In the United States, between 60 and 70 million people are affected by digestive diseases each year. Many people don’t even realize that they have a problem with their digestion.
If you think you could have a digestive disease, read on to learn more about three of the most common ones and get some great tips on how to treat them naturally.
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD) is one of the most common digestive diseases out there. Approximately 20 percent of the United States’ population suffers from it.
It’s characterized by heartburn and, in some cases, a sour taste in the mouth and increased salivation.
Many people turn to medications known as proton pump inhibitors to deal with GERD. These medications work by blocking the body’s production of stomach acid. This does take away some of the symptoms of GERD, but it also creates a dependence on the drug without actually solving the issue that is causing the reflux in the first place.
Another problem with proton pump inhibitors is the fact that, because they decrease the amount of acid in the stomach, they leave people vulnerable to a variety of nutritional deficiencies and infections like salmonella.
To naturally treat GERD, try consuming herbs like ginger and licorice root on a daily basis. Probiotic supplements are also helpful for improving digestion and reducing reflux symptoms.
Behavioral modifications can also help with GERD symptoms. For example, sleeping with a wedge pillow is another natural and simple way to combat digestive conditions. Researchers have found that decreasing your salt intake can also be beneficial.
2. Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are sores in the stomach lining and small intestine. They are typically caused by a bacterial infection and affect more than 15 million Americans.
Ulcers are characterized by intense pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and gas. If you suspect you have an ulcer, instead of taking an aspirin or NSAID like ibuprofen to treat your pain, turn to a natural remedy that will help heal your sores. Aspirin and NSAIDs are hard on the digestive system and can actually make ulcers worse.
Some natural treatments you can use for ulcers include:
Cabbage juice: Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that has been shown to treat the bacteria that often causes ulcers.
Licorice root: This herb increases the production of mucus, which protects the stomach lining to prevent and heal ulcers.
Turmeric: This spice has a number of anti-inflammatory benefits that make it a great option for fighting ulcers. It also helps increase mucus production to help protect and heal the stomach lining.
Diverticulitis is a condition that occurs when the diverticula, pouches that form in the lining of the large intestine, become infected or inflamed. This disease is not as common as the other two mentioned above, but it still affects more than 2 million people in the U.S.
Symptoms of diverticulitis include:
Severe abdominal pain and tenderness
Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat diverticulitis. But, if you want to treat this condition naturally (and avoid severely disrupting the gut bacteria), you can consume natural supplements like slippery elm and bone broth, both of which protect the intestinal tissues and promote healing.
Lifestyle modifications like decreasing alcohol consumption, increasing your daily fiber intake, and taking probiotics regularly can also help prevent the inflammation that causes diverticulitis.
If you’re suffering from any of these three common digestive diseases, there are lots of natural remedies out there that will both treat your symptoms and prevent your risk of developing the disease again. Give these treatments a try today so you can start to truly recover.