in the prevention of cancer.
The term stomach microbiome refers specifically to both good and bad microorganisms living in your stomach. There are 300 to 500 different varieties of bacteria in your intestine. Some of them are good bacteria that aid in enhancing several bodily functions like digestion, strengthen the immune system, combat obesity, and absorb nutrients. Some of them are bad bacteria that can weaken your immunity, cause depression, and other health problems.
Negative stomach health can affect your life negatively and also cause damage to the stomach microbiome because of several bad lifestyle habits like less sleep, poor eating, consumption of high sugar foods, and antibiotics. You should opt for being diagnosed with early symptoms of bad stomach health and take necessary precautions to avoid any chance of serious medical conditions.
Top 5 early signs of bad stomach health
- Upset stomach: An upset stomach can cause symptoms like gas, poor digestion, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn. Seek immediate medical attention if you observe continuous upset stomach symptoms to avoid any serious health condition.
- Persistent weight loss: An unhealthy stomach can cause frequent shifts in your body mass. This condition arises when your stomach is imbalanced and its capacity to digest the essential nutrients is compromised.
- Irregular sleeping patterns: Not only does an unhealthy stomach contribute to sleep deprivation but sleep deprivation can also manifest in an unhealthy stomach. Serotonin (a hormone that affects your sleep and mood) is present in the intestine. An ailing stomach may impair serotonin and give rise to irregular sleeping patterns.
- Food intolerance: Food intolerances occur due to an increased amount of bad bacteria in the stomach. This may lead to digestive problems like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Poor gut health can cause stomach allergies and give rise to frequent abdominal pain, and nausea.
- Autoimmune diseases: An unhealthy stomach can also result in the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatic fever, and Type 1 diabetes.
9 ways to keep your stomach healthy
Stomach health is important for the overall health of your body. Here are a few important tips you can follow for a healthy stomach:
- Add pre and probiotics to your diet: Prebiotics and probiotics are supplements that can improve your gut health. Prebiotics are food that promotes the growth and health of good bacteria in your body whereas probiotics are the good bacteria. Some of the prebiotic foods include banana, garlic, onion, and asparagus.
- Reduce stress levels: Stress is not good for health in any way and its impact is always negative on your overall well-being. Some of the proven methods for reducing stress levels are meditation, getting enough sleep and massage, walking, exercise, deep breathing exercises, having conversations with friends and family, and decreasing the amount of caffeine intake.
- Stay hydrated: Consuming plenty of water and fluids can benefit the wellness of the mucosa covering in your gut and is also advantageous for the health of good bacteria.
- Exercise regularly: Studies prove that regular exercise can improve your heart health, aid in weight loss and weight maintenance, and improve the health of your stomach by decreasing the risk of obesity.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is injurious to health and we all know that. It not only affects your lungs and increases the chance of getting cancer but it also possesses a potential threat to the good bacteria in the intestinal flora.
- Get enough sleep: Research has shown that getting 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night may improve your stomach health and has a positive impact on your overall health. Less sleep may lead to intestine ailments like constipation.
- Focus on a vegetarian diet: Studies have proved that opting for a vegetarian diet is good for your stomach health as it contains a lot of prebiotic foods.
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics: Consumption of antibiotics eliminates the antimicrobial substance against bacterial infections in your body. However, taking unnecessary antibiotics can harm and weaken the intestine in several ways, and defecting good bacteria is one of them.
- Reduce sugar intake: Ingesting huge amounts of sugar products in your nutrition can aggravate the risk of diabetes and weaken the stomach tissues. It also influences your brain health and behavior negatively. Reducing sugar consumption in your diet may improve gut health and decrease the risk of stomach ailments.
Importance of stomach health test
Testing of stomach health is essential to identify whether there is an infection in your gut or not. It helps in comprehending the type, time, and stage of contamination. Timely diagnosis can help in eliminating the issue before it gives rise to any serious condition. It is recommended to get diagnosed upon noticing any frequently occurring stomach discomfort as it can bring about critical health issues. Here are some tests that can help you in the early diagnosis of your stomach.
- Computed Tomography (CT Scan): In a CT scan, multiple X-rays of the stomach are taken from different angles to obtain images of the intestines. The doctor will observe these images to ascertain the issue and initiate the process to cure it.
- Virtual Colonoscopy: Virtual colonoscopy is a diagnostic process in which a CT scan and MRI are used to analyze the problem in your gut without using an actual colonoscopy in the process.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Diagnosing the stomach with an MRI gives more accurate results because it produces clearer images as compared to X-rays. A huge amount of radio and magnetic waves, and a computer are used in this procedure to obtain the images.
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