Gastrointestinal Problems & Back Pain


At least 100 million patients in the U.S. have recurrent, long-term gastrointestinal symptoms. More than 80 million of these suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Other common digestive disorders include peptic ulcers, acid reflux and Crohn’s disease. Digestive disorders can originate from dietary choices. Symptoms that result from food choices include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Another complication that may arise with gastrointestinal problems is back pain. This is a particular concern for women.

Reduce Fat Intake

Too much saturated fat and trans fat in your diet can lead to a number of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including acid reflux, heartburn, constipation and indigestion. Excess fat may worsen conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pancreatitis and Crohn's disease. It can also increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Increase Fiber Intake

If you don’t have an adequate amount of fiber in your diet this can increase symptoms of GI disorders including back pain. Your body does not absorb soluble or non-soluble fiber during the digestive process so it bulks up the stool allowing it to pass through the colon more easily and preventing constipation. Good sources of fiber include vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts, whole wheat bread and cereal.

Increase Fluid Intake

Fluids, particularly water are a vital part of the digestive process because they enable food waste to pass more easily through the colon, preventing build-up and constipation. Fluids are also important for helping minerals and vitamins to dissolve, making them more easily absorbed by your tissues.

Add Serotonin-rich Foods to your Diet

You may have heard of serotonin, because it is one of the major neurotransmitters in the brain. It is involved with your moods, but also affects the enteric nervous system. For example, if you are suffering with symptoms of a GI disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome and are experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea, serotonin can reduce the speed of intestinal transit, allowing nutrients adequate time to be absorbed. Foods that are high in serotonin include: eggplant, avocado, tomatoes, pecan, walnuts and kiwi.

Exercise Regularly

Back pain in GI disorders such as IBS can often be caused by extended periods of sitting in the same position or sleeping for long periods of time. This can be avoided with moderate regular exercise. Exercises that strengthen the back muscles are beneficial. Other options are tai chi or yoga, which employ gentle movements to keep the muscles flexible.

Spice Up your Diet With Ginger

Ginger is helpful in GI disorders such as IBS because it has antispasmodic properties this means it relaxes the muscles and can help to prevent intestinal spasms and vomiting. It also has a anti-inflammatory effect. This combination of benefits can dramatically reduce GI symptoms and help prevent back pain.

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