Saturday, December 29, 2012

Boomers and Digestion

As we grow older, we often have more digestive issues.  Some stem from stress while others may have as the origin poor eating habits over a long period of time.  Sensitivity to food, burping, gas and distention are all symptomatic of gastrointestinal troubles, which sometimes may be curbed with exercise, healthy foods and positive thinking.

I recently realized that I was sensitive to gluten.  Having gone through years of digestive distress, someone suggested that I might benefit from a gluten-free diet.  I began that same day and the symptoms disappeared within a couple days.  I couldn’t believe it!  I had suffered for several years and neither my doctor nor anyone else ever mentioned that as a possibility.  When I asked my physician, he tested me for Celiac disease; fortunately, I didn’t have the disease.  I have been feeling so much better since I began the gluten-free diet that I will remain on it.

It’s difficult sometimes when I eat out at restaurants or other people’s homes, but I try to avoid foods that I suspect might have gluten.  In addition to breads, cereals, pastas, etc., gluten can be used as a binder, flavor enhancer and thickener.  If you are sensitive to gluten, be careful with foods that you wouldn’t ordinarily suspect as having wheat, or one of the other culprit grains, as an ingredient, such as gravy or processed foods.  I’m not sure how reliable the gluten-free claims are.  I recently purchased gluten-free cookie mix and had a digestive reaction when I ate the cookies. 

I have absolutely no medical knowledge regarding gluten; I’m simply reporting on my experience.  If you think you might have this problem, see your doctor.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Health becomes a major issue as we grow older.  Of course, we all want to be physically fit, and that’s a part of being healthy, but losing a few pounds takes a back seat to the more important issue of healthy vital organs.  Keeping the heart healthy, kidneys functioning, lungs clear, intestines working well, and swollen ankles at bay become paramount to our well-being.  Maintain a healthy attitude with positive thinking and positive action.  Although we may have various maladies associated with growing older, that’s no reason to succumb to the notion that we are over-the-hill.  Get up and get out!  You will probably notice that many symptoms disappear when you become engaged in meaningful activities.

Don’t wait for your doctor to tell you to exercise and eat healthily.  Tune in to your body.  Some things are just common sense.  For example, if certain foods cause you discomfort, stop eating them instead of gorging on them and then taking a pill to offset the damage you’ve done.  The increase in obesity in this country is evidence of the old adage, “We dig our graves with our forks.”  Of course, there are medical conditions that no amount of exercise or healthy eating will cure, but many of our concerns can be abated with eating as healthily as we can.  That’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Another good idea is to drink more water than soft drinks.  The controversy over the risks of drinking soft drinks is not over; however, a recent New York Times* article cited an analysis of research results, while not definitive, show a correlation between daily consumption of soft drinks and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.  Why risk it?  Cut back on soft drinks.