Healthy digestion, also called digestive health, results in the absorption of nutrients from food without distressing symptoms. Healthy digestion follows having a healthy diet, doing appropriate self-care including physical activity and exercise, minimizing activities like smoking or consuming alcoholic drinks which impair digestion, and managing any medical condition which disrupts digestion to the best of one's ability.
A person with healthy digestion will have lower risk of experiencing diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, bloating, flatulence, and indigestion. Additionally, a person with healthy digestion will have less need of digestive medications than a person who does not have healthy digestion.
Some foods are more quickly or completely digested than others.
Disruptions to healthy digestion
Some people have chronic medical conditions which disrupt their digestion. Other people might be taking a drug which disrupts their digestion. In those cases, the person's goals for healthy digestion might be to have their personal best possible digestion since they have other health problems to manage.
Whenever possible, it is easier for a person to prevent digestive problems from happening rather than to seek to treat them after they begin.
Various drugs can relieve the symptoms of poor digestion. Laxatives counter constipation. Loperamide counters diarrhea. An antacid can counter heartburn or indigestion. Simethicone can counter flatulence.
Society and culture
Many people who seek healthcare for gastrointestinal problems are not satisfied with the treatment options which they find in conventional medicine. Because of this, people often use alternative medicine to promote healthy digestion.
Various organizations observe a "World Digestive Health Day" to share information about promoting healthy digestion.
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