Feeling your digestion off balance?
Here are five ways to get you back on track now and stay in balance in the long run.
Inquire: How is my digestion out of balance & what is the cause?
When I feel my digestion is out of balance, I first look at what may cause this imbalance. Here are a few questions and things to consider that can guide you:
- How is my digestion off: Am I constipated or rather dealing with stool that is too loose or thin? Observe! Literally look at your stool in the loo. Never done that? Well, there’s always a first time!
- Am I stressed or is there anything unusual going on in my life? Is there something bothering or worrying me?
- Our mind and body are closely linked to our digestion. We all know the saying “This is upsetting my stomach” when we receive bad news or experience stress – and it’s true: According to Ayurveda we shouldn’t eat when, for example, we’re stressed or angry, because in situations like these we are not able to properly digest our food.
- What have I eaten in the past 48 – 72 hours that might cause my digestion to be off? Have I eaten a lot of one particular food that may have caused the imbalance? Have I eaten something unusual that I might not tolerate well?
Track and report: Write down what you notice and observe.
A food journal is always a good idea. It helps you:
- track what you have eaten and how you react to certain foods
- remember imbalances in digestion, bloating, itching, headaches, … all things that can be in relation to what you’ve eaten over the past 72 hours
- see how you feel after eating certain foods. If you feel good & lastingly energized: follow that lead! If you feel sluggish, bloated, or your energy crashes a little while after eating: Have a closer look any maybe steer away from these foods.
- track cravings like the need for sugar or salty snacks, for caffeine, for cheese, alcohol, or whatever it may be for you
- get a better understanding of your body and how you relate to food
- see patterns of eating (or not eating): eating when you’re frustrated, bored or stressed, for example
Poop asap, please: Constipation cures
- My number one: Warm water! Not hot, just nicely warm. This is a poop boost! You can do it any time of day, but if you’re struggling with slow digestion in general, try it first thing in the morning. Right after getting out of bed it also helps you to rehydrate: During sleep your body looses a lot of water, and drinking warm (ideally body-temperature) water helps you fill back up!
- Coffee. Makes my digestion work like a clockwork and works as constipation cure.
- Coconut water, coconut milk or coconut oil can help make you poop.
- Flax seeds, chia seeds or psyllium husk can help with constipation. Always remember to drink enough water when taking/eating them! Flax seeds can also be used to treat the opposite of constipation: diarrhea. All three are great sources of fibre.
- Probiotic foods can help or probiotics in capsule form
These are just a few natural laxatives.
For more and more details, have a read here:
Treating thin poop
Thin poop can be either a cause of diarrhea or because you’re constipated and there isn’t enough fiber and water to make it dense enough. Interesting, right? In both cases, drink lots of water to help your digestion and your body.
In case diarrhea is the cause: If the loose stool stays for more than two or three days, go check with a doctor. If constipation is the underlying culprit, try the tricks mentioned above.
Also, cut out any foods that you feel might aggravate the situation. For me, too much coconut (and I love coconut!) can be a reason for loose stool. So when I see that my stool is too loose or too soft, I cut out coconut for a few days or eat less of it. Coffee can have a similar effect. What helps me get back on track as well sometimes is simple carbs like white rice or bread.
Please bear in mind: When your digestive issues stay for a longer time, please check with a doctor or naturopath to see what’s going on. The tips here are just general suggestions, partly based on my personal experience.
Doshic dynamics: Be well with Ayurveda
Have a look into Ayurveda for long-term solutions. This ancient science can help you understand your body better, what type of “digestor” you are and which foods are good for you based on your individual constitution. We all have an individual so called ‘doshic’ constitution and based on that we digest faster or slower. Knowing your doshic type can help you determine how often you should be eating, how many hours should be inbetween meals, and when to have your biggest meal of the day, etc.
Also: Ayurveda is strictly against snacking, so if you’re dealing with an digestive imbalance, maybe try and stick to proper meals and see if it improves your situation.
The aim of Ayurveda is to keep us in balance, so we’re healthy on all levels. It is imbalances like digestive issues that can accumulate and lead to disease, and that’s why it should be our core interest to look into these symptoms and treat the root causes.
Feel free to reach out if you have questions.
Have a healthy 2021!
Ayurvedic powders to boost your digestion
Triphala: This traditional blend supports healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Book: Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda by Sahara Rose Ketabi