Making Your Own Homemade Ginger Ale
I’ve talked quite a bit about Ginger on here before and its digestive benefits. There are some high quality ginger ales(or brews) on the market that can help aid in digestion. Unfortunately these brews are usually pretty costly. I’ve improvised and made my own homemade ginger ale a few days ago. Here’s my recipe below:
- 8 – 10 ounces Ginger Root
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 32 ounces Water
- Juice of two lemons
Grate ginger, you may want to peel it first, this can be done by scraping it with a spoon. I would use the finest grate you have on your grater, you could probably also use a food processor if you have one. Place the ginger, water, sugar & juice into a pan & stir until sugar is dissolved. Place on Med-High heat until the mixture is bubbling. Lower heat to Medium. Let simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Strain out all the ginger, making sure to squeeze out the ginger juice. Now you can try to use it as-is by mixing it 50/50 with sparkling water or you can let it boil down to about 1/5th its original volume for a more concentrated flavor.
Tribute to The Best Toilet Paper In The World
Yes! That’s right, I am going to praise Conttonelle & their excellent Aloe & E toilet paper. Those with digestive problems are going to be using more TP than the average person. A lot of TP out there, even though it’s soft, doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause wear & tear after awhile. Plus there are some products out there that are too soft, almost like you’re using a blanket. Probably the best thing about Cotonelle Aloe & E is that it has Aloe & E in it, which is good for your skin and helps prevent irritation from occurring.
I looked high and low for an Aloe & E toilet paper product locally & Cottonelle Aloe & E was the only one I found & it works marvelously. Perhaps in your area you may have more choices, but I would strongly suggest you find one with Aloe in it or get Cottonelle Aloe & E. If you cannot find it locally you can buy :cottonelleaff: in bulk from Amazon.com, which if I didn’t have it locally, I’d probably do it.
Plus, who doesn’t like a cute puppy on the packaging :)?
Exercising for Digestive Health
If you’re suffering from a digestive ailment like IBS, IBD or GERD exercise may not be a top priority. Usually digestive ailments leave us feeling tired, sluggish & fatigued. As you probably already know exercise can be very helpful overall for your body in general & can even help symptoms when dealing with digestion. Exercise has the two-fold benefit of helping to cleanse toxins from your body as well as helping to move gas through your system so you feel less bloated.
Knowing Your Limits
This is important. Don’t over do exercise. If you haven’t been exercising recently then you should start off slow. Nothing is more discouraging than going full force into an exercise program and completely exhausting yourself or even possible hurting yourself in the process. If you’re feeling bloated, aching abs are not going to make your abdomen feel any better, nor is having to use the restroom dealing with aching hamstrings.
If you’re dealing with a more serious digestive problem where you are having trouble maintaining weight, you should not be exercising until you have your condition under control. As a general disclaimer, talk to a doctor if you have doubts or are unsure of how to continue.
Easy Low-Cost Exercises
- Try some basic exercises like windmills, semi circles, running in place or using a jump rope. Basic slow stretching is also good as well. You can create your own 20 minute work-out with these basic items.
- Walking is your friend. Getting out on a hike if you’re dealing with digestion problems may not be a fun idea, but if you can navigate your local neighborhood 20 – 30 minutes, 3 times a week you’ll probably gain some benefits, plus you might even get a little bit of confidence.
- Tai-Chi & Yoga are great low impact exercises that can help not only with body, but also with mind. Check out Yoga For Beginners & Scott Cole’s: Discover Tai Chi For Beginners.
- Inflatable Fitness Balls are the way to go if you plan on working out your core muscles. Balls provide better support for your back and lessen the wear and tear on your abs when first starting out.
Going to the gym when dealing with digestive problems can be nerve wracking, so instead of going to the gym, there is nothing wrong with getting some equipment for your home.
Keep A Regimen When You Can
Try to keep a regimen or even a log of what you’ve done. If you’re not feeling well, don’t feel bad to skip exercise for that day. Listen to your body. Exercise is here to help, not hurt you!
Emulating a Squat Toliet With Sit Down Toilets
Probably the majority of people in the US & UK have grown up using sit-down style toilets. These toilets resemble elaborate porcelain chairs and are pretty comfortable to sit on while doing your business, so long as you don’t sit there reading until your legs fall asleep(bad! bad!).
Unfortunately the modern western toilet does have it’s drawbacks. First of all the position you’re sitting in, while comfortable, is not conducive for passing stool. In the sitting position your colon may be constrained by the “pubo rectalis” muscle. In this way you’re having to use muscle to push past this other muscle(i.e. more work). Also you do not have gravity on your side as much as you would in a squatting position(again more work for you). Thus you have more strain, more pain. Also if you’re thinking of the environment, squat toilets may allow you to use less water & toilet paper.
If you need scientific proof, a 2003 study suggests squatting is more effective than sitting.
Squat Toilets Are Not For Everyone
So squat toilets have benefits, but of course there are always drawbacks as well. First off, good luck finding one in the USA or UK. Also if you encounter one, how are you going to use it? The first time would be like using alien technology. Most people are going to gravitate to what they know and are not going to install a squat toilet in their house. I could just imagine the dinner parties when a guest finds out all the sit toilets have been replaced with the squat variety! If you’re renting, then you really have no control over what toilet you get and I doubt the landlord would want you ripping out the current toilet.
Emulating The Squat Toilet
So since we probably don’t have access to a squat toilet or it’s just not feasible, we need to come up with some ways to emulate it.
- Adjust Your Position – Try changing how you sit down on the toilet. Lean forward and try to raise your knees above or level with your abdomen. You might try going on tippy toes while sitting down. This can be uncomfortable and the benefits may be dubious, but it’s worth a try. ($FREE$)
- Get a Step Stool – You can try elevating your legs with more comfort by purchasing a :rubermaidstoolaff: or even tipping over a waste bin and placing your feet near the base of it. There is also :lifestepaff:, which is specifically designed for this purpose. ($CHEAP$)
- Platforms – Probably the best way to get benefits is to get a conversion platform. These are actual platforms you hop onto that allow you to hover above your normal sit toilet. This is probably not for everyone, but if you’re serious, these items are the way to go. I found two products available, :thelillipad: & :naturesplatform:. :thelillipad: looks pretty spiffy to me, but I have not used either product. There is also a product called “The Evaco Toilet Platform” which I can see was sold at squatplatform.com, but that site seems to no longer exist. ($KINDA SPENDY$)
Let Me Know How It Goes
Have your bowel habits improved or have you tried one of these products out? Drop a comment below.
Hypochlorhydria / Low Stomach Acid Can Cause Heartburn & Indigestion
Many people believe stomach upset, indigestion or heartburn are usually caused by too much stomach acid. This is not always the case & one should not always assume you have too much stomach acid as there is a chance your stomach may not have enough stomach acid.
A Possibly Under Diagnosed Problem
Most doctors, after hearing about a patients complaints regarding heartburn, prescribe a “Proton-Pump Inhibitor”(PPI). Proton pumps in your stomach are what supply the acid that helps digest food. For people who do have an overproduction of acid or have a malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter(the thing that keeps food/acid from harming the tender esophagus), PPIs can be helpful. On the other hand, people who are producing too little acid may have an increase in symptoms when taking PPIs. PPIs have also been reported to have psychoactive properties, some people become more anxious or nervous while on PPIs due to how they work.
If you are dealing with chronic heartburn/GERD, it may be worth talking to your doctor regarding low stomach acid before accepting a prescription for PPIs. Or if PPIs are not helping you right now visiting your doctor and having a test run for low stomach acid may be a good idea. Many doctors do not run many or any tests before prescribing PPIs.
Treatment of Hypochlorhydria is usually a simple supplementation via Betaine HCL pills. Usually you take one pill before a meal and this increases acid in your stomach and hopefully improves symptoms. If symptoms worsen or do not improve, then you may not be suffering from Hypochlorhydria or there are other issues involved as to why you’re experiencing chronic heartburn/GERD.
Digestive Charities You Can Donate To.
Perhaps you’re in the mood to give to a good cause, why not donate to an organization that aids in the advancement of treatments for digestive disorders. I’ve compiled a couple different organizations that could use your support. If you are aware of other organizations I should have listed here, please drop me an e-mail or leave a comment and I’ll add it.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
If you have something to spare, please think strongly about giving to one of these organizations. Thanks.
While this isn’t directly digestion related, I am here with a terrible pain in my mouth due to the evils of oral sores(may also be called canker sores) & it’s kinda the only thing on my mind right now. Not only do I have one sore, but I actually have two, on top of having two sores, they are both on my tongue! Normally I do not get sores on my tongue, but I guess I am just super lucky this time around. I thought I was getting over the one on the back-bottom of my tongue, only to accidentally bite down on my the front of my tongue, causing another sore to form. So instead of hearing about my woes, let’s get down to some basics and try to think of solutions to these sores, as I am sure if you’ve dealt with them, you already know that they’re a pain in the but… mouth…
Continue reading “Preventing and Treating Oral Sores” »
The Living With Gastroparesis blog just posted some interesting survey data about Gastroparesis which does include information about probiotic usage w/ Gastroparesis. Of 46 people who responded as taking probiotics, 25 reported mild to significant improvements of their Gastroparesis symptoms, which is actually impressive as I was not thinking they would have that large of an effect. It is important to note that the majority of positives results, were on the mild side, but some people did respond well to probiotics. Continue reading “What Is The Best Probiotic Supplement For Gastroparesis?” »
I was recently reading an article from Time magazine about Zinc being used in 3rd world countries to fight childhood diarrhea which is a very serious cause of death in these countries. This got me to thinking that perhaps Zinc could be useful for people dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome diarrhea.
Zinc is an essential metal the body needs to function. Not only could Zinc help with irritable bowel syndrome diarrhea, but it could also help other bodily functions & your immune system. I used to take Zinc quite a bit as a child because my mom wanted me to & we were able to get through a winter season without getting sick. Zinc can be hard on your stomach, so it’s important to take a supplement with food or get a multivitamin that includes it in the mix. Probably a good idea to take all your vitamins with food.
I’d suggest trying out Nature’s Way Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc complex or Nature’s Way Alive Multivitamin. Note that Calcium can also help with chronic diarrhea as well.
Hopefully these guys will help you out in reducing whatever chronic diarrhea you’re experiencing.
There are quite a few special diets which some people find helpful with IBS. Some may purport that “such and such diet” is the cure. I am not entirely sure that everyone’s IBS can be controlled on diet alone. Radically adjusting your diet could be harmful to your health both mentally & physically. You may become very frustrated with finding foods that meet the requirements of your new diet or become depressed in the loss of your ability to eat foods you once loved. It would also be terrible if this new diet didn’t actually improve your IBS symptoms. This isn’t to say that these diets don’t help people or that you won’t find success with them, but it’s best to take it slowly and perhaps speak with your doctor or a trained nutritionist before making a radical change. Continue reading “Special Diets & Irritable Bowel Syndrome” »