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What-To-Do-When-Your-Stomachs-Fighting-YouIt is possible to kick that stubborn stomachache.

Hi, my name is Maria, and I have digestive issues. (Hi, Maria.) If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a significant portion of your life with a stomachache. It hurts after breakfast. It hurts after lunch. It hurts when you wake up and when you go to bed. It just hurts!

The good news is, you’re not alone. The better news is, there are plenty of things you can try to do that just might possibly cure that stomachache. They may involve some sacrifice, but in the end, wouldn’t it be worth it? 

Suggestions for Temperamental Digestion

1. Dairy Free

I know, you’re running far away right now, right to your cheese drawer. But, hear this out. Dairy is a very alkaline food, which may sound like a good thing if you have an overly acidic digestive tract. But instead of regulating that acid, it actually does the reverse. If your esophagus and stomach become too alkaline, your body starts over-producing acid to make up for it. Who knew?

So do yourself a favor and simply try it. Go for a week with no dairy. Try almond milk; it’s delicious and works perfect in recipes. See how you feel. If it’s the best week of your life, well, you’re on the path to a happier stomach.

2. Probiotics

We’ve all seen those embarrassing commercials. Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you stand up in the middle of a crowded subway and admit to your…um…bathroom problems. But after trying them myself, I am a true believer in probiotic supplements.

Essentially, they are concentrations of different bacteria that help regulate your digestive system. Buy a month’s supply and see if things don’t change for the better. For even better results, my doctor recommended switching the brand you use every month so that your stomach doesn’t wise up and get used to the stuff.

3. Water

This seems like a no-brainer, but more than half of us don’t get the recommended amount of water we should each day, and for those of us with digestive issues, we should be drinking even more. Each morning when you get out of bed, start your day with an ice cold 8 ounce glass (take your probiotic with it! Efficiency!). It will wake up your system and send that much-needed hydration to your colon, which works exponentially better when it has the water it needs. Continue drinking throughout the day, as much as you can swallow!

4. Gluten-Free

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It can be difficult to digest and cause gas, bloating, pain and even in cases where an allergy is involved, damage to your digestive tract. I know you don’t want to give up your pasta and bread, but my suggestion is this: Give it two weeks, just two weeks, and see if you feel any better. If you don’t? Head over to your favorite italian spot and go crazy. If you do, I suspect you’ll be feeling so great, you won’t even care. Plus, nowadays, there are gluten-free alternatives for just about every craving you could have.  

The bottom line is, it shouldn’t hurt to eat. You deserve to enjoy your life and you owe it to yourself to get those stomachaches under control. Working with your doctor is definitely recommended, but in the meantime, try some of these suggestions for tricky digestions and see if things don’t start looking up.

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