One of the most common initial problems and complaints treated here at Madison Memorial Hospital is abdominal pain. This can come from a number of problems associated with the body’s digestive system and often times can be solved through drinking water and going on a walk.
What is digestion?
Everyone who eats food somehow needs to digest it. When there are problems with digestion, various side effects can come about. The process of digestion refers to how the food you eat becomes nutrients for your body. Digestion then uses these nutrients to help your body with energy, growth and cell repair, according to WebMD.
What are common digestive tract problems?
There are several problems that can occur to digestive tracts. Some of these problems include constipation, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S.), and inflammatory bowel disease (I.B.D). Inflammatory bowel disease is when part or all of the digestive tract is inflamed.
How do I improve my digestion?
The following things you can do to better improve your digestion.
Watch What You Eat
The first thing is to include high fiber foods in your diet. These foods consist of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. Choosing lean meats such as lean cuts, pork loin, and skinless poultry can aid in better digestion. Low-fat yogurt and kefir are probiotics that will help normalize bowel movements. Instead of eating butter or margarine, you can substitute olive oil. When it comes to eating real food, check the freshness, whether or not it is organic, as well as the quality of food. It is beneficial to put quality food in your quality digestive system.
Eat on a Schedule
Try to eat on a consistent schedule. Sit down for your meals. Eat snacks around the same time during the day. As you eat, take your time and fully chew your food. Put technology away and focus on your meal. Savor your food and give yourself time to digest as you form healthy habits. While you are developing positive eating habits, watch your mood. Whether you have a positive or negative mood will affect how much you eat. When you eat only when you are in a positive mood, you are more aware of what you are eating. Eat in a nondistracted, relaxed environment.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drink water often to ensure your body is properly hydrated. Being hydrated helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber and allows food to pass through your body easily. Water along with beverages which contain electrolytes are important in the body. Also limit smoking, caffeine, and alcohol. These substances can interfere with the function of your digestive system as they can cause stomach ulcers and heartburn troubles.
Exercise regularly! As you exercise, it will help move food through your digestive system. Exercises, such as walking, using the elliptical, and biking, will aid in the reduction of constipation and support healthy weight management. As you plan exercise into your schedule, you are more likely to get out and make it happen. Exercising can help with weight loss and reduce heartburn.
Lessen Your Stress
When you mishandle stress, it will send your digestive system into overdrive. To reduce stress, breathing techniques within meditation, yoga, walking around, or even taking naps can be beneficial. Stress is dangerous when not handled correctly.
What are symptoms of poorly functioning digestive systems?
Poorly functioning digestive systems show numerous amounts of symptoms. Check to see if you have any of the following:
- abdominal pain
- lower back pain
- excess gas
- loose bowel movements
- skin rashes
- low energy
Here at Madison Memorial Hospital, we care about your digestive health. We don’t want you to be in pain with a poorly functioning digestive system. We encourage you to do your part to reduce the risk of having any problems.
Further dietary counseling information can be found at Madison Education Department.
Madison Education Department
35 N 1st E, Rexburg, ID 83440
Are You Ready for the Solar Eclipse?
Here are the top five things you need to do to prepare for the solar eclipse which will be visible in Rexburg this August.
1. Get Eclipse Glasses
Looking at the sun for a long period of time can damage your eyes. When you view the eclipse, you will need eclipse glasses. Eclipse glasses should have a filter to look through. If the glasses aren’t labeled ISO, they won’t protect your eyes the way they should, according to Space.com.
Places to find eclipse glasses include solarglasses2017.com, BYU-Idaho bookstore, and other grocery stores.
2. Find a Good Location
Free areas you can view the eclipse are Porter Park, Evergreen Park, Madison Middle School, Riverside Park, Madison Junior High, Nature Park, and Smith Park, according to Rexburg Online.
3. Remember the Date and Time
The eclipse will happen August 21, at 11:33 AM. Here in Rexburg, it will only last 2 minutes and 17 seconds! Make sure you don’t miss it.
4. Invite Friends and Family
This is a once in a life time opportunity. Though total eclipses can happen every few years or so, the next total eclipse over our country will be on April 8, 2024, according to timeanddate.com.
Be sure to invite your friends and family for this wonderful experience!
This is a time you won’t want to forget so one idea is to take pictures, but you need to be careful as you do so. Camera phones are not equipped for taking pictures of solar eclipses and will still damage your eyes through the lens. For taking pictures, make sure your camera has an eclipse filter, is stabilized, and that you give it a break so it does not overheat, according to timeanddate.com.
5. Prepare for other activities
Many people are coming to Rexburg for the eclipse. One way to prepare for such a crowd is to buy groceries in advance. Here at Madison Memorial Hospital, we recommend purchasing two weeks of food in advance of the eclipse, as others will be buying a great deal once they arrive.
Many vendors will have stations throughout Rexburg on the day of the eclipse. After or before the eclipse, feel free to walk around and help these local business flourish.
Also, the BYU-Idaho Manwaring Center has a buffet throughout the entire day in the Crossroads dining area. Price for the buffet is $7.99 plus tax, according to rexburgeclipse.com.
Have a great solar eclipse experience on August 21 and stay safe!
Healthful Food Suggestions
ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends that our meals include about an equal ratio of fruits and vegetables compared to grains and proteins. That means that you should make fruits and vegetables about half your plate.
Try eating whole grains rather than processed grains for added health benefits. “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many [emphasis added] nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies” (ChooseMyPlate.gov). Whole grains also contain more nutrients and fill you up better than refined grains.
Fruits are a sweet, natural dessert and a much better option than junk food or candy because they contain nutrients and lack the refined sugars.
“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (Harvard School of Public Health).
Fish such as salmon are another heart-healthy protein option. “The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week.”If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative sources of protein.
If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative plant sources for protein while still part of the vegetable food group.
Caloric Intake Guidelines
Ever wonder how many calories you should eat a day? This WebMD link shares the average calorie intake to “maintain energy balance” based on gender, height, and the amount of daily activity.
Learn What Your Food is Made of
USDA.gov has a food tracker called Food-A-Pedia. It is a great resource to track the nutritional content and calories of what you eat.
Also, don’t forget to prepare your food properly and wash your hands before eating!
Avoid Altitude Sickness this Summer through Education and Prevention
Summer is the time for going outdoors, sun-sational mountain memories, and starry night skies. With the upcoming eclipse at the end of August, many travelers from all over the world will be visiting Idaho with an opportunity to experience the high elevation. Whether you are traveling far or enjoying your summer from home, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and what can be done in prevention.
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness or mountain sickness is caused due to the body struggling to adjust to receiving less oxygen pressure from a high elevation. Altitude sickness has over 200,000 cases in the United States each year.
What are common symptoms of altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness does not typically become noticeable in people until multiple hours at a higher elevation. Often times altitude sickness is compared to having a hangover. It can present itself through a number of symptoms including:
- fast than normal heart rate
- fatigue/low energy
- inability to exercise
- insufficient urine production
- loss of appetite
- not sleeping well
- shortness of breath
- upset stomach
Who is most likely to acquire altitude sickness?
Experts do not know who is most likely to obtain altitude sickness, therefore, it is important to be aware of its possibility when traveling, hiking or camping in locations with higher elevation that you are used to. Even those who are physically fit and healthy can obtain this sickness. This is especially true because individuals who are physically fit are more likely to ascend to higher elevations very quickly and should take caution. Idaho is ranked as the number 6 state in highest mean elevation with Rexburg being at 4865’.
Educating yourself about Altitude Sickness is important so you can identify early symptoms and be willing to acknowledge when they are present. When you know you will be at an elevation which is higher than your body is used to make sure you take care of yourself especially through the following:
- Proper hydration – drinking water helps with the prevention of altitude sickness
- Climb slowly – trying to climb a mountain quickly without preparation or training can be dangerous
Recovery of altitude sickness
It is important to take special care when you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness.
- take it easy
- slow down
- do not continue
- drink plenty of water
- do not proceed higher
- do not drink alcohol
- limit activity such as hiking and talking
- know it can take anywhere between 12 hours to 3 – 4 days
At Madison Memorial Hospital we care about your physical safety. Through careful precautions, you and your family can enjoy fun summer activities while being happy and healthy. Happy trails wherever you may be this summer, and be safe.