It’s common to experience digestive issues from time to time. In most cases, minor and occasional diarrhea, constipation, and upset stomach do not require a checkup at the hospital. However, if you experience persistent or severe gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s a good idea to see a doctor at your community hospital. Your doctor might recommend that you undergo some diagnostic tests at the hospital, and he or she will customize a treatment plan that is appropriate for your condition. In the meantime, you can take a few simple steps to improve your digestive health.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Eating plenty of fiber is essential for good health. Increase your intake of fiber gradually to prevent gastrointestinal issues. Choose sources of insoluble fiber, such as vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran. Eat plenty of soluble fiber from sources such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and oat bran. If you have trouble getting a sufficient amount of fiber from your diet, your doctor might recommend taking a fiber supplement.
Choose Lean Proteins
If you eat a diet high in fatty meats, you may experience some digestive problems such as constipation. Choose leaner sources of protein such as poultry, fish, soy, and legumes. When you do eat red meat, select lean cuts and trim the visible fat off.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking lots of water each day is critical to maintaining a healthy digestive balance. Water consumption can help prevent and treat constipation.
Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits
While water is helpful for a strong digestive system, other liquids aren’t as healthy. Consuming too much coffee or other sources of caffeine can irritate your digestive system. It’s also best to limit or avoid alcohol, and to avoid smoking cigarettes.
Since 1972, Memorial Hospital of Tampa has provided a comprehensive range of healthcare services at our community hospital, including state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies for those with digestive health issues. You can contact the Endoscopy Center at our hospital by calling (813) 873-6400. Families in the South Tampa area are also encouraged to visit our website to explore the other services available at our community hospital.