Health

Beat tummy troubles this Christmas

’Tis the season… for gas, bloating, constipation and more. Ready for some light relief? Read on for tips to ease discomfort

Chew this over

Rather than inhaling your Christmas turkey/nut roast and sides, try to munch each mouthful as much as you can to aid digestion. And eat with your mouth closed – it’s not only polite, but otherwise you swallow air, which can lead to bloating.

 

Fast fibre hacks

Support digestion and help prevent constipation with more fibre in your diet. Try these:

1. Upgrade your bread variety to wholemeal or whole grain.

2. Keep the skins on your veggies.

3. Snack on nuts and seeds, and add to smoothies and cakes.

4. Include chickpeas, lentils and beans in stews and curries.

5. Enjoy a brekkie of porridge made with whole oats.

 

Bowel unblockers

Check your meds Constipation can be a side-effect of some, including certain painkillers.

Don’t resist the urge to go As this can adversely affect bowel muscles.

Inactivity can cause constipation So go for a walk or jog, or hit the yoga mat (search ‘wind-relieving pose’!).

Switch up your poo pose Elevating your knees above your hips can make it easier to go, so pop your feet on a low stool.

Help get a move on Eat more fibre-rich foods, such as fruit, veg and whole grains, and up your water intake.

Consider a gentle laxative such as Fybogel Hi-Fibre Orange.
Contains ispaghula husk; always read the label.

See your GP if constipation doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes, happens regularly, or you notice other symptoms, such as blood in your poo.

 

64%

…of people with IBS have never sought treatment. Head to nhs.uk for symptom info, tips and how your GP can help. The IBS Network also offers resources and support.

 

Try mind over belly

It might be time to use meditation to help your gut! In a new UCLA study, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) found their symptoms significantly improved after an eight-week mindfulness course. You could also consider Buscopan IBS Relief, designed to relieve IBS-related pain. Contains hyoscine butylbromide; always read the label.

 

Why can garlic make you fart?

A flavoursome fave, garlic is considered to be a food high in FODMAPs – a group of carbohydrates that can cause gas, bloating and tummy issues for some people. If you’re experiencing symptoms, nutrition experts may recommend a low-FODMAP diet (which involves temporarily restricting certain foods), especially if you have IBS. It’s not a dead cert, but it could be worth investigating with a health professional. In the meantime? Keep blaming your dog/cat/other half.

 

Your festive stopover kit

1. Stop the runs

Imodium Instants dissolve on the tongue and help to relieve diarrhoea.

2. Acid ace

Soothe discomfort and neutralise excess stomach acid with Gaviscon Double Action Tablets.

3. Gas soother

Boots Wind Relief Tablets help ease trapped wind.

 

Worrying watchouts

Most tummy issues aren’t serious, but see your GP if you:

• Unexpectedly lose a lot of weight  • Bleed from your bottom, or spot blood in your poo  • Have a hard lump in your stomach  • Have continuous or worsening stomach pain • Have constant low energy  • Have trouble swallowing  • Notice a persistent change in your toilet habits

 

Photography: Alamy; David Billings, Louise Lyshoj, Mockup Graphics, all Unsplash; Plain Picture