I thought I’d end up in the hospital.
The searing burning pain in my stomach woke me up from a tormented sleep.
My sheets were soaked with sweat, yet I was shivering.
I was so scared that I contemplated calling 911 to take me to the emergency room.
An indignant voice in my head said, “you can’t go to the hospital like this, take at least a shower and get dressed!”
So I crawled to my bathroom, got in the bathtub and turned on the shower. First hot, then cool.
Hot, cool; hot, cool; I alternated between hot and cool for another 20 minutes.
I stopped shivering and the pain started subsiding.
So much so that I was able to go back to bed after changing my sheets and fall asleep.
This wasn’t an isolated incident.
I had been experiencing digestive distress for a while now.
Everyday I felt bloated and my belly was so distended that it would hurt.
I had horrible indigestion, accompanied by constant burping and acid reflux.
But it was the first time I had woken up with that burning sensation.
And it didn’t stop until I took my first Ayurvedic Cooking Class.
The cost of digestive problems
Each year 62 million Americans are diagnosed with an acute or chronic digestive problem according to GI Alliance.
Are you one of them?
Though unpleasant and sometimes even brutal, pain is not the only consequence of having a digestive disorder.
Lack of energy is one consequence.
Another is a cloudy mind.
Yet another is anxiety and/or depression.
It’s stressful, we’re always preoccupied with when the next bout is going to happen.
How embarrassing and debilitating it will be.
Treatment can be costly. Especially if we let the issue go on for a long time, quick-fixing the symptoms with Prilosec, Gas X, Pepto Bismol, Rolaid and the likes!
Digestive problems rank third among illnesses in total economic cost in the United States.
They range from the occasional upset stomach to the more life-threatening colon cancer and include disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, the liver, the gallbladder, and the pancreas.
They represent one of the Nation’s most serious health problems in terms of discomfort and pain, personal expenditures for treatment, working hours lost, and mortality.
How I resolved my digestive problems
I was one of the lucky ones!
When I first experienced digestive problems back in 2015, I had been a Holistic Health Counselor for 8 years, so I knew that quick-fixes wouldn’t work.
I was already conditioned to look for a core solution.
That’s why when I found the online Ayurvedic cooking class, I didn’t hesitate.
But I didn’t expect how this “little” class was going to change my whole life.
I didn’t only completely resolve the digestive problems that plagued me for the good part of a year.
As a result of this class, I ended up going back to school to study Ayurvedic Medicine for the next 5 years.
And make it my mission and passion to share what I learned with other women!
Digestive problems are clues into the state of our physical and mental health
Not everybody experiences digestive problems the same way.
For some of us, feeling bloated is a non-issue. While for others it feels dreadful.
However, no matter our degree of discomfort, these symptoms give us insights into the impact of our choices and habits on our physical and mental health.
According to Ayurveda, digestive symptoms are the result of inappropriate food choices, eating habits and lifestyle habits. And if left unaddressed will lead to serious physical and mental health issues.
Food choices, eating habits and lifestyle habits are the 3 keys to resolving your digestive problems.
# 1: Food choices
It’s very simple. If you eat a certain type of food and experience digestive troubles after eating it, chances are this food is not right for you no matter what the diet/food industry tells you.
Broccoli used to be the number one healthy food for Americans until it lost its first place to kale, according to google. However, many people will experience gas and bloating after eating broccoli or kale.
Kombucha may be a super food for some, but many more experience indigestion, excessive burping and gas after eating this food and other acidic foods like tomatoes.
So when you’re looking to decrease your digestive symptoms, you need to look at how your food choices affect you and either learn how to prepare these foods in a way that you can digest them easily or choose different foods.
# 2: Eating habits
How and when you eat impacts your digestion.
When I first came to the US to live with my dad and go to college, it was quite a cultural shock.
One of the things that baffled me is being served a glass of iced water in restaurants!
This is something you’ll never see in France!
And drinking a tall glass of iced water can really mess up your digestion!
In order to address your digestive symptoms, you need to become aware of the eating habits that affect your digestion.
Other examples of unwise eating habits are:
snacking between meals
eating before going to bed
eating while working
# 3: Lifestyle habits
Living a stressful lifestyle wreaks havoc on our digestion and triggers digestive reactions.
During times of stress, cortisol, the stress hormone, floods our bloodstream and hampers digestion, even when we sleep!
Cortisol can provoke abdominal pain in IBS and a leaky gut.
Stress can increase our sensitivity to certain foods. As well as influence our food choices. Under stress we tend to choose foods that disturb digestion like fatty, sugary and salty foods.
Examples of stressful lifestyle habits are:
irregular sleeping habits,
irregular exercise habits
consuming caffeine and other stimulants
AND a stressed digestion can affect our mental and emotional health.
That’s because of the gut/brain connection.
The gut and the brain are in constant communication.
Recent research has demonstrated that stimulation of the vagus nerve, which connects the gut and the brain, can effectively treat nonresponsive chronic depression. This suggests that depression could be caused or exacerbated, at least in some cases, by a sluggish or dysfunctional gut-brain communication system. Dr. kulreet Chaudhary, M.D.
Becoming an adult at 45
In the online Ayurvedic cooking class that changed my life back in 2015, I learned what foods were right for me, how to prepare them so I can digest them properly and how to eat them so I can feel nourished, satisfied and happy.
Equipped with this knowledge, it took less than a month to completely and definitely resolve the digestive problems that had plagued me for a year.
That’s why today, cooking is a big part of my Ayurvedic programs.
And I realized that prior to that I never really learned how to take care of myself.
Other than learning how to get a job and earn money, we’re never really taught how to “do” us.
Which is strange because we make sure we learn everything else! Drive a car, make love, give birth, etc.
So, I truly became a self-sufficient, self-reliant adult when I turned 45 and learned how to care for my digestive health and well-being.
Digestive problems often lead to weight gain, download my ebook, 3 Dieting Mistakes Sabotaging Your Weight to know what to avoid!