6 Steps to Better GI Health

By Mia James

Better gastrointestinal (GI) health can have a huge impact on your overall well-being, and making it happen can be surprisingly simple.

Christine L. Frissora, MD, FACG, FACP, associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Cornell campus, says that there are proactive steps you can take keep your digestive tract healthy. Here, Dr. Frissora shares are some essential actions you can take for better GI health.

  1. Use a crockpot to prepare nutritious meals according to your personal dietary needs. It is a timesaving way to ensure that you will have a good meal that meets your unique requirements at the end of the day (and maybe even leftovers).
  1. Avoid preservatives and artificial sweeteners. This will ensure that you are preparing and eating whole foods instead of processed alternatives.
  1. Stop smoking. Smoking can raise the risk of or worsen many digestive disorders.
  1. Minimize alcohol. It can irritate the digestive system and worsen certain digestive conditions.
  1. If you are taking supplements, including probiotics for digestive health, ask your doctor whether these are necessary. Some are ineffective and not worth the expense; others might even by harmful.
  1. Don’t forget a colonoscopy as you approach age 50. If you have unexplained bleeding, abdominal pain, or a family history of colon cancer, you may need to have one earlier.