About 40pc of people have at least one digestive symptom – constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or heartburn – at any one time, while one in four people have ongoing digestive issues.
New research has shown that not only can digestive problems cause physical discomfort or pain, they are also linked to fatigue and anxiety. Ben Brown who is qualified in naturapathic medicine, which is a combination of conventional medicine, nutrition, herbal medication and lifestyle counselling, has just published The Digestive Health Solution, which offers evidence-based natural treatments for digestive issues.
Cut out refined sugar – which is found in many processed foods such as soft drinks, breakfast cereals, breads and muffins – and reduce your intake of refined grains, such as white bread, pasta and rice. “These have no fibre or nutrients and are pure starch, which the body turns into sugar. As far as the body is concerned, eating a slice of white bread is the same as eating a tablespoon of white sugar,” says Brown.
Both refined sugar and refined grains are believed to act as a sort of fertiliser, essentially “feeding” the bad bacteria in the gut and causing them to multiply.