The Importance of Good Digestive Health

Everything you ingest must go through your digestive system, which is made up of your mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum. It also includes the gallbladder, liver and pancreas.

This provides all the nutrients your body’s cells need to function properly, while getting rid of unwanted waste for proper disposal. For a number of different reasons, our digestive system might not be running as well as it should. So, is there any way to know?


Signs of poor digestive health

There are several symptoms you can look out for that may signal poor digestive health, which may differ depending on the digestive problem being experienced. Here are just a few of the more common symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • General discomfort


Different types of digestive conditions

Many digestive health problems exist that can cause the above (and other) symptoms, some more serious than others. Including, but not limited to:

  • Intolerance to certain foods e.g. coeliac disease and gluten, lactose intolerance and dairy, etc.
  • Gastroenteritis (gastro)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Colitis
  • Cancer

How to regain control of your digestive health

To keep everything working smoothly, it is vital that you drink plenty of water, exercise and consume a proper diet full of plenty of fibre from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Also, adding probiotics and prebiotics to your diet can help create an ideal environment for healthy digestion and improve your overall gut health. If you weren’t already aware of the difference:


Live, ‘good’ bacteria that helps maintain digestive health by regulating the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria. They exist in your body naturally and can also be found in yoghurt, dark chocolate, miso soup and other foods and drinks. You can even get probiotic supplements.


Indigestible carbohydrates that feed good bacteria in your colon to further promote its growth and, in turn, improve digestive health. Prebiotics can be found in foods such as onions, raw garlic and unripe bananas.

It can be very beneficial to take steps to reduce your stress levels, too.


Talk to a healthcare professional for advice

To learn more about digestive health issues and ways for you to improve it, visit your nearest TerryWhite Chemmart and talk with your friendly pharmacist.

Click to find your nearest pharmacy.


If you’re suffering any persisting digestive symptoms, or are seeing blood in your stools or urine, arrange to see your GP immediately.

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