Personal Care – key to well-being!

There are no special or uncommon tricks to prevent GIT disorders when it comes to personal care, but following these basic rules can mean the difference between health and digestive illness. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that something just as simple as hand hygiene or healthy eating can prevent GIT disorders, but this is something you will notice yourself if you put it into practice. Moreover, caring for your body gives you a positive state of mind and is the key to well-being!

Hand hygiene

hand hygieneWe’ve been told to wash our hands before we eat ever since we were little. It may sound trivial, but this one simple rule can prevent tons of unpleasant consequences, including several GIT diseases!

Every healthy person has a considerable amount of “good” bacteria located within his or her large intestine. These bacteria are saprophytes, and they rely on undigested carbohydrates to survive. Not only are they “not harmful”, they are very beneficial to the human body, protecting it from external pathogens, synthesizing vitamin K and B (though there is little evidence that vitamin B can be absorbed in the large intestine), and fermenting unused substances. When the gut flora is destroyed (for example, due to a prolonged use of antibiotics), this leads to a number of consequences, including bloating, diarrhea, rapid growth of fungi, and possibly even permanent damage to the large intestine.

Harmful chemical compounds and microorganisms from the environment can end up being ingested if you forget to wash your hands before touching food (keep an eye on children!), which may lead to infections, GIT disorders and intestinal parasites. The studies have proved hand hygiene is very important for GIT health in the long term, irrespective of diet or geographical location.

However, it is important to note that overusing antibacterial soap by caring mothers on their beloved children is also a bad thing. Regular soap will suffice. The reason why antibacterial soap can be bad for the baby’s health is that the immune system of the baby has to come in contact with various pathogens in order to be prepared for it later on. Children, who are kept “sterile” by their moms, usually end up with lots of allergies later on in their life. Also, the antibacterial soap destroys the natural micro flora of our skin, which removes another layer of protection that we have against harmful bacteria.

Don’t panic if you forgot to wash your hands once or twice, though – gastric acid kills off most harmful microorganisms, so you may still have a chance to get away with it this time!

Water sanitation: why it’s best to avoid tap water

tap-waterWhile local authorities may do their best to sanitize tap water, you can never be sure of the effectiveness of the sanitizing process; moreover, bacteria can build up inside rusty pipes and flow into the tap water you drink. Getting water from the supermarket would be a safer option, even if it doesn’t save you money.

According to the World Health Organization, water contaminated with human feces contains bacteria that causes diarrhea. As you may know, diarrhea can spread from person to person in the lack of proper hygiene – which is only another reason to pay attention to your hand hygiene.  

The importance of a “clean”, healthy diet

clean-dietApart from the high fat and sugar content, junk food (fast food, soda, sweets) contains harmful preservatives (e.g. sodium benzoate), flavors and additives that increase body toxicity and with it the risk of GIT diseases. If you have been diagnosed with a GIT disorder, healthy eating can do wonders. For example, it has been proved that gaseous syndromes in IBS can be reduced by eliminating fizzy drinks, chewing gum and excessive water from your diet, and also by quitting smoking.

Given all of the above, we can conclude that the two most important aspects of personal care are body hygiene and the elimination of all harmful chemical/microorganism sources from your diet, including tap water. These rules are also the easiest to put into practice and are guaranteed to help in the prevention/management of GIT disorders.
A healthy mind in a healthy body!