Gut Health Made Complicated By Them But Easy By Us


Image from Liver Doctor.

I’ve been digging on gut health lately because overall health starts in the gut. No use eating nutritious food and taking health supplements if your gut health is the pits. But the problem today is, they’ve made gut health complicated.

I remember the time when I was teenage kid. I never heard anything on gut or digestive problems then (by the way, gut health really starts from the throat down to your stomach and intestines and even the process you eliminate wastes, say some experts) except some indigestion, too much gas in the tummy or ulcer. And they were fixed with simple remedies. But listening to experts today, you got to this and that and a whole lot of costly procedures just to have gut health.

They Love Anything Complicated

I especially hate it when I hear some gut doctors always recommend first and foremost an endoscopy procedure even if you complain only of gas in the tummy. They won’t consider your pain to be merely basic but give you scary scenarios at once so you’d bite the endoscopy bait. Or, they’d give you dozens of medicines for this and that.

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I believe diagnosing and treating simple ailments should be step by step, starting from the basic. That’s what I saw from good doctors when I was a teenager. If you complained of headaches, then you could probably be advised to drink more water before given prescription for it. A lot of my headaches were fixed with 3 glasses of water or a cool shower. Or perhaps be checked for your eye health or blood pressure. But some doctors would scare you at once and insinuate something deadly and then make you take costly tests and treatments—just because you had headaches.

I’d often been victim of this in the past. I once complained of extreme fatigue and the doctors at the ER recommended complete lab and blood tests. After all the tests—and everything came out normal—they still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I felt too tired waiting for their diagnosis and fell asleep. Turned out it was the only thing I needed, sleep. I felt strong and okay after, like a horse. But still, they wouldn’t let me out. They even suggested confinement for a day. Finally, they let me out after signing a waver. It cost me a lot of money to sleep at the ER!

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At another time, I went to this hospital physical therapy clinic for my frozen shoulder. After checking me, the doctor recommended 8 sessions of physical therapy each costing Php 2,000. That’s Php 16,000. I saw later how all the patients, regardless of what they complained, were given the same formula. “Isn’t there a simpler way?” I asked. Reluctantly, she gave me a muscle relaxant prescription and it worked. It just cost me about P200 for the whole thing.

Some Do Their Home Works Well

I really appreciate doctors who take their patients to a step by step analysis and treatment of simple ailments, not alarming or scaring them in any way and then making them take expensive tests. Can’t they start with the basics anymore? I mean, back when I was a teenager, there was no technology for endoscopy yet but gut doctors then did their jobs well.

I realize how food then was different from what most of us eat today, especially with the coming of fast foods and weird beverages. Still, everything should start from the basic. I know a health buff (conscious about what he ate) who complained of simple bloating and the gut doctor he saw for a checkup mentioned about endoscopy at once. Bloating is not a new thing. People decades ago also had it and they were treated successfully without endoscopy. So why does it seem like no treatment is possible today without endoscopy? Is there some magic attached to endoscopy?

I appreciate¬†gastroenterologists who seriously consider diet improvement first and natural remedies, along with basic medical treatment, before going to complicated procedures. I know a gut doctor who did just that. She didn’t appear panicky when a bloated patient came in and simply asked him to enumerate what he often ate and drank and what his stool was like plus his lifestyle. Then she recommended lifestyle change, a healthy diet and a simple prescription “in case the bloating still bothers you.”

And that gut doctor is popular in that hospital for treating patients successfully.

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Let’s Make Gut Health Simple Again

Makers of processed and fast foods and gut doctors who love making you go through costly and complicated procedures at once even for simple complaints make everything complicated. Let’s make things simple again. And it’s simply by going back to the basics—healthy preventive lifestyle.

Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, run away from processed food and fast food, hate sodas, abhor unhealthy beverages and cakes and pastries for good, drink more water, exercise, sleep well and avoid too much stress (which affects gut health). Yup, be less busy, in short.

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If you have some tummy problems, try natural remedies first. Probiotics and prebiotics are good. So is natural, flavorless yogurt. Natural turmeric and ginger ale in small amounts now and then are, too (they are anti-inflammatory). And raw honey helps repair gut problems. Bananas also tame acid reflux. And clean tap water is powerful. Apple cider vinegar with honey and some water works well for my gut health.

And remember, emptying your bowels regularly is a vital secret here. So eat enough food rich in dietary fibers. And consult with a competent gut doctor.

Last but not least, always pray for your health. Prayers of the righteous do a lot of wonders, says the bible, and the context in James is about healing and signs and wonders.

If we keep things simple, everything will be simple. Nothing should be complicated in life. Let’s make things easy again.