Keeping a healthy gut can mean the difference between feeling clean and feeling unhealthy.
Nurse practitioner Rachel Lessor, DNP, FNP-C of Northwest Health Services said that gut health can vary from person to person.
“Good gut health is different in every patient. Some people cannot tolerate lactose and other people can’t tolerate wheat, they have gluten allergies,” she said. “What I recommend is someone keeps track of the food diary and logs what they’re eating and how they do with those foods.”
A healthy diet also vital to good gut health.
“Fruits and vegetables, plus grains, minimal sweets, minimal carbs is usually what the gut is used to,” Lessor said.
If you do feel bloated or are in consistent pain, it could be a sign of IBS.
“Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic functional disorder, it is diagnosed by a primary-health-care provider in the office,” Lessor said. “In order to be diagnosed with IBS, you have to have had abdominal pain for over three months that continues to come back and it ranges in severity from mild to moderate to severe. Along with the abdominal pain, you have to have some sort of diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas with that pain for it to be IBS.”
If you think you have a sensitivity to a certain food or a food-related illness, Lessor recommends seeing a dietitian.
“I think an option for some patients would be to meet with a dietitian. Go over what food they’re eating and see what changes they can make,” Lessor said.
For more information on gut health, food sensitivity or IBS, visit mayoclinic.org or consult with your local primary-care provider.