Incredible food for health: 7 foods to avoid and 7 to feast on

Sick or not, our stomachs are powerful organs. Muscles and tendons don’t move that much, while parts of the brain like the brain stem aren’t fully developed until we’ve had kids. We keep our body moving around, under our control, by eating, and at times when we don’t.

But for some people, these movements don’t go as smoothly as we’d like. Then, there are other individuals who are weak and restricted in their movements because of conditions that are present in the womb.

HIGH INCIDENTS OF ILLNESS

High rates of digestive disorders are common in women; there is little data on men, but research suggests they tend to experience somewhat different digestive problems. Studies have found that each additional day of pregnancy and each day of laboring increases the risk of gastrointestinal difficulties by about 30%. For women with gestational diabetes, those levels can climb as high as 80%.

Women who’ve been through a perinatal period – anything ranging from four weeks to two years following the child’s birth – are more likely to experience symptoms such as anemia and gestational diabetes. But birth was particularly associated with digestive problems for males. In a study of parents of healthy, postpartum infants, men found stomach problems more likely in their offspring if they had been through a perinatal period.

The precise causes of certain health conditions are not fully understood, but diet and lifestyle factors might play a role. Studies have found a greater prevalence of digestive disorders in individuals who eat poorly or binge eat. People who had mild or moderate appetite restriction before pregnancy, for example, were more likely to experience digestion problems in later pregnancy than those who didn’t restrict their diet.

POSSIBLE FACTORS

Folic acid is a well-known pregnancy booster that’s been linked to improved maternal health and longevity. So, it’s no surprise that some studies have found an association between folic acid intake and GI tract problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic conditions that can cause gastrointestinal problems. Folic acid levels also correlate with abdominal circumference, which can affect the volume of the stomach.

Some people may be missing out on key nutrients that all carry the potential to cause conditions like GI tract problems, or may not absorb some of the important nutrients properly. Vitamin B12 and folate are important antioxidants. Their deficiency is linked to intestinal disorders such as sepsis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the blood-brain barrier.

Beans are considered rich sources of B12, but refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice and pasta aren’t. Other potential contributors include fluoride, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine and phosphate, which are found in a wide variety of foods but are lost or diluted in unpasteurized milk, juice and other agricultural products.

DISEASE TREATMENT OPTIONS

After a woman gives birth, there is a two-year window in which diet alone or diet and exercise can make a major difference. Women who are at an increased risk of developing a perinatal intestinal disorder should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, such as a gastroenterologist, who specializes in gastrointestinal ailments.

There are many types of GI conditions and treatments, and doctors must identify which therapy will most effectively treat their patients, rather than blindly prescribing medications or curative surgery. Symptoms of diarrhea can progress to gas, bloating, and fatigue. For more severe forms of gastrointestinal disorders, such as unexplained bleeding, women may require emergency surgeries for intestinal perforations or joint disorders in the colostomy bag.

Women with IBS or dysphagia can take prebiotics that help feed healthy gut bacteria, or they can take probiotics or other live-biotic products. Dietary supplements or supplements that contain fibre may help reduce bloating and diarrhea, as can magnesium, protein, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium oxide and vitamin D.

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