Waking up to an unpleasant surprise is never a pleasant experience. It was the wee hours when I abruptly woke up with a strong urge to vomit and an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. Initially, I wasn’t too alarmed, thinking it might be a passing bout of a stomach bug. However, as the morning progressed, I noticed something that made me pause with concern – traces of blood in my stool. That was when I knew something was wrong, and it was time to act.

Without wasting any more time, I decided to consult a doctor to get to the root of the problem. After explaining my symptoms and undergoing tests, the doctor diagnosed me with gastritis. It was a relief to have a name for what I was experiencing, but I knew that finding a solution would require dedication and a willingness to make changes. The doctor prescribed medications to alleviate the symptoms.

According to Orlando Health, the gastrointestinal system (our system of digestion) is the main “portal” for taking in and processing nutrients, but it also serves as a communication centre and disease fighter. From your nervous and immune systems to your mental health and digestive function, a healthy gut plays a pivotal role in your overall well-being. What happens when it is not healthy?

After completing the first course of my medication , the symptoms returned. Consequently, I went to the doctor again who prescribede more medication and suggested lifestyle and dietary changes. The doctor explained that should the symptoms persist despite the changes, a colonoscopy would be necessary, a procedure to examine inside my bowels. It involves inserting a small flexible tube through the rectum . Fortunately, I haven’t needed it so far due to the effectiveness of the changes I’ve made.

The first change was incorporating more green vegetables into my meals and regular exercise. Though my exercise is limited to intermittent walks, w, I have made dietary changes and increased my vegetable intake. Green vegetables are known for their high fibre content and numerous other health benefits, including supporting a healthy gut. They help in digestion and promote regular bowel movements, which can be incredibly beneficial for those dealing with gastrointestinal issues. The other change was regular exercise.

In addition to increasing my vegetable intake, the doctor advised me to steer clear of spicy foods and alcohol, as they can irritate the stomach lining and exacerbate gastritis symptoms. One intriguing suggestion from the doctor was to have plain yoghurt before meals to line my stomach. The beneficial bacteria found in yoghurt can aid digestion and soothe the stomach lining. I understood these changes were crucial for my recovery, but I also faced a practical challenge: adhering to a well-balanced diet while managing limited financest.

I quickly realised that healthy food options often come with a higher price tag, and the added challenge of a shorter shelf life. However, through careful budgeting and with the support of my family, I found ways to navigate these obstacles. While I may not have a healthy and well-balanced meal every day, I understand that investing in my health is worthwhile, both in terms of effort and expenseI consciously make an effort to prioritise my well-being. Taking controlf of my gut health journey has been a valuable lesson in self-care and resilience. It has shown me that investing in my health is an investment in my future. Although the path may be challenging at times, the rewards are immeasurable. I am grateful for the guidance of medical professionals, the support of my loved ones, and my determination to prioritise my well-being.


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Read more here on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).