• PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game New
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Digestive System Health
  • Gastrointestinal Tract Health
  • Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

How to Fix Your Digestion

Last Updated: May 23, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Muhammad Khan, MD, MPH . Dr. Muhammad Khan is a Gastroenterologist, with over 10 years of experience. Dr. Khan specializes in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, and has a special focus in Therapeutic Endoscopy. He received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate of Medicine degrees from The University of Utah. Dr. Khan completed his residency training at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. He then completed his fellowship training at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University. He is a Fellow of both the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN). There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 133,093 times.

This is a natural approach to fixing your gut, healing your digestion and recovering from a lifetime of eating "all the wrong things". This is geared towards people with constant indigestion, diarrhea, stomach cramps, pain, and all around digestion discomfort.

Eliminating Digestive Problems

Step 1 Narrow down your problems.

  • These foods can vary from person to person so it's not a simple process to figure this out, but there are some surefire foods that need to go and these include: dairy, gluten and wheat, all processed foods, coffee, smoking (anything), and refined sugar. After the elimination of these from your diet you should feel immediate results.

Step 3 Take small meals, at least six meals a day.

  • Lots of people smoke cigarettes or pot to relieve stress, which is highly unhealthy unfortunately causing more harm then good.
  • The most popular unhealthy stress-reducer is eating, especially bad food and junk food. No diet will ever work for you if your body is in a constant state of stress. Stress attacks your digestive system through a complex breakdown of various hormones.

Step 5 Analyze your results.

  • Very important: During the reintroduction stage make sure you are reintroducing things one at a time, no mixed ingredients, one new food item every 2 days. For example, try to eat a little bit of cheese (a little bit), if this upsets your stomach then remove cheese again. Two days later try to introduce some gluten or wheat (FYI scientific research indicates that gluten and wheat are unhealthy for everyone, even those who can digest it.) And so on, until you have an idea of the foods that were causing you issues in the first place.

Step 6 Don't get overwhelmed.

Promoting Healthy Digestion via Diet

Foods to avoid.

Step 1 Avoid dairy.

  • The exception to this rule is yogurt, which, in many circumstances, can actually improve digestive functioning. See below for more information.

Step 2 Avoid fried or fatty foods.

  • If you're trapped at an Indian, Mexican, or Thai restaurant and can't seem to find anything on the menu that's not spicy, ask your server for a mild alternative or try ordering a side dish a la carte.

Foods to Seek Out

Step 1 Eat lean meats and fish.

  • A variety of methods exist for cooking vegetables - boiling, baking, sauteing, and stir-frying in a low-fat oil are all valid choices.

Step 4 Eat yogurt.

  • Yogurt's digestion-boosting benefits come in spite of the fact that it's a dairy product, which would normally make it difficult for most people to digest. This is because traditionally-produced yogurt contains lactose, an enzyme that helps the body digest the lactose molecule which normally causes digestive problems in people who can't tolerate dairy. [13] X Research source

Expert Q&A

Peter Gardner, MD

  • If gluten free is not enough for you then research the SCD diet. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • There are plenty of guided imagery meditation videos on YouTube. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to fix a digestion problem

  • This is a very arduous journey that could potentially save your life. It's worth it. Thanks Helpful 16 Not Helpful 2

You Might Also Like

Cure Stomach Bloating

  • ↑ Muhammad Khan, MD, MPH. Board Certified Gastroenterologist. Expert Interview. 24 August 2021.
  • ↑ https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/files/webfm-uploads/documents/outreach/im/handout_elimination_diet_patient.pdf
  • ↑ Peter Gardner, MD. Board Certified Gastroenterologist. Expert Interview. 25 August 2020
  • ↑ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/2009-08-30-lactose-intolerance_N.htm
  • ↑ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12828956/
  • ↑ https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/gastritis
  • ↑ https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2020/07/the-best-foods-to-eat-avoid-for-inflammatory-bowel-disease
  • ↑ https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/2/245/4690304

About This Article

Muhammad Khan, MD, MPH

Medical Disclaimer

The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.


To fix your digestion, try eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kombucha, since these good bacteria can help with digestive issues. Additionally, try eating 5-6 small meals per day and avoiding spicy and greasy foods whenever possible. If you’re still experiencing issues, you may want to try an “elimination diet,” where you cut common “problem foods” out of your diet. To do this, eliminate dairy, gluten and what, processed foods, coffee, and refined sugar from your diet, wait 5 days, then add each “problem” food back one at a time. For some additional advice, like how stress could be contributing to your digestive issues, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Trevor Walrond

Trevor Walrond

Oct 26, 2016

Did this article help you?

how to fix a digestion problem

Featured Articles

Heal a Lip Burn

Trending Articles

Make Yourself More Attractive

Watch Articles

Carve Turkey Breast

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Don’t miss out! Sign up for

wikiHow’s newsletter

How to (finally) fix your chronic stomach issues

Use these helpful tools to figure out what's really causing all that cramping, bloating and gas -- and get rid of it for good.


What you eat affects your digestion big time, but so do a lot of other factors.

Whether it's constipation, diarrhea, gas or the dreaded bloat, everyone deals with digestive discomfort at one point or another. Occasional digestive symptoms usually aren't an issue -- maybe you just ate too much in one sitting or you've got a virus that will pass -- but chronic digestive issues can indicate an underlying issue. 

The thing is, it's not always easy to tell what's going on. From food sensitivities to inflammatory diseases, any number of things could be contributing to your symptoms. You should contact a doctor if you have severe or persistent symptoms, but by knowing the basics of digestion and using the right tool, you could get to the bottom of your digestive discomfort and restore health to your gut. 

Read more: Why IBS and poop are suddenly trendy

Digestion basics

Your digestive system includes your gastrointestinal tract -- your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and anus -- along with your liver, pancreas and gallbladder. This intricate organ system is responsible for helping your body adequately absorb nutrients from the food you eat, break food down into energy-available molecules and get rid of waste.

A bunch of things need to go right for your digestive system to operate optimally: You need healthy colonies of gut bacteria , proper amounts of digestive enzymes and timely secretions of digestive hormones, among other things.

If one tiny component goes wonky, you may experience a range of symptoms, including gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea or acid reflux. If things are really off, you might experience nondigestive issues , such as brain fog, fatigue, mood swings, poor sleep or skin breakouts. 

What causes digestive issues?

Most of the time, no one thing triggers gastrointestinal problems, and often, GI symptoms aren't spontaneous. Many people develop digestive issues slowly, when a combination of factors worsens over time. Any of these seven elements could be affecting your digestion:

Diet: Obviously, what you eat impacts your entire GI tract. If you're allergic to or sensitive to certain foods, your body may revolt in the form of upset digestion. 

Hydration: Nothing works well when you're dehydrated. Water acts as a lubricant for all organ systems and helps your body maintain homeostasis . 

Sleep: Lack of sleep affects every part of your body, including your digestive system -- and all the hormones that dictate its functions. Studies show that short sleep duration alters the levels of important digestive hormones and that poor sleep harms the healthy bacteria in your microbiome .

Stress: You may not intuitively equate stress with an upset stomach, but research tells us that millions of neurons in your gut communicate with the billions of neurons in your brain along something called the gut-brain axis . When you're stressed, you also produce excess cortisol, which can trigger a handful of digestive reactions .

Microbiome dysfunction: Your gut contains two kinds of bacteria: friendly and unfriendly. If the bad bugs outweigh the good ones , your risk for all kinds of digestive issues increases. 

Inflammation: Inflammation is a leading cause of disease worldwide, and that also applies to digestive diseases. If your GI tract is chronically inflamed, it may lead to inflammatory bowel disease , ulcerative colitis , diverticular disease  or other conditions. 

Hormonal imbalances:  Consider your hormones the chemical messengers in your body. They tell your organs what to do and when to do it. If you have too much or not enough of any hormone that affects your digestion, such as gastrin or peptide YY , symptoms may appear.

View this post on Instagram Wise words brought to you by the microbiome. 🧠 ​. ​The gut affects mood, digestion, immunity, weight, etc. - that's why we want EVERYONE to understand how important gut health is! ​. ​What do you do to keep your gut in check? ​. ​#biohm #gut #lasvegas #gutstuff #guthealth #microbiome #biohmgut #biohmhealth #probiotics #health #wellness A post shared by BIOHM Health (@biohmhealth) on Aug 14, 2019 at 7:00am PDT

Tools to help decipher digestive symptoms

If you feel overwhelmed about digestion, GI disorders and understanding symptoms, know that there are a handful of products, apps and services available to make it all a bit easier. Here are five great ways to take control over your digestion.

Aire by FoodMarble

This pocket-size breath test identifies food intolerances in real time by analyzing the amount of hydrogen in your breath. Excess hydrogen in your breath may indicate excess fermentation in your large intestine, which can signal food intolerances. 

How that works: When you eat food, it travels to your small intestine where most of it is absorbed. What's left unabsorbed travels to the large intestine, where it begins to ferment. Too much undigested food can cause high levels of fermentation, which can lead to digestive discomfort. 

The Aire supposedly works especially well for four of the FODMAPs , a certain type of carbohydrate that many people can't digest properly. For an additional $30 (on top of the device's $160), you can purchase packets of powdered lactose, fructose, inulin and sorbitol to find out if you're sensitive to one of those FODMAPs. 


This tiny breath-testing device measures the hydrogen in your breath after you eat. Excess hydrogen can be an indicator that your body isn't fully digesting your food. 

Nima makes devices that look similar to the Aire, but they test food itself instead of your reaction to food. The company currently offers a peanut sensor and a gluten sensor , so Nima might work for you if you already know you have a food intolerance or allergy. 

The sensors use antibody-based chemistry to detect traces of gluten protein down to 20 parts per million and peanut protein down to 10 parts per million. Both sensors have been clinically studied and are recognized by the National Institutes of Health, so I'd trust them if I had a gluten or peanut allergy. 

Oh, and a big bonus: Nima sensors are FSA/HSA reimbursable . 

At-home food sensitivity tests

Most people have a sensitivity to one food or another, regardless of whether or not it's considered nutritious. Sometimes the severity of a food sensitivity depends on quantity. For example, I personally don't react well to large portions of dairy, but do just fine with half-and-half in my coffee. There are a few tests on the market that can give you an idea of what foods trigger unpleasant symptoms for you. 

EverlyWell , Test My Allergy , Persona Labs and  What's My Food Intolerance are some examples of at-home test manufacturers. LetsGetChecked , an at-home medical testing company, offers a celiac test . 

Don't confuse food sensitivities (sometimes called food intolerances) with food allergies. Food sensitivities take place in the digestive system when some factor results in your body failing to break down a food, such as lack of a certain digestive enzyme. 

Food allergies, on the other hand, involve the immune system. Food allergies occur when your body recognizes a food as an invader and sends antibodies to attack it, which often results in symptoms like hives and swelling. In severe cases, food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions. 

If an at-home test claims to report back true food allergies, it may be false advertising, as there's no scientific consensus that supports these methods. Always talk to a doctor if you think you have a food allergy. 


EverlyWell and other companies offer food sensitivity tests, but be wary if they claim to identify true food allergies.

Food journals

Perhaps not the easiest option, but definitely the most accessible, food journaling is a tried-and-true way to understand your body. It takes time and effort to log everything you eat, but if you really want to get to the bottom of your symptoms, food journaling is worth it. 

You can opt for a pen-and-paper food journal, or you can download an app. For the best results, make sure to log how you feel before, during, immediately after and a couple hours after a meal or snack.

Digestion-tracking apps

Unlike food journals or food-logging apps, digestion-tracking apps help you log components other than food and reactions to food. For instance, the app Cara allows you to track your food intake , digestive symptoms, mood, stress, stool conditions, menstrual cycle, sleep, workouts and medications to give you an incredible comprehensive look at the way your body reacts to different situations. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives. 

Nutrition Guides

Meal Delivery

  • Best Meal Kit Delivery Service
  • Best Healthy Meal Delivery Service
  • Best Cheap Meal Delivery Service
  • Hungryroot Review
  • EveryPlate Review
  • Best Plant-Based Meal Delivery Service
  • Best Keto Meal Delivery
  • Best Grocery Delivery Service
  • Fresh N Lean Review
  • Blue Apron vs. Hello Fresh

Dieting Program Guides

  • Best Weight Loss Programs
  • Optavia Diet Review
  • Noom Diet Review
  • Nutrisystem Diet Review
  • Weight Watchers Diet Review
  • Noom vs. Weight Watchers

Vitamin and Supplement Guides

  • Best Multivitamins for Men
  • Best Multivitamins for Women
  • Best Fiber Supplements
  • Best Probiotics
  • Best Supplements to Gain Weight
  • Best Vitamin Subscription

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by consumers.

The payment for your account couldn't be processed or you've canceled your account with us.

We don’t recognize that sign in. Your username maybe be your email address. Passwords are 6-20 characters with at least one number and letter.

We still don’t recognize that sign in. Retrieve your username. Reset your password.

Forgot your username or password ?

Don’t have an account?

  • Account Settings
  • My Benefits
  • My Products
  • Donate Donate

Save products you love, products you own and much more!

Other Membership Benefits:

Suggested Searches

  • Become a Member

Car Ratings & Reviews

2023 Top Picks

Car Reliability Guide

Car Buying & Pricing

Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?

Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?

Car Maintenance & Repair

Best Tire Values

The Cost of Car Ownership Over Time

Key Topics & News

Listen to the Talking Cars Podcast

Listen to the Talking Cars Podcast

Home & Garden

Bed & Bath

Top Picks From CR

Top Picks From CR

Best Mattresses

Lawn & Garden

Best Snow Blowers


Best Snow Blowers

Home Improvement

Best Wood Stains

Home Improvement Essential

Best Wood Stains

Home Safety & Security

Best DIY Home Security Systems


Best DIY Home Security Systems

What to Do With a Broken Appliance


What to Do With a Broken Appliance

Small Appliances

Best Small Kitchen Appliances

Best Small Kitchen Appliances

Laundry & Cleaning

Best Washing Machines

Best Washing Machines

Heating, Cooling & Air

How to Lower Utility Bills When the Temperature Rises

Best Air Purifiers


Home Entertainment

Best TVs


Home Office

Cheapest Printers for Ink Costs

Cheapest Printers for Ink Costs

Smartphones & Wearables

Find the Right Phone for You


Find the Right Phone for You

Digital Security & Privacy

CR Security Planner


CR Security Planner

Take Action

How to Solve Your Digestive Problems

These simple steps can help keep your gut happy, sharing is nice.

We respect your privacy . All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story.

J ust about everyone experiences digestive problems on occasion. They're some of the most common complaints in doctors' offices. But for more than 10 million people, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or  heartburn  are a regular occurrence.

When your doctor can't find an underlying reason for the problem, it's dubbed a "functional" gastrointestinal disorder, meaning there's no specific cause, which makes it even more frustrating to deal with. 

In many cases, though, there's a way to get some relief. "There can be many causes of these problems, but often, if we can't point to one thing, altering the diet might help," says Robert Hirten, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Though chronic digestive disruptions warrant a doctor's attention (see " Is It Time to Call the Doctor? " below), "generally about 80 percent of patients will benefit from doing some sort of diet intervention," says Melissa Phillips, R.D.N., a clinical nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Health System's Digestive Health Center.

The following strategies for what, when, and how to eat can keep your gastrointestinal tract in good working order.

Go Mediterranean

Your digestive system is teeming with healthy bacteria (think probiotics) and other microorganisms that aid in digestion as well as bolster your immunity and provide overall health benefits. 

A Mediterranean-style diet ­—rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, and nuts, with some fish, dairy, and lean meat—supplies fiber to feed beneficial bacteria. And olive oil contains antioxidant polyphenols that may help control inflammation.

"At this stage we aren't able to recommend a specific diet to alter the microbiome in such a way that it directly prevents or helps a specific disease," says Hirten. "But the food you eat can impact the inflammatory bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract." A Mediterranean-style diet is also low in added sugars and processed foods, two factors that are important for a healthy gut, he says.

Increase Your Fiber

Even if you don't switch to a Mediterranean diet, you should get plenty of fiber-rich foods —fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day can help normalize diarrhea and constipation, Hirten says.

There are two forms of fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and possibly blood sugar; sources include apples, oats, and legumes . Insoluble fiber helps bulk up stool and promotes the contractions in the intestines that propel it through your system; sources include whole wheat, popcorn , and green vegetables.

"If you're constipated, add more insoluble fiber," says Phillips. "If you have diarrhea, opt for more soluble fiber." But incorporate fiber gradually into your diet. If you try to do it all at once, you might exacerbate your symptoms.

Drink Enough Water

Fiber absorbs water, making stool softer and easier to pass. If you're dehydrated , fiber will be less effective and may cause more digestive symptoms. (Without adequate fluid intake, more fiber can actually be constipating.)

There's no set guide­line for how much fluid to drink, but 8 cups a day is a safe goal for most people to aim for. Water, sparkling water, milk, juice, and noncaffeinated beverages count toward your daily intake amount, Phillips says, but water is the best. Sparkling water, milk, and juice can sometimes trigger bloating.

Add Natural Probiotics

Yogurt and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, and miso may help populate your gut with healthy bacteria. There are no guidelines for how often to eat probiotic foods, but trying to incorporate them as part of an overall healthy diet could help.

Supplements that contain "live cultures" and strains of bacteria haven't been shown to benefit digestion. (Some may not even make it past the stomach's acidic environment.)

"I rarely recommend people start taking probiotic supplements , simply because we just don't have enough evidence to suggest it helps or hurts," says Meagan Bridges, R.D., a clinical dietitian and nutrition support specialist at the Uni­versity of Virginia Health System. "A lot of times, though, patients will have already been taking probiotic supplements, and some people find they do help their symptoms. If that's the case, then I usually tell them to keep going. It's patient-specific."

Eat on a Schedule

Your digestive system prefers a routine . "It likes to know when you're going to be eating and how much, so it knows when to work and when to rest," says Bridges. "I tell my patients to try to eat at about the same time each day and the same amount of food." Constant grazing or an erratic schedule can result in constipation.

In addition, avoid eating right before bed, which can lead to heartburn or indigestion. "Digestion slows down at night, and it takes longer for food to be absorbed," says Bridges. "In my experience, those people who are consuming a lot at night aren't eating much during the day, and that irregularity can contribute to irregular bowel movements."

Slow Down at Meals

Digestion begins in the mouth, so thorough chewing sets the stage for the rest of the process. In addition, eating quickly or gulping down your food can make it easy to swallow air and lead to belching. If you're having trouble with your teeth, see a dentist.

Check Your Supplements

Iron can cause constipation and magnesium can lead to diarrhea, Phillips says. In addition, some supplements as well as over-the-counter and prescription drugs can contain sorbitol or mannitol, sugar alcohols that may have a laxative effect or cause gas and bloating.

An Eating Plan for Tummy Troubles

For some people, even healthy foods—such as cauliflower , cashews, lentils, onions, peaches, and wheat—can cause gas, bloating, and discomfort. That's because foods like these contain hard-to-digest carbohydrates called fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols, aka FODMAPs. A 2016 study published in Clinical and Experimental Gas­tro­enterology found that a low-FODMAP diet may help irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and may be particularly beneficial for people who have abdominal pain along with constipation or diarrhea.

Following a low-FODMAP diet, which involves eliminating these foods for two to six weeks, then slowly adding them back in small amounts, may help but should be done in consultation with a dietitian, says Melissa Phillips, R.D.N., of the University of Wisconsin Health System's Digestive Health Center. "It's meant to be a learning diet, not a permanent one. It helps people find and manage triggers and expand their diets in terms of foods that don't cause problems."

But before you start cutting out things, Robert Hirten, M.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, recommends tracking what you eat and drink and your symptoms for a week. "It can give your doctor clues about potential triggers and make the connection between foods and symptoms much clearer for the patient, too," he says.

Is It Time to Call the Doctor?

Occasional digestive upset is normal, but anytime you have symptoms that won't go away, check with your doctor. And alert him or her immediately if you notice the following, which can signal a serious problem.

  • Bloody stools
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Tender or swollen abdomen
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than two days 

Editor's Note:  This article also appeared in the August 2019 issue of  Consumer Reports On Health .

Janet Lee

Janet Lee, L.Ac., is an acupuncturist and freelance writer in Los Angeles who contributes to Consumer Reports on a range of health-related topics. She has been covering health, fitness, and nutrition for the past 20 years and has worked as an editor at several magazines.

More From Consumer Reports

how to fix a digestion problem

Be the first to comment

how to improve gut health

How To Improve Gut Health: 9 Science-Backed Tips To Support Your Gut Flora Naturally

Plus, how to tell if your it needs healing in the first place.

Signs And Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Gut

How long it actually takes to heal your gut, 9 science-backed habits to improve gut health, best foods for gut health, benefits of fiber, probiotics versus prebiotics, explained, best supplements for gut health.

Have you ever experienced a stomach-in-knots kind of workweek or a series of not-so-solid (literally) bowel movements and thought, Could I have a gut issue? You’d be far from alone.

Yes, your gut health is important. But wellness fanatics, in many instances, have been making things waaay more complicated than they need to be when it comes to how to improve your gut health naturally.

What’s true is that researchers and medical professionals are continuing to find that strong gut health goes way beyond digestion. You’ve got an entire colony of microbes inside your body running the show. They do in fact affect how swollen or gassy you feel after eating, but they also have a hand in your immunity, heart health, mood, and more.

Meet the experts: Will Bulsiewicz, MD , is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist and author of The Fiber Fueled Cookbook . Amy Burkhart, MD, RD , is an integrative medicine physician and gut health expert in Napa, California. Karl Kwok, MD , is a gastroenterologist at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles.

But working to improve your gut health isn’t necessarily the answer to every single health woe you have…and not everyone has a gut problem in the first place.

“As with everything else in health, I have to issue caution: There are hyperbolic, ridiculous claims on the Internet regarding the gut,” says board-certified internist and gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, MD , author of The Fiber Fueled Cookbook . “It’s important to be careful about where we get information from and who you choose to trust.”

As it turns out, you can do most of your gut-health heavy lifting with some well-planned nutrition, sleep, and stress-management interventions that are essentially free of charge yet make a massive difference in how you feel on a daily basis. Consider this your no-BS guide.

The Benefits Of Good Gut Health

Gut microbiota refers to the colony of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that live inside your intestines and stomach. It’s what makes you, well, you.

“Your microbiome is a part of who you are. It’s deeply personal and very unique to every single one of us,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. “It is completely intertwined with your body’s physiology, and the way your biology functions is dependent on these microorganisms.”

The buzzy term gut health gets thrown around *a lot* and refers to the health of this community of microorganisms and the benefits to your well-being that you receive “in return for nurturing them,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says.

What’s more, your microbiome responds dynamically and dramatically to your diet and lifestyle. “The microbiome can produce chemicals that enter your bloodstream and spread throughout your body and brain. Because of their ability to do this, they can have an effect on so many aspects of your body and how it works,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. An unhealthy gut can increase your risk for a host of diseases, including diabetes, heart and neurological diseases, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences .

how to improve your gut health naturally, according to experts

  • Frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation. We all have less-than-ideal bowel movements from time to time (like after that spicy meal). If it’s happening regularly and interfering with your day-to-day, that’s a sign to speak to your doctor.
  • Frequent or bothersome bloating. Disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), problems digesting certain carbohydrates, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, and other digestive diseases like chronic constipation and celiac disease can be behind that frequently bloated feeling, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
  • Excessive gas. Most people pass gas eight to 14 times a day, but even up to 25 times is normal, according to the NIDDK . More frequent farts, or ones that come with extreme abdominal discomfort or pain, may be due to an overgrowth of or change in the bacteria in your small intestine, or the gut-related disorders mentioned above.
  • Abdominal discomfort . Bloating and gassiness can both contribute to stomach pain. If you feel uncomfortable in your abdominal area long after eating, or when you didn’t just consume a meal, keep tabs on your symptoms to have a discussion with your doctor.
  • Symptoms in other areas of the body. Non-GI clues such as fatigue, muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, brain fog, headaches, and mood problems may also result from something funky happening in your gut. “Poor gut health, also known as dysbiosis, or an imbalance of gut bacteria, can cause a variety of symptoms. How it presents varies from person to person, and the reason for that is unknown,” says Amy Burkhart, MD, RD .

A little perspective, though: “We all get bloated or have indigestion sometimes,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. “It doesn’t mean that every time we’re bloated, we have a GI problem and need to be concerned.”

What is concerning is if any of the problems above are chronic, meaning they come and go for an extended period of time. “There are many definitions of a chronic condition, but in general, it is a condition that lasts three months or longer and may require active medical treatment or may limit activities of daily living,” says Dr. Burkhart. “If the symptom interferes with activities of daily living, especially on a recurring basis, it could be considered a chronic symptom.”

In addition, it’s really tough to self-diagnose. That’s where an evaluation from your doctor can differentiate normal from may-be-a-problem belly puffiness or gas, for instance. “When you think about these common digestive problems, if you look under the hood, you’ll discover the gut microbiome may be playing a central, but not exclusive, role,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. The gut may not tell the whole story (and it may not be the entire solution).

If you’re having the more severe symptoms below, or noticing GI problems along with additional body-wide symptoms (joint pain, skin rashes, an uptick in headaches), then you should see a doctor.

Red-flag symptoms: There are three symptoms that should make you call your doc: frequent vomiting, unexplained weight loss, and blood in the stool, says Karl Kwok, MD , a gastroenterologist at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. These are not generally caused by your gut microbiome being off and may have other, more alarming origins. (For instance, blood in the stool could be a sign of colon cancer or another bowel disease.) It’s always wise to get out in front of a possible serious issue.

how to improve your gut health naturally, according to experts

Changing your gut health is a process. “It’s impossible to say ‘by so-and-so date, you’ll [feel] different,’” says Dr. Bulsiewicz.

That said, the gut microbiome can be altered pretty quickly. In fact, people who upped their fiber intake to 40 to 50 grams per day for two weeks had measurable changes in the composition of their gut microbiome; certain bacteria that ferment fiber, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus , were among the bacteria that grew more plentifully, per 2021 research in mSystems .

.css-16v01x0{font-family:Domaine,Domaine-robotoFallback,Domaine-localFallback,Georgia,Times,Serif;font-size:2.125rem;line-height:1.2;margin:0rem;color:#f7623b;font-weight:bold;}.css-16v01x0 b,.css-16v01x0 strong{font-family:inherit;font-weight:bold;}.css-16v01x0 em,.css-16v01x0 i{font-family:inherit;font-style:italic;} Within a month, you’ll start to have a dramatic shift in your microbiome.

Make gut-supporting changes you can stick with for the long haul, Dr. Bulsiewicz recommends. “Within a month, you’ll start to have a dramatic shift in your microbiome. And if you sustain that habit, it’ll keep going,” he says. (Read: A small change you can maintain over time is better than any short-term cleanse or diet.)

Image no longer available

Nutrition is arguably the largest piece of the puzzle, but it’s still “just one piece,” says Dr. Kwok. “Gut health is a series of small, intentional steps you take every day, week, and over the year that will guide you in the right direction.” Here’s how you can support belly balance:

Sleep well. ▸ Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every eve. Poor sleep has been linked to disruptions in the gut microbiome in several studies , says Dr. Burkhart.

Go to bed earlier. ▸ “It’s not just how long you sleep, but the time you go to bed,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. Just as your body runs on a circadian rhythm, so do your microbes. “They are sensitive to the time of day, just as much as we are,” he explains. This is your gentle nudge to stop the before-bed scroll one to two hours before you go to sleep. As for the ideal bedtime? Around 10 p.m. is a solid plan, but at the very least, try to close your eyes when you start to feel sleepy.

Fit in daily movement. ▸ “Regular exercise creates positive changes in the gut microbiome,” says Dr. Burkhart. Performing moderate to high-intensity exercise for 30 to 90 minutes at least three times per week for eight weeks was found to shift the microbiome in both healthy people and those who had health conditions, according to a new review of 28 studies in Nutrients .

Get active on your commute. ▸ People who spent time actively commuting—walking or cycling—had an increase in the richness and diversity of certain health-promoting microbes, found a recent study in PLOS One .

Manage stress. ▸ You know how when you’re stressed, you can feel it in your tummy? There’s evidence that stress changes the community of belly bugs, research suggests. Now’s the time to develop the stress-management strategies that really speak to you, whether it’s your favorite type of breathing (diaphragmatic or box, for example), reading, going out for a run, or spending time in nature.

Use antibiotics wisely. ▸ Antibiotics don’t kill only bad bacteria; they go after the good stuff too. That’s why they can reduce bacterial diversity and drive antibiotic-resistant infections, per Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology in 2020. Of course, there are many times when you need antibiotics. However, make sure you’re taking antibiotics only when you need them (e.g., for strep throat or a urinary tract infection) and not when you don’t (they are completely useless for colds, a sore throat, the flu, and many sinus infections), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . They won’t help you get better, and you’ll wipe out helpful bacteria in the process.

Fall in love with mocktails. ▸ Point blank: Limit or eliminate alcohol intake, as it’s a well-known gut irritant, says Dr. Burkhart. The best way to gauge whether you need to cut back for the sake of your gut is by checking in with yourself: Are you having GI issues, joint or muscle pain, problems sleeping, energy dips, or mood problems after drinking alcohol? Dr. Burkhart recommends nonalcoholic alternatives like all the fun new mocktails out there, such as Hiyo , Curious Elixirs, or (Katy Perry’s!) De Soi . “Many of the products also contain adaptogens that will lower stress, a common reason people reach for a glass,” she adds.

Get enough B12. ▸ Nutrient deficiencies affect microbiome health, says Dr. Burkhart, and one study found that B12 in particular (found in salmon, tuna, beef, yogurt, and fortified breakfast cereal) may be associated with bacterial diversity and abundance, according to a review last year in Advances in Nutrition . You’re at a higher risk for B12 inadequacy if you have a GI disorder or are vegetarian or vegan. If you have a limited diet, ask your doctor at your next appointment if you need to be tested.

Hydrate. ▸ “Dehydration leads to inflammation,” says Dr. Burkhart. In addition, people who drink high amounts of water (34 ounces of water daily) have a different bacterial makeup compared with those who drink low amounts, found a 2022 study in The Journal of Nutrition . Specifically, they had less of one type of bacteria associated with GI infections. In the end, it’s clear: What’s good for your gut is good for you too.

how to improve your gut health naturally, according to experts

If you generally feel good every day, a food-first approach already puts you on a great track to having a healthy gut. Let this nutrition rundown guide your next grocery haul…

.css-ow34kx{-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;background-color:#ffffff;border:0;border-bottom:none;border-top:thin solid #ebebeb;color:#000;cursor:pointer;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;font-style:inherit;font-weight:inherit;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;padding-bottom:0.3125rem;padding-top:0.3125rem;scroll-margin-top:0rem;text-align:left;width:100%;}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-ow34kx{scroll-margin-top:3.375rem;}} .css-e1okas{border-radius:50%;border:thin solid #6F6F6F;height:1.875rem;margin-right:0.625rem;padding:0.4rem;width:1.875rem;} .css-1tz91y6{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;width:0.9375rem;height:0.9375rem;margin-right:0.625rem;-webkit-transform:rotate(-90deg);-moz-transform:rotate(-90deg);-ms-transform:rotate(-90deg);transform:rotate(-90deg);-webkit-transition:-webkit-transform 250ms ease-in-out;transition:transform 250ms ease-in-out;} Produce

“I advocate that patients eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which promotes an equilibrium in the gut bacteria and has an anti-inflammatory effect,” says Dr. Kwok. Plant compounds called phytochemicals have been shown to boost beneficial bacteria, a recent review in the  International Journal of Molecular Sciences  found .  Aim for 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and two to three cups of veggies per day, the USDA recommends.

.css-jlx6sx{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;width:0.9375rem;height:0.9375rem;margin-right:0.625rem;-webkit-transform:rotate(90deg);-moz-transform:rotate(90deg);-ms-transform:rotate(90deg);transform:rotate(90deg);-webkit-transition:-webkit-transform 250ms ease-in-out;transition:transform 250ms ease-in-out;} High-Fiber Foods

Many fruits and veggies are packed with fiber, but so are nuts, seeds, and whole grains. “Fiber feeds the good bacteria and helps balance the gut,” says Dr. Burkhart. (Save the handy infographics to come!)

Foods such as miso soup, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and Greek yogurt (peep the full -biotics food list ahead!) contain live active cultures that add beneficial bacteria to your microbiome. People who followed a diet high in fermented foods (slowly increasing to six servings per day) for 10 weeks improved gut bacteria diversity and decreased inflammation compared with those on a high-fiber diet, found a small study by Stanford University researchers.

Prebiotic-Rich Foods

Certain foods—like bananas, garlic, chickpeas and oats—are rich in a type of prebiotic fiber that helps feed “good” gut bacteria, says Dr. Kwok.

Postbiotic Foods

Postbiotics are the end products of probiotics and prebiotics that have health-promoting properties. These metabolites, too, can feed good gut bacteria, says Dr. Burkhart. Foods with postbiotics include buttermilk, seaweed, fermented foods, fiber-rich foods, and cottage cheese, she says.

Skip: Ultraprocessed Foods

A standard American diet is packed with ultraprocessed food, such as fast food and sugary bevs, which may promote inflammation and potentially alter gut microbiome diversity, says Dr. Kwok. No one’s asking you to totally give up your fave cookies—it's all about moderation. See if you can bring in more whole foods to see if that makes a difference in your digestive health. In the very least, the added fiber will probably help you poop more, leading to more day-to-day comfort. (TMI? Never!)

Let us count the ways fiber is key for overall wellness : It’s good for your digestion, heart health, blood sugar control, and psychological health .

When it comes to your gut specifically, “fiber is the key source of nutrition for gut microbes,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. Your intestines are a muscular tube that winds about 25 feet in your abdomen, the last five of which are home to the gut microbes. You need something to survive digestion and feed them—and that something is fiber, he notes.

Fiber perks up the composition, diversity, and richness of the microbiome. Different types of fiber are fermented in the gut by different bacteria. Therefore, filling up on fiber allows good bacteria to thrive and populate; and in general, the more diverse your microbiome, the healthier your gut.

Recos for fiber differ depending on age and sex. Females ages 19-30 should get 28 grams per day, females ages 31-50 should aim for 25 grams per day, and those over 51 years old should get 22 grams per day, according to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans . Unfortunately, as many as 95 percent of Americans are not hitting their target, according to research in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine .

Image no longer available

Soluble Vs. Insoluble Fiber

There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. “These are big umbrella terms. Under these two types, we don’t know how many types of fiber exist in nature,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. “Each type has distinct and unique effects on the body.”

Soluble fiber dissolves, making a gel that slows digestion, according to the National Library of Medicine . Soluble fibers are fermented in the gut, promoting the growth and diversity of beneficial intestinal bacteria, per research in Molecules .

Insoluble fiber , on the other hand, is more difficult to digest, and so it bulks up your stool. (Think: the type of fiber found in roughage, like broccoli and the skin of apples.) Both types of fibers are necessary for a good gut, healthy poops, and also heart health.

best soluble fiber foods

Overall fiber in a food is easy to find on the nutrition label of a food or with a quick lookup on the USDA’s FoodData Central database. You will stress yourself out if you try to count soluble or insoluble grams of fiber, so just aim for a general total.

While it’s important to hit your 22-28 grams of fiber per day, it's actually easier to think about simply consuming a wider variety plants, says Dr. Bulsiewicz. People who ate more than 30 different plants per week–whole grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds–had a more diverse gut microbiome compared to those who consumed fewer than 10 plants per week, research from the American Gut Project found.

If you want to make a measurable change to your microbiome, increase the variety of plants you’re eating and aim for 30 types per week. You’ll hit your fiber target, plus encouraging variety will also help you eat foods that provide various fiber types. An example of counting plants: If you have a smoothie in the a.m. with bananas, cocoa powder, almond butter, and spinach, you’ve already eaten four plants..and that’s just breakfast. Nice!

best insoluble fiber foods

Probiotics are foods (or supplements) that contain beneficial strains of bacteria that can help populate your gut with the good guys. Prebiotics are also recognized as an important piece of the process. Prebiotic fibers in certain foods break down into food for the bacteria, so the bacteria can proliferate successfully.

The thing about probiotics is that different strains are used for different purposes. To better understand if you need one (or what you need), talk to your doctor first. However, if you’re looking into it ahead of your appointment, here are several options to chat with your health care provider about.

Probiotics are live microorganisms (also known as live active cultures) in fermented foods such as yogurt as well as in supplements, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Consuming probiotics stocks your gut with “good” bacteria.

Prebiotics are types of carbohydrates that make their way to your colon undigested, where your gut microbes feast on them. At that point, the party begins: They’re fermented by gut bacteria, a process that produces short-chain fatty acids, which have multiple perks, including lowering inflammation, supporting the immune system, protecting against cancer and diabetes, and helping to manage weight, according to recent research in Foods .

best foods for gut health

If you absolutely know you can’t eat enough gut-supporting foods and are experiencing gut symptoms or have a chronic digestive disease, talk to a gastroenterologist about adding in a probiotic/prebiotic supplement.

Despite the saturation of the probiotics market, the science isn’t quite there to say *exactly* which one is right for everyone. “At the moment, we don’t know if one prebiotic is better than another or if a supplement with 1 billion live active cultures is twice as good as one with 500 million,” explains Dr. Kwok.

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all probiotic, Dr. Burkhart adds. “The best probiotic will depend on the reason for taking it, your age, the [dosage] strength needed, and underlying health conditions,” she says, adding that you should discuss options with your health care provider. Several expert-loved, top-rated supps to consider:

6 Best Pre- And Probiotic Supplements To Try

Daily Probiotic Supplement

Align Daily Probiotic Supplement

This expert fave is designed for stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating that might come along with GI-disrupting issues like travel and stress.

Gut Instinct

Hum Gut Instinct

Each capsule packs 10 strains of bacteria, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium .

Probiotic-10™, 25 Billion

Now Probiotic-10™, 25 Billion

You'll get 10 bacterial strains for 25 billion CFUs (colony-forming units), plus it’s also vegan- and vegetarian-friendly.

Daily Probiotic Capsules

Culturelle Daily Probiotic Capsules

This supp contains Lactobacilus rhamnosus for probiotics, as well as the prebiotic inulin. Plus, it’s shelf-stable and doesn’t require refrigeration.

DS-01® Daily Synbiotic

Seed DS-01® Daily Synbiotic

Seed is a synbiotic, meaning it contains both probiotics and prebiotics in this monthly subscription-based supplement.

Gut Health Synbiotic+

Ritual Gut Health Synbiotic+

This supp combines it all: prebiotics, 11 billion CFUs of BB-12 ( Bifidobacterium ) and LGG ( Lactobacillus rhamnosus ), and postbiotics for a well-rounded supplement that can be taken anytime, with or without food.

preview for Women's Health US Section - All Sections & Videos

The 11 Best Early Black Friday Treadmill Deals

midsection of woman working out in the park, using weights

Why Is My Butthole Itchy AF Right Now?

anastasia beverly hills celebrates mother's day

See Ashley Tisdale's Full Morning Routine

blood glucose test

Everything You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

meal delivery services home chef

8 Whole30 Meal Delivery Services You'll Love

best posture correctors

The 7 Best Posture Correctors, Tested & Reviewed

Close-Up Of Pomegranate Slices On Pink Background

21 Reasons You’ve Got Bumps On Your Vagina

mary bonnet selling sunset

Mary Bonnet Opens Up About Her Septic Miscarriage

best vitamin d supplement

The Best Vitamin D Supplements, According To RDs

thoughtful woman eating fruits on sofa at home

Why Do I Feel Tired After Eating?

unrecognizable woman doing diabetes blood test at home

Quiz: How To Assess Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Digestive Health
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Healthy Aging
  • Health Insurance
  • Public Health
  • Patient Rights
  • Caregivers & Loved Ones
  • End of Life Concerns
  • Health News
  • Thyroid Test Analyzer
  • Doctor Discussion Guides
  • Hemoglobin A1c Test Analyzer
  • Lipid Test Analyzer
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) Analyzer
  • What to Buy
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Medical Expert Board

9 Remedies for Fast Indigestion Relief

Natural and Over-the-Counter Options

  • Natural Remedies
  • Symptoms Not to Ignore

Frequently Asked Questions

Indigestion , also known as dyspepsia , is a term used to describe a burning sensation or pain in your upper abdomen. Symptoms, such as bloating, nausea, burping, and gas, often occur after eating or drinking.

Treatment of indigestion usually includes lifestyle and dietary modifications, as well as taking over-the-counter (OTC) antacids. Other remedies, such as drinking a baking soda solution , can help ease your symptoms.

This article will discuss nine home remedies that can quickly relieve indigestion.

All Nea / 500px / Getty Images

9 Ways to Get Rid of Indigestion

Most people experience indigestion at some point in their lives. Some may have it once in a while, while others endure it daily. Thankfully, lifestyle changes can control symptoms, including eating small, frequent meals, avoiding late-night snacking, and exercising. Certain medications and home remedies can also ease your symptoms.

Here are nine ways to get rid of indigestion.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate , is a safe, effective way to neutralize the acid in your stomach and relieve acid indigestion, gas, bloating, and heartburn after a meal.

To use baking soda at home as an antacid, dissolve one-half teaspoon of baking soda in 4 ounces of water. Drink the solution within one to two hours after a meal. You can repeat every two hours as needed until your symptoms improve.

Studies suggest adults should not exceed seven one-half teaspoon doses within 24 hours, and adults over 60 should consume no more than three one-half teaspoons. Baking soda should not be taken for more than two weeks.

Children under age 12 should avoid taking baking soda unless otherwise instructed by their healthcare provider.

Over-the-Counter Antacids

Several different OTC medications can effectively relieve your symptoms.

Antacids, such as Tums and Alka-Seltzer, work to neutralize indigestion, causing fast relief to your stomach.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec (omeprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole), can also help provide quick indigestion relief. These medications work by blocking acid production in your stomach.

Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as Motrin, Advil (ibuprofen), aspirin, and Aleve (naproxen), to control your symptoms. These medications are not considered to be helpful and may make symptoms worse.

Chamomile Tea

Although additional studies are needed to verify its effectiveness, a warm cup of chamomile tea may help ease indigestion.

One review of studies found that chamomile can help ease an upset stomach , gas, and gastrointestinal (GI) irritation. It can also help relax the digestive muscles that move food through the intestines, which can help keep the digestive system moving and reduce bloating.

Chamomile contains coumarin, a blood-thinning agent. If you take a blood thinner , such as warfarin, consult your healthcare provider before drinking chamomile tea.

Peppermint Oil and Caraway Oil

Preliminary studies suggest that a combination of peppermint oil and caraway oil can help relax the stomach muscles and improve symptoms of indigestion.

One 2019 review of studies that included 350 participants found that people treated with peppermint and caraway oil were significantly more likely to have an overall improvement in indigestion symptoms than those who received the placebo (a control with no therapeutic effect).

Most studies have used an enteric-coated capsule containing 50 milligrams (mg) of caraway oil and 90 mg of peppermint oil.

Ginger is well known for its ability to improve nausea. Studies suggest ginger can also help ease symptoms of indigestion by speeding up stomach contractions and allowing food to move faster through the GI tract. This can help reduce gas, bloating, and feelings of fullness.

One 2021 study found that ginger supplements may improve symptoms of indigestion by 35% to 73% in those with dyspepsia caused by Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori ), a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach.

Although more high-quality studies are needed to determine dosing and effectiveness, some experts recommend taking 1.2 grams of ginger root powder to treat indigestion.

You can also drink a warm cup of ginger tea, suck on ginger candies, or boil fresh ginger in hot water.

Most studies note that ginger's maximum recommended daily intake is 4 grams.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Although little research exists to support its effectiveness, some people with indigestion may find relief after drinking a mixture containing apple cider vinegar (ACV).

Indigestion can occur if a person does not have enough acid in their stomach to digest food properly. If this is true for you, you may benefit from sipping on apple cider vinegar to help increase the acid content in your stomach.

For relief, you can dilute 1–2 tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. Avoid drinking apple cider vinegar in excess because too much can cause tooth enamel erosion and throat irritation.

Aloe Vera Juice

Recent research suggests that aloe vera may be effective at easing indigestion.

For example, one study found that aloe vera juice effectively relieved heartburn, belching, nausea, and gas. No significant side effects were reported in the study. Aloe vera is believed to work by decreasing inflammation and reducing acid production in the stomach.

Licorice Root

Licorice root has been used for years to treat digestive conditions, including gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

In one study, 50 adults with indigestion were given a placebo (inactive sugar pill) or treated with a 75 mg licorice extract capsule for 30 days. Those who took the licorice extract reported significant improvement in symptoms compared to those in the control group.

Although generally considered safe, consuming large amounts of licorice root can decrease potassium levels and cause high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure and kidney disease should avoid licorice root unless otherwise instructed by their healthcare provider.

Fennel Seed

Fennel is a well-known digestive aid commonly used to treat indigestion, gas, bloating, and constipation.

Studies suggest fennel essential oil works by relaxing intestinal muscles and reducing gas. It can also help reduce feelings of fullness.

You can make fennel tea by adding one-half to 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to boiling water and letting it steep for five to 10 minutes. Alternatively, add one or two drops of fennel essential oil to a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea.

Emergency Symptoms to Not Ignore

If you experience indigestion along with the following symptoms, you may have a more serious condition, and you should seek medical attention right away:

  • Bloody vomit
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Painful swallowing
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Severe, constant abdominal pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chronic vomiting

Is It Heartburn or a Heart Attack?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between heartburn and a heart attack . If you are concerned about chest pain, you should go to your local hospital or call 911 immediately.

Indigestion can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as heartburn, bloating, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. It is typically treated using over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as Tums or Alka-Seltzer, that can weaken or reduce stomach acid.

You may also talk to your healthcare provider about trying alternative remedies to improve your symptoms, such as baking soda, ginger, or chamomile tea.

Baking soda, licorice root, fennel seed, and ginger can all help relieve indigestion.

Water can help keep the digestive system moving. One study found that drinking hydrogen carbonate-rich mineral water can help reduce the severity and frequency of heartburn.

Milk, especially full-fat milk, is high in fat, which may worsen symptoms such as heartburn.

Mild symptoms of indigestion often last for a few hours and resolve on their own without medical treatment.

American Academy of Family Physicians. Indigestion .

Medline Plus. Sodium bicarbonate .

Al-Abri SA, Olson KR. Baking soda can settle the stomach but upset the heart: case files of the medical toxicology fellowship at the university of california, san francisco . J Med Toxicol. 2013;9(3):255-258. doi:10.1007/s13181-013-0300-4

Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: a herbal medicine of the past with bright future . Mol Med Rep . 2010;3(6):895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Chamomile .

Li J, Lv L, Zhang J, et al. A combination of peppermint oil and caraway oil for the treatment of functional dyspepsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis . Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine . 2019;2019:1-8. doi:10.1155/2019/7654947

Jafri W. Peppermint oil in conjunction with caraway oil: remedy for functional dyspepsia? BJSTR . 2019;23(4). doi:10.26717/BJSTR.2019.23.003938

Anh NH, Kim SJ, Long NP, et al. Ginger on human health: a comprehensive systematic review of 109 randomized controlled trials . Nutrients. 2020;12(1):157. doi:10.3390/nu12010157

Nirankari, Ronika MD; Junker, et al. Does ginger relieve symptoms of dyspepsia? Evidence-Based Practice . 2021;24(12):34. doi:10.1097/EBP.0000000000001287

Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine. Ginger .

Lete I, Allué J. The effectiveness of ginger in the prevention of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and chemotherapy . Integr Med Insights . 2016;11:11-17. doi:10.4137/IMI.S36273

Science Direct. Gastric hypoactivity .

Panahi Y, Khedmat H, Valizadegan G, et al. Efficacy and safety of aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial . Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine . 2015;35(6):632-636. doi:10.1016/s0254-6272(15)30151-5

Science Direct. Glycyrrhiza glabra root .

Raveendra KR, Jayachandra, Srinivasa V, et al. An extract of glycyrrhiza glabra (gutgard) alleviates symptoms of functional dyspepsia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study . Evid Based Complement Alternat Med . 2012;2012:216970. doi:10.1155/2012/216970

National Kidney Foundation. Herbal supplements and kidney disease .

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Licorice root .

Science Direct. Fennel .

Badgujar SB, Patel VV, Bandivdekar AH. Foeniculum vulgare mill: a review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application, and toxicology .  Biomed Res Int . 2014;2014:842674. doi:10.1155/2014/842674

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms and causes of indigestion .

Beer AM, Uebelhack R, Pohl U. Efficacy and tolerability of hydrogen carbonate-rich water for heartburn . World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol . 2016;7(1):171-180. doi:10.4291/wjgp.v7.i1.171

By Lindsey DeSoto, RD, LD Lindsey Desoto is a registered dietitian with experience working with clients to improve their diet for health-related reasons. She enjoys staying up to date on the latest research and translating nutrition science into practical eating advice to help others live healthier lives.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Find your next safe car with AARP Auto Buying Program powered by TrueCar. Learn more.

AARP daily Crossword Puzzle

Hotels with AARP discounts

Life Insurance

AARP Dental Insurance Plans

Red Membership Card

AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal


Join AARP for just $9 per year when you sign up for a 5-year term. Join now and get a FREE GIFT.

Help icon

  • right_container

Work & Jobs

Social Security

AARP en Español

Help icon

  • Membership & Benefits
  • AARP Rewards
  • AARP Rewards %{points}%

Conditions & Treatments

Drugs & Supplements

Health Care & Coverage

Health Benefits

woman and man working out at a gym

Staying Fit

Your Personalized Guide to Fitness

Hearing Resource Center

AARP Hearing Center

Ways To Improve Your Hearing

Woman with her hands on her lap and sitting on a couch

Mental Health Resources

Coping with Depression and Anxiety

Illustration with a pill bottle, two sleep masks, a clock, stars, a tea bag and feathers

AARP Smart Guide

Prepare for a Good Night's Sleep

Scams & Fraud

Personal Finance

Money Benefits

zoomed in map of the united states with map locator pins scattered around

View and Report Scams in Your Area

top view montage of brightly colored donation coin collection containers that all read, "Please Give Generously"

Take the Charitable Giving Quiz

a man and woman at home looking at a laptop together

AARP Money Map

Get Your Finances Back on Track

a grouping of white appliances including refrigerator, oven, washing machine, microwave, vacuum, electric tea kettle, radiator

Budget & Savings

Make Your Appliances Last Longer

Small Business

Age Discrimination

at cashier smiles at a customer

Flexible Work

10 Part-Time Jobs to Beat Inflation

A woman smiling while sitting at a desk

AARP Skills Builder

Online Courses to Boost Your Career

An older women at a job interview with people looking at her resume

Age Proof Your Resume

a man and a woman look at the viewer with the words strength in sharing superimposed over them

Share Your Story

Stand Up to Age Discrimination

green arrows pointing up overlaid on a Social Security check and card with two hundred dollar bills

Get More out of Your Benefits

A balanced scale with a clock on one side and a ball of money on the other, is framed by the outline of a Social Security card.

When to Start Taking Social Security

Mature couple smiling and looking at a laptop together

10 Top Social Security FAQs

Social security and calculator

Social Security Benefits Calculator

arrow shaped signs that say original and advantage pointing in opposite directions

Medicare Made Easy

Original vs. Medicare Advantage

illustration of people building a structure from square blocks with the letters a b c and d

Enrollment Guide

Step-by-Step Tool for First-Timers

the words inflation reduction act of 2022 printed on a piece of paper and a calculator and pen nearby

Prescription Drugs

9 Biggest Changes Under New Rx Law

A doctor helps his patient understand Medicare and explains all his questions and addresses his concerns.

Medicare FAQs

Quick Answers to Your Top Questions

Care at Home

Financial & Legal

Life Balance

Long-term care insurance information, form and stethoscope.


​Understanding Basics of LTC Insurance​

illustration of a map with an icon of a person helping another person with a cane navigate towards caregiving

State Guides

Assistance and Services in Your Area

a man holding his fathers arm as they walk together outside

Prepare to Care Guides

How to Develop a Caregiving Plan

Woman in wheelchair talking with a female nurse inside a home

How to Find the Right Caregiver

Word & Trivia

Atari® & Retro

Members Only

Staying Sharp

More About Games

AARP Right Again Trivia and AARP Rewards

Right Again! Trivia

AARP Right Again Trivia Sports and AARP Rewards

Right Again! Trivia – Sports

Atari, Centipede, Pong, Breakout, Missile Command Asteroids

Atari® Video Games

Throwback Thursday Crossword and AARP Rewards

Throwback Thursday Crossword

Travel Tips

Vacation Ideas


Travel Benefits

beautiful landscapes at sunset in Badlands National Park

America’s Top National Parks

A smiling couple takes a selfie while in Berlin

Travel Advisories

Staying Safe While Traveling

left the bronco buster sculpture in the civic center cultural complex left the skyline of denver colorado

AARP City Guide

Discover Denver, Colorado

overhead look at two people sitting on tubes and one on a raft in water

Plan a Low-Drama Group Vacation

Entertainment & Style

Family & Relationships

Personal Tech

Home & Living


Beauty & Style

Close up of a grandfather watching a movie with his grandson

Editors' Picks

Best New Shows and Movies

E-Reader and book with reading glasses.

The Weekly Read

Hot New Book Releases

cover of Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber overlaid on an illustration depicting buildings on a small-town street with mountains behind them and a tree with birds in its branches

Free Online Novel

Read 'Midnight at the Blackbird Café'

smiling man enjoys a kiss on the cheek from his spouse

Sex & Intimacy

Make Your Bedroom More Romantic

grandfather and grandson fishing on a pier


4 Ways to Connect With Grandchildren

An illustration of a woman riding a bicycle in front of a 1950s house and car.

Making Lasting Memories With Mom

a woman looks at her phone while taking her medication

Store Medical Records on Your Phone?

Close-up of Woman's hands plugging a mobile phone into a power bank  in a bar

Maximize the Life of Your Phone Battery

online dating safety tips

Virtual Community Center

Join Free Tech Help Events

person wearing rubber gloves using a spray bottle and sponger to clean a kitchen sink

​10 Things to Clean in 10 Minutes

woman sitting on porch

Home Improvement

​Your Home Checklist for Aging in Place

front exterior of home with colorful landscaping

38 Ways to Boost Home's Curb Appeal

Driver Safety

Maintenance & Safety

Trends & Technology

Tim Edmonson poses for a portrait next to his electric car charging station at his Castle Rock home

Is Now the Time to Buy an Electric Car?


We Need To Talk

Assess Your Loved One's Driving Skills


AARP Smart Driver Course

A woman using a tablet inside by a window

Building Resilience in Difficult Times

A close-up view of a stack of rocks

Tips for Finding Your Calm

A woman unpacking her groceries at home

Weight Loss After 50 Challenge

AARP Perfect scam podcast

Cautionary Tales of Today's Biggest Scams

Travel stuff on desktop: map, sun glasses, camera, tickets, passport etc.

7 Top Podcasts for Armchair Travelers

jean chatzky smiling in front of city skyline

Jean Chatzky: ‘Closing the Savings Gap’

a woman at home siting at a desk writing

Quick Digest of Today's Top News

A man and woman looking at a guitar in a store

AARP Top Tips for Navigating Life

two women exercising in their living room with their arms raised

Get Moving With Our Workout Series

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Go to Series Main Page

How to Fix 6 Common Digestive Problems

Put an end to stomach pain, reflux, inflammatory bowel disease (ibd) and other tummy troubles that can make life miserable.

7 Types of Tummy Troubles

Having  stomach issues ? You're not alone. About 50 million Americans see the doctor for digestive diseases each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fortunately, this is not something we have to live with, medical experts say. "While some systems in the body slow down, an increase in GI problems is not necessarily a normal part of aging," says David L. Carr-Locke, chief of digestive diseases at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. It's just that many diseases that do affect the gastrointestinal tract develop or become more common as we age, including  diabetes ,  arthritis ,  high blood pressure ,  thyroid disease  and neurological problems such as  Parkinson's disease.

Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership

Join AARP for $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal. Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to  AARP The Magazine . 

Could It Be Cancer?

Colon cancer symptoms, including unexplained weight loss, vomiting, chronic bloating of the abdomen and blood in the stool, mimic many common stomach problems. If you haven't already, schedule a baseline colonoscopy . "The chance of colon cancer increases with age, but if caught early, it can often be cured," says Maged Rizk, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.

"The medications we need to treat them also take a toll," says gastroenterologist Brijen J. Shah, assistant professor of gastroenterology, geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital. Antidepressants, pain relievers, drugs for insomnia, high blood pressure, incontinence, asthma and allergies, and even calcium and iron supplements can trigger or aggravate digestive problems. We also tend to be less active as we age, and exercise is essential for keeping the gut — and the rest of us — healthy.

Thanks to new treatments and smart lifestyle choices, there's a lot you can do to keep everything moving. Here's what you need to know:

What it feels like: Heartburn, a burning, stinging sensation rising from your stomach and chest to your throat; a sour taste in your mouth or constant need to clear your throat; episodes of coughing. If these symptoms happen frequently, you may have gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What causes it: The valve between the esophagus and the stomach doesn't work properly, allowing stomach acid to leak upward. Severe cases can damage the lining of the esophagus, putting you at risk for esophageal cancer.

The fix: Change what you eat and when you eat. Although "everyone is different" in what triggers reflux, says Carr-Locke, it's been well established that coffee, tea, chocolate, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, dairy products and tomatoes provoke or worsen reflux, and it makes sense to avoid the worst offenders. Keep a food diary so you know what you ate before a flare-up, delete those foods from your diet for two weeks, then gradually add them back to see how your react. Meanwhile, if you smoke, stop. Eat smaller meals, and never eat within two hours of lying down. Prop the head of your bed up by 6 to 10 inches (use blocks or books under the mattress, or buy a wedge-shaped foam pillow).

For short-term relief, try antacids or histamine-2 blockers such as Zantac or Pepcid AC that block stomach acid. More severe cases may require proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid — some of which can be found over the counter, others only by prescription. "Current PPI therapy — which reduces stomach acid — is the best we've ever had," says Carr-Locke. "Many patients find they can tolerate foods they never could before." Note, however, that these medications can have serious side effects and that some experts think they are overused . If symptoms persist after two weeks, or if you vomit blood or have trouble or pain when swallowing, see your doctor.




%{ newsLetterPromoText  }%

%{ description }%

Privacy Policy


2. Diverticulosis

What it feels like: If you have a mild case you may not feel anything at all. More serious cases? Fever, chills, gassiness, bloating, alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, intense abdominal pain in the lower left abdomen.

AARP® Dental Insurance Plan administered by Delta Dental Insurance Company

Dental insurance plans for members and their families

What causes it: The walls of the colon may weaken and buckle, forming pockets or bulges called diverticula. Trouble sets in if they become inflamed or infected or burst, releasing fecal bacteria into the abdomen.

The fix: No symptoms? No problem. If an infection sets in, antibiotics, a liquid diet and rest may knock it out; a high-fiber diet may help keep it at bay , although recent studies suggest otherwise. More severe cases, including abscesses, bleeding and perforations of the intestinal wall, can cause severe pain and may require surgery. In the past, doctors told patients to avoid corn, popcorn and nuts, but new studies report that eating those foods doesn't cause or aggravate the condition.

3. Indigestion

The "good" bacteria naturally found in your gut are having a moment. For the most part, they're safe, and studies of two popular strains — lactobacillus and bifidobacteria — show they may ease GI grumbles. Get your probiotics from yogurt, cheese or fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut.

What it feels like: Gnawing pain or dull ache in your upper abdomen. It may develop gradually or come on suddenly. You feel like throwing up, or may have already. You deeply regret eating that pepperoni pizza late last night.

What causes it? Indigestion , called gastritis or dyspepsia by doctors, is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Acute gastritis can be triggered by medications, especially aspirin or other pain relievers, as well as alcohol and food. Chronic gastritis may be caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium that causes ulcers ; if not treated early, it can lead to peptic ulcer disease and cancer.

The fix: Depends on what's causing the inflammation. If you've been taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), switch to another pain reliever. If you have an ulcer, a combo of antibiotics and antacids can help. Too many late nights or too much stress? Antacids, histamine-2 blockers and PPIs can curb stomach acid. Cut back on alcohol and fatty foods. Eat smaller meals, and eat them slowly. Try taking a short walk after meals. If you're a smoker, stop. If the pain is still there after a few days, or if you develop shortness of breath and worsening pain that shoots down your arm, see a doctor immediately.

4. Constipation

What it feels like: For no obvious reason, there's been a change in your normal bowel pattern: You're going less frequently; you're straining; stools are hard and dry.

What causes it: It could be your diet — too much fat, too little fiber and fluids . It could be medications or supplements. Or perhaps your body rhythms are out of whack because you've been traveling or been sick. Less likely: underlying health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, colon cancer.

The fix: Gradually increase fluids and high-fiber foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables. Get moving, even if it's just to walk around the block. Stool softeners, fiber laxatives or those containing polyethylene glycol may help, but stay away from stimulant products, such as those containing senna, which can be habit-forming and damage the nerves in your colon. If problems persist for more than a few days, or if constipation comes on quickly and is very painful, see your doctor.

5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What it feels like: The list of symptoms is long and varied: chronic constipation often alternating with diarrhea; gas; bloating; cramping and a feeling that you haven't gotten everything out. Your life is ruled by proximity to a bathroom.

What causes it: Intestinal muscles go haywire, either contracting too quickly or not enough. Stress is often blamed — and there's no doubt that it ratchets up the misery — but family history plays a part, too. Recent research links the neurotransmitter serotonin to IBS, but so far there are no tests or scans to officially diagnose the condition. "Since symptoms for many GI problems overlap, we first rule out other conditions that might be causing the pain, especially if someone is over 50," Shah says. "If none can be found, you might get an IBS diagnosis ."

The fix: There's no one-size-fits-all solution; find a doctor who won't dismiss your symptoms and will experiment. Track foods that seem to bring on an attack: carbonated drinks; gassy foods such as coleslaw, broccoli, cauliflower or beans; bran or high-gluten cereal; as well as foods that contain fructose — a sugar found in fruits, root vegetables, caffeine, chocolate and chewing gum. If constipation is your main problem, gradually eat more high-fiber foods. Over-the-counter meds for constipation or diarrhea may help. To reduce stress , consider cognitive therapy, meditation and acupuncture, which studies have found can provide significant relief. One centuries-old aid is peppermint oil, but check with your doctor to find out how much you should take, since it can cause reflux in high doses.

6. Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

What it feels like: Both are inflammatory bowl diseases (IBD). Crohn's disease targets the intestines and bowel but can also affect any part of the digestive tract. Some people have mild intermittent flare-ups; others experience excruciating cramping, vomiting, bloating, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss and fatigue. Ulcerative colitis has similar, though less severe, symptoms and affects only the colon and rectum.

What causes it: These are autoimmune disorders in which the immune system — designed to guard against bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders — turns on itself. The result: chronic inflammation, scarring and blockage. Since it can be hard to absorb key nutrients, such as vitamin B-12, you may be at risk for pernicious anemia.

The fix: Crohn's and ulcerative colitis cannot be cured, but you can tame symptoms with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant drugs, plus over-the-counter meds for diarrhea and constipation. Stop smoking, ramp up fluids, exercise and experiment to see which foods you can tolerate. Some find that dairy products worsen symptoms; others can't eat high-fiber grains and vegetables. Eating small meals gives the body time to digest.

Margery D. Rosen is a New York City-based writer specializing in health and psychology.

Member Discounts! Save on eye exams, prescription drugs, hearing aids and more

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Already a Member? Login

More on Health

Tax-Aide Volunteers at Photoshoot

Community Volunteer Opportunities with AARP Foundation

AARP Value & Member Benefits

chicken parmesan lasagna fettucine alfredo caeser salad bread wine

Carrabba's Italian Grill®

10% off dine-in service or curbside carry-out orders

woman smiling handing man credit card at hotel check in, other man sitting in background

AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia: Hotels & Resorts

Extra 10% off select hotels

man sitting on couch looking at woman sitting on floor in living room during day time

ADT™ Home Security

Savings on monthly home security monitoring

couple on couch looking at tablet

AARP® Staying Sharp®

Activities, healthy recipes, challenges and more through AARP Staying Sharp®


eMediHealth Logo

Home > Digestive > Conditions > Digestive Problems: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Home Remedies

Digestive Problems: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Home Remedies

how to fix a digestion problem

In this article:

The digestive system includes the mouth with the salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, and liver. (1) All these organs work in tandem to break down the food you consume into nutrients.

digestive problems: causes, symptoms, and remedies

These nutrients fuel the body to carry out its life-sustaining functions. They also facilitate cell generation and repair, which allow the body to grow and heal.

However, various factors such as poor diet, an unhealthy lifestyle, side effects of medications, and illnesses can damage the digestive system over the course of your life. This is why many people tend to develop digestive distress as they grow older.

In the United States, digestive problems are very common. A recent survey from 2018 revealed that 61% of respondents had one or more gastrointestinal symptoms per week (2) These symptoms included heartburn/reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

The Digestion Process

Digestion refers to the process by which food is broken down into nutrients, which are eventually absorbed into the blood circulation for the cells of the human body to utilize.

Food is broken down into smaller pieces first by chewing and then by the grinding action of the stomach. The esophagus functions as a conduit for food and fluid to pass from the mouth to the stomach. 

Ingested food is first exposed to digestive enzymes in the mouth where the salivary glands produce mucus and amylase. (3) Amylase is also produced by the pancreas and aids in the digestion of carbohydrates. (3) The stomach produces pepsin, which aids in the digestion of proteins. (4)

Digestion is completed in the small intestine, where pancreatic digestive enzymes and liver bile combine with partially digested stomach contents. The majority of nutrients ingested are absorbed in the small intestine. What is not utilized by the body is then passed into the colon, where water and electrolyte absorption occurs and waste is eliminated. (5)

Types of Digestive Disorders

types of digestive ailments

Common digestive problems include the following:

1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux

GERD is a very common problem causing heartburn (6) and indigestion. Excessive acid exposure in the lower esophagus is thought to be the cause of the symptoms. A loose gastroesophageal flap valve (valve at the end of the esophagus) is the suggested cause of excessive acid exposure. (7)

Certain foods, including coffee, chocolates, peppermint, spicy foods, citrus, alcohol, and fatty foods, increase acid reflux by loosening the valve or delaying the emptying of the stomach, or both. Some of these foods are direct irritants.

Obesity also predisposes one to acid reflux by increasing intra-abdominal pressure. Pregnancy causes loosening of the gastroesophageal valve and increases intra-abdominal pressure.

Initial treatment for GERD is lifestyle modification. If this treatment fails, acid reducers can be used. Alarm symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or failure of response to treatment measures warrant further evaluation.

2. Constipation

Constipation is a common gastrointestinal problem characterized by the passage of hard, infrequent stools. (8) It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance such as hypothyroidism, medications, diet, or a motility disorder (a disorder where the movement of the large intestine is abnormal). Colon cancer can also cause constipation. (9)

For symptomatic treatment of constipation, a high-fiber diet with adequate amounts of water (64 ounces per day) can be beneficial. If this treatment fails, laxatives can be used. 

If the constipation is due to an underlying disorder, treatment should be directed at the underlying disorder.

3. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is defined as frequent, loose to watery stools. The causes of diarrhea are many including infection, autoimmune disease, medicines, hormonal imbalance, prior surgery, and motility disorders. (10) Diseases of the pancreas can also lead to diarrhea. 

Symptomatic treatment of diarrhea includes using soluble fiber, antidiarrheal medications that slow the motility of the intestine, and bile-acid-binding agents. Ultimately, treatment should be directed at the underlying cause of diarrhea.

4. Flatulence

Gas is typically caused by the diet. Foods that commonly cause gas include lactose (dairy products), fructose, sorbitol, fruits, vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, onions, leeks, parsnips, celery, radishes, asparagus, cabbage, cucumber, potatoes, turnips, rutabaga), legumes (beans, peas, soybeans, lima beans), fatty foods, whole grains (11) (wheat, oats, bagels, wheat germ, pretzels, bran/bran cereal), and carbonated drinks.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can be associated with excessive intestinal gas and bloating and is usually diagnosed using the hydrogen/methane breath test.

Causes of Digestive Problems

causes behind digestive issues and ailments

There are many causes of digestive problems, which include primary diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as diseases characterized by difficulty swallowing, malfunction of the salivary glands, abnormal motility of the stomach, autoimmune destruction of the lining of the small intestine and colon, pancreatic disease, and liver diseases. 

External factors such as diet, medications, supplements, infection, and stress can also cause digestive problems. (12)

Symptoms of Digestive Problems

Symptoms of digestive distress include:

  • Heartburn/reflux
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weight loss (13)

Symptoms of upper gastrointestinal problems include:

  • Bloating (14)
  • Weight loss

Symptoms of lower gastrointestinal tract disease include:

Home Remedies for Digestive Problems

home remedies for curbing digestive problems

  • Consuming ginger can be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting. (15) It may also be beneficial for delayed emptying of the stomach and possibly difficulty swallowing due to abnormal motility of the esophagus. (16)
  • Consuming probiotic foods can be beneficial for gut health.
  • Consuming peppermint can be beneficial for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. (17)
  • Consuming fennel seeds can be advantageous for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with gas and bloating.
  • Aloe vera may prove beneficial for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. It can alleviate constipation, bloating, and gas and may exhibit some anti-inflammatory effects. (18)

Precautions to Consider

A lifestyle with a healthy diet and exercise will help reduce the occurrence of common gastrointestinal problems. Here are a few measures you should adopt:

  • Keep your stress levels under control. 
  • Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Consume a healthy, well-balanced, nutritious diet.
  • Lose excess weight through exercise and diet, especially as you grow older.

When to See a Doctor

when to consult a doctor regarding digestive problems?

If lifestyle changes do not alleviate your digestive problem or if you experience associated weight loss, rectal bleeding, black stools, fever, chills, abdominal pain, or difficulty swallowing, seek medical attention starting with your primary care provider, who will refer you to a specialist if needed.

Advancing age can make you more prone to digestive disorders, but proactive measures from a young age can help minimize this risk. The best way to ensure smooth and easy digestion is by eating healthily and staying active.

If you do experience sudden changes in your digestive system, let your doctor know at the earliest. They will conduct the necessary investigation to identify the root cause of the problem and suggest the appropriate treatment.

The sooner you address the problem, the better. Delayed treatment can make the problem worse or persistent. Fortunately, most common digestive issues can easily be controlled through proper lifestyle changes and sometimes medication. However, if the problem is chronic or serious, you will require more advanced treatment.

  • F; OIGJT. Physiology, gastrointestinal. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30725788/.
  • Almario CV; Ballal ML; Chey WD; Nordstrom C; Khanna D; Spiegel BMR; Burden of gastrointestinal symptoms in the United States: Results of a nationally representative survey of over 71,000 Americans. The American journal of gastroenterology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30323268/.
  • Peyrot des Gachons C, Breslin PAS. Salivary amylase: Digestion and metabolic syndrome. Current diabetes reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825871/. Published October 2016.
  • Heda R. Physiology, pepsin. StatPearls [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537005/. Published May 9, 2021.
  • Müller M, Canfora EE, Blaak EE. Gastrointestinal transit time, glucose homeostasis and metabolic health: Modulation by dietary fibers. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872693/. Published February 28, 2018.
  • Clarrett DM, Hachem C. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Missouri medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140167/. Published 2018.
  • Kaneyama H, Kaise M, Arakawa H, Arai Y, Kanazawa K, Tajiri H. Gastroesophageal flap valve status distinguishes clinical phenotypes of large hiatal hernia. World journal of gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3007116/. Published December 21, 2010.
  • Andrews CN, Storr M. The pathophysiology of chronic constipation. Canadian journal of gastroenterology = Journal canadien de gastroenterologie. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206564/. Published October 2011.
  • Jani B, Marsicano E. Constipation: Evaluation and management. Missouri medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140151/. Published 2018.
  • Semrad CE. Approach to the patient with diarrhea and malabsorption. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7152045/. Published 2012.
  • Winham DM, Hutchins AM. Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies. Nutrition journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228670/. Published November 21, 2011.
  • Zhang Y-J, Li S, Gan R-Y, Zhou T, Xu D-P, Li H-B. Impacts of gut bacteria on human health and diseases. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425030/. Published April 2, 2015.
  • Hasler WL. Gas and bloating. Gastroenterology & hepatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350578/. Published September 2006.
  • Saha L. Irritable bowel syndrome: Pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and evidence-based medicine. World journal of gastroenterology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4051916/. Published June 14, 2014.
  • Lete I, Allué J. The effectiveness of ginger in the prevention of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and chemotherapy. Integrative medicine insights. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818021/. Published March 31, 2016.
  • Nikkhah Bodagh M, Maleki I, Hekmatdoost A. Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of Clinical Trials. Food science & nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341159/. Published November 5, 2018.
  • BG; KRMDJKL. Peppermint oil for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of clinical gastroenterology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24100754/.
  • Hong SW, Chun J, Park S, Lee HJ, Im JP, Kim JS. aloe vera is effective and safe in short-term treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6175553/. Published October 1, 2018.
  • Was this article helpful?

You Might Also Like

Is cranberry juice good for eczema, get our best updates delivered to your inbox:.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

  • Heart Health
  • Skin & Beauty
  • Women’s Health
  • Ear, Nose & Throat
  • Respiratory Health
  • Web Stories
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Cookie Policy
  • Editorial Policy
  • Advertising Policy
  • Subscribe to Newsletter


© 2019 eMediHealth . All rights reserved.

  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Allergy & Immunology
  • Bones & Joints
  • Child Health
  • Glands & Hormones
  • Health News
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Mental Health
  • Nervous System
  • Pain Management
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Urological Health
  • Patient Care & Health Information
  • Diseases & Conditions
  • Indigestion

Your health care provider is likely to start with a health history and a thorough physical exam. Those evaluations may be enough if your indigestion is mild and you're not experiencing certain symptoms, such as weight loss and repeated vomiting.

But if your indigestion began suddenly, and you are experiencing severe symptoms or are older than age 55, your provider may recommend:

  • Laboratory tests, to check for anemia or other metabolic disorders.
  • Breath and stool tests, to check for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), the bacterium associated with peptic ulcers, which can cause indigestion.
  • Endoscopy, to check for issues in your upper digestive tract, particularly in older people with symptoms that won't go away. A tissue sample, called a biopsy, may be taken for analysis.
  • Imaging tests (X-ray or CT scan), to check for intestinal obstruction or another issue.
  • Care at Mayo Clinic

Our caring team of Mayo Clinic experts can help you with your indigestion-related health concerns Start Here

More Information

Indigestion care at Mayo Clinic

  • Upper endoscopy

Lifestyle changes may help ease indigestion. Your health care provider may recommend:

  • Avoiding foods that trigger indigestion.
  • Eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals.
  • Reducing or eliminating the use of alcohol and caffeine.
  • Avoiding certain pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
  • Finding alternatives for medicines that trigger indigestion.
  • Controlling stress and anxiety.

If your indigestion won't go away, medicines may help. Nonprescription antacids are generally the first choice. Other options include:

  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which can reduce stomach acid. PPIs may be recommended particularly if you experience heartburn along with indigestion.
  • H-2-receptor blockers, which can also reduce stomach acid.
  • Prokinetics, which may be helpful if your stomach empties slowly.
  • Antibiotics, which can help if H. pylori bacteria are causing your indigestion.
  • Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines, which may ease the discomfort from indigestion by decreasing your sensation of pain.
  • Acupuncture
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Mild indigestion can often be helped with lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating smaller, more-frequent meals. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.
  • Not eating certain foods. Fatty and spicy foods, processed foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking can trigger indigestion.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into your esophagus.
  • Exercising regularly. Exercise helps you keep off extra weight and promotes better digestion.
  • Managing stress. Create a calm environment at mealtime. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga. Spend time doing things you enjoy. Get plenty of sleep.
  • Changing your medicines. With your health care provider's approval, stop or cut back on pain relievers or other medicines that may irritate your stomach lining. If that's not an option, be sure to take these medicines with food.

Alternative medicine

Alternative and complementary treatments have been used for many years to ease indigestion, although their effectiveness varies from person to person. These treatments include:

  • Herbal therapies, including plain peppermint, or a combination of peppermint and caraway oils and the Japanese herbal formula rikkunshito.
  • STW 5 (Iberogast), a liquid supplement containing extracts of nine herbs, may work by reducing the production of gastric acid.
  • Acupuncture, which may work by blocking the pathways of nerves that carry sensations of pain to the brain.
  • Psychological treatment, including behavior modification, relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy, is often very helpful.

Always check with your health care provider before taking any supplements to be sure you're taking a safe dose. This is also important to make sure the supplement won't react with any other medicines you're taking.

Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your primary health care provider, or you may be referred to a provider who specializes in digestive diseases, called a gastroenterologist. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating solid food on the day before your appointment.
  • Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time.
  • Take a list of all your medicines, vitamins or supplements.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other diagnosed conditions.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life, as well as a detailed description of your typical daily diet.
  • Write down questions to ask during your appointment.

Some basic questions to ask include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Do you think my condition is temporary or chronic?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatments can help?
  • Are there any dietary restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Could any of my medications be causing my symptoms?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Be ready to answer questions your provider may ask:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms, and how severe are they?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • What medications and pain relievers do you take?
  • What do you eat and drink, including alcohol, in a typical day?
  • How have you been feeling emotionally?
  • Do you use tobacco? If so, do you smoke, chew or both?
  • Are your symptoms better or worse on an empty stomach?
  • Have you vomited blood or black material?
  • Have you had any changes in your bowel habits, including stools turning black?
  • Have you lost weight?
  • Have you had nausea or vomiting or both?
  • Feldman M, et al., eds. Dyspepsia. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 11th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  • Goldman L, et al., eds. Functional gastrointestinal disorders: Irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, esophageal chest pain, and heartburn. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia. Accessed April 20, 2021.
  • Dyspepsia. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/symptoms-of-gastrointestinal-disorders/dyspepsia. Accessed April 20, 2021.
  • Wilkinson JM, et al. Gas, bloating, and belching: Approach to evaluation and management. American Family Physician. 2019; https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0301/p301.html. Accessed May 3, 2021.
  • Zhang J, et al. Efficacy comparison of different acupuncture treatments for functional dyspepsia: A systematic review with network meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2020; doi:10.1155/2020/3872919.
  • Kim YS, et al. Herbal therapies in functional gastrointestinal disorders: A narrative review and clinical application. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2020; doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00601.
  • Morrow ES. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. April 16, 2021.
  • Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. April 26, 2021.

Associated Procedures

Products & services.

  • A Book: Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health
  • Symptoms & causes
  • Diagnosis & treatment
  • Doctors & departments

Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.

  • Opportunities

Mayo Clinic Press

Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic Press .

  • Mayo Clinic on Incontinence - Mayo Clinic Press Mayo Clinic on Incontinence
  • The Essential Diabetes Book - Mayo Clinic Press The Essential Diabetes Book
  • Mayo Clinic on Hearing and Balance - Mayo Clinic Press Mayo Clinic on Hearing and Balance
  • FREE Mayo Clinic Diet Assessment - Mayo Clinic Press FREE Mayo Clinic Diet Assessment
  • Mayo Clinic Health Letter - FREE book - Mayo Clinic Press Mayo Clinic Health Letter - FREE book

GivingTuesday Challenge

Our $100,000 challenge is underway. Give now through Nov. 28th to double your impact on the future of healthcare.


  • Yoga Props & Accessories
  • Yoga Mat Bags
  • Balance Ball Chairs
  • Active Standing
  • Balance Balls
  • Balance Discs
  • Kids Flexible Seating
  • Strength Training
  • Rubber Resistance
  • Stability & Mobility
  • Athletic Performance
  • Foam Rollers
  • Neck & Back Care
  • Foot & Hand Care
  • Meditation Seating
  • Meditation Accessories
  • Gaiam Relax
  • Active Seating
  • Active Development
  • Your Cart is Empty
  • Performance
  • Solid Color
  • Printed Mats
  • Yoga Mat Finder
  • Storage Solutions
  • Blocks & Straps
  • Accessories
  • Blankets & Bolsters
  • Hypo-Microbial Gear
  • Socks & Gloves
  • Collections
  • Performance Line
  • Kids Yoga & Fitness
  • Home Gym Essentials
  • Value Packs

how to fix a digestion problem

  • Active Sitting
  • Kids Active Sitting
  • Office Essentials
  • Posture Support
  • Why Sitting Should Scare You
  • Benefits of Standing on a Balance Board
  • Balance Ball FAQs
  • Instructional Guides

how to fix a digestion problem

  • Free Weights
  • Bodyweight Training
  • Resistance Tubing
  • Resistance Bands
  • Resistance Kits
  • Stability and Mobility
  • Stability Balls
  • Balance Training
  • Exercise Mats

how to fix a digestion problem

  • Recovery Tools
  • Hand & Foot Care
  • Trouble Zone
  • Shoulders & Back
  • Hands & Arms
  • Legs & Feet
  • Hot & Cold Therapy
  • Self-Guided Products
  • Recovery Workouts
  • Recovery Guides
  • Which Foam Roller is Right for You?

how to fix a digestion problem

  • Eye Pillows
  • Meditation Space
  • Meditation for Beginners
  • Learn More about Meditation

how to fix a digestion problem

  • Kid Friendly Yoga Practices
  • How Sitting on a Ball Chair Helps Focus

how to fix a digestion problem

  • Active Balance  
  • Fitness  
  • Recover  
  • Meditation  
  • Kids  

How to Fix Your Gut: 7 Steps to Intestinal Health

How to Fix Your Gut: 7 Steps to Intestinal Health

by: Mark Hyman M.D.

There might be something wrong with your inner tube, and it could be making you sick and overweight. You may not even realize you have a problem...But if you have health concerns of any kind, or you are overweight, your inner tube could be the root cause. Of course, I’m not talking about a beach toy. I mean the inner tube of life — your digestive system. Learn how to restore your colon health and fix your gut.

It is likely that you suffer from (or have suffered from) some type of digestive disorder — irritable bowel syndrome , bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or acid reflux, gas, and other things too gross to mention in print. And you are not alone. More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems. Two of the top five selling drugs in America are for digestive problems, and they cost us billions and billions of dollars. There are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders, many of which can create additional  digestive problems.

Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians. And that’s not even the worst news. Most of us (including most doctors) do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body, leading to allergies,  arthritis , autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.

So, having a healthy gut means more than simply being free of annoyances like bloating or heartburn. It is absolutely central to your health. It is connected to everything  that happens in your body.

That’s why I almost always start helping people treat chronic health problems by fixing their gut, which is what I want to help you do today.

Fixing your digestion is the 4 th key of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness, or functional medicine , and it is absolutely essential that you heal this critical system in your body if you want to achieve optimum health.

How your gut keeps you healthy or makes you ill

The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens and microbes are kept out. It is directly linked to the health of your whole body. Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food.  But that is a big job that depends on many other factors. Let’s look at a few of them …

First, there are bugs in your gut that form a diverse and interdependent ecosystem, like a rain forest. In fact, there are 500 species and three pounds of bacteria in your gut which form a huge  chemical factory that helps digest food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy. This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy. Too many of the wrong bacteria, like parasites and yeasts, or not enough of the good ones, like Lactobacillus or  Bifidobacteria , can seriously damage your health.

Second, there is your gut-immune system. Your entire immune system — and the rest of your body — is protected from the toxic environment in your gut by a lining that is only one  cell-thick layer. If spread out, this lining would take up a surface area the size of a tennis court, covered entirely by a sewer! If that barrier is damaged, you can become allergic to foods you may normally be able to digest perfectly well, you will get sick, your immune system will become overactive, and it will begin producing inflammation throughout your body. Filtering out the good molecules from the bad molecules and protecting your immune system is yet another important factor in gut health.

Third, there is your second brain — your gut’s nervous system. Did you know your gut actually contains more  neurotransmitters than your brain? In fact, the gut has a brain of its own. It is called the “enteric nervous system” and it is a very sophisticated piece of your biology that is wired to your brain in intricate ways. Messages constantly travel back and forth between your gut-brain and your head-brain and, when those messages are interfered with in any way, your health will suffer.

Fourth, your gut also has to get rid of all the toxins produced as byproducts of your metabolism, which your liver dumps into bile. If things get backed up when you are constipated, you will become toxic and your health will suffer.

And, last but not least, your gut must break down all the food you eat into its individual components, separate out the vitamins and minerals, and shuttle everything across the one cell-thick layer mentioned above so it can get into your bloodstream and nourish your body and brain.

Your gut has quite a lot to manage. Even in a perfect world, it is hard to keep all of this in balance. But, in our modern world, there are endless obstacles that can knock our digestive system off-balance, making it that much more difficult to maintain excellent digestive health.

How to know if your gut is out of balance

To fix your digestion, you first need to understand what is sending your gut out-of-balance in the first place. The list is short:

  • Our low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, which causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut and damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines
  • Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function — things like acid blockers (Prilosec, Nexium, etc.), anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), antibiotics, steroids and hormones
  • Undetected gluten intolerance , celiac disease or low-grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs, or corn
  • Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites or even more serious gut infections
  • Toxins like mercury and mold toxins, which damage the gut
  • Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function, which can come from acid-blocking medication use or zinc deficiency
  • Stress , which can alter the gut nervous system, cause a leaky gut, and change the normal bacteria in the gut

What happens then is obvious: you get sick.

But what’s important to understand is that many diseases that seem to be totally unrelated to the gut — such as eczema or psoriasis or arthritis — are actually caused  by gut problems. By focusing on the gut, you can get better.

Seven steps to optimal digestive health

  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Make sure to include plenty of fiber from foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  • Eliminate food allergies. If you think you have food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Cut out gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, soy, and eggs for a week or two and see how your gut feels and what happens to your other symptoms.
  • Treat any infections or overgrowth of bugs. Parasites, small bowel bacteria, and yeasts can all inhibit proper gut function. You must treat these infections if you want to heal.
  • Replenish your digestive enzymes. When you don’t have enough digestive enzymes in your gut, you can’t properly convert the foods you eat into the raw materials necessary to run your body and brain. Take broad-spectrum digestive enzymes with your food to solve the problem.
  • Rebuild your rain forest of friendly bacteria. Take probiotic supplements. They will help you rebuild the healthy bacteria so essential to good gut health.
  • Get good fat. Take extra omega-3 supplements, which help cool inflammation in the gut.
  • Heal your gut lining. Use gut-healing nutrients such as glutamine and zinc to repair the lining in your gut so it can resume its normal function.

Fixing your digestion and restoring your colon health may take some time, but it can be done. And it is absolutely essential if you want to achieve vibrant health .  So work on your inner tube of life using the steps above and watch as your symptoms (and those extra pounds) disappear.

Also in Blog

Body Peace & Personal Empowerment

Body Peace & Personal Empowerment

Yoga for Swimmers: Poses for Strength and Mobility

Yoga for Swimmers: Poses for Strength and Mobility

Amanda Huggins: From Anxiety to Empowerment

Amanda Huggins: From Anxiety to Empowerment

© 2023 Gaiam .

  • Rewards Program
  • Affiliate Program
  • eGift Cards

Customer Care

  • Returns & Exchanges
  • International Shipping
  • Dropship Information
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • ADA Accessibility
  • COVID-19 Response
  • HTML Sitemap

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Heal The Gut: 17 Gut-Healing Strategies to Start Today

Got anxiety brain fog fatigue improving your gut health could be the answer..

Posted June 3, 2019 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch

  • What are healthy approaches to dieting?
  • Encuentra un profesional de la salud

Our gut health influences everything from our weight, to our mood , to our cognitive ability. It can be the reason for our back pain , the root of our depression , and of course, the cause of our digestive issues . That's why testing the health of our gut and then healing our gut is absolutely essential for improving our mental and physical health.

Why I Want to Help You Heal Your Gut

I never thought much about my gut. I'm a psychologist and well-being expert, so I focus mostly on what you can do to boost well-being (take my well-being quiz ). But this all changed when my gut completely gave out on me. In the blink of an eye, I started getting nauseous, bloated, and belchy anytime I ate anything . I quickly dropped 15 pounds, became exhausted, and developed intense anxiety .

Had I thought more about my gut health, I could have seen the signs and prevented this nightmare. My gut had been screaming, " Pay attention to me!" for years by giving me new food allergies, migraines , and tummy troubles. These were all signs that my gut was unhealthy... I just didn't realize it yet.

Why You Want to Heal the Gut Before You Get Sick

When my gut got mad at me, I had no idea what the problem was. It took me months to figure it out. Eventually I took the GI-MAP stool test and learned that I had a parasite called blastocystis hominis ( check out that parasite cleanse I did to get rid of it ), which I likely picked up in Mexico a few years back. I also ate dairy (despite knowing I was sensitive to it), and lived in a moldy apartment—all things that contribute to poor gut health.

Because I ignored the signs, my gut problems snowballed—I developed Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Estrogen dominance, and an intolerance to dairy, gluten, eggs, and almonds. In addition, I couldn't eat anything that was difficult to digest (e.g., raw veggies, nuts, popcorn) or anything that fed mold (e.g., mushrooms, grains, even vitamins cased in cellulose capsules).

The GI-MAP stool test also revealed that my gut's immune system was completely shot. This meant that my body couldn't clear the toxins in my gut. As a result, I would get so tired that I literally couldn't keep my eyes open after eating a meal. And when I was awake, I had a hard time concentrating—my foggy brain just could not think. Needless to say, this made it difficult to work and I often skipped eating on days when I needed my brain and body to function.

Knowing what I know now, I would have done just about anything to heal the gut and prevent this. So I feel compelled to share what I've learned in hopes that it might help you or someone you know who needs to heal their gut. Read on to learn more.

Do You Need to Heal Your Gut?

Do you have common gut health issues such as: digestive troubles, stomach aches, weight changes, fatigue, skin issues, emotional issues, or food intolerances? Then consider testing the health of your gut and taking action now to heal your gut before your gut issues start to snowball.

If you'd like to know exactly what your gut problems are, you can take a stool test to find out. The GI-MAP stool test even has a report to help you interpret your results.

Get Started

In the section below, I'm going to review a bunch of gut healing strategies. These strategies can be even more effective if you know a bit more about the gut. So let's start by getting to know your gut bugs.

Get to Know Your Gut Bugs

It turns out that our guts are populated by all sorts of bacteria, fungi, and other unknown critters—these "gut bugs" are collectively referred to as the microbiota.

Just like humans, our gut bugs have personalities which are affected by nature (their genes ) and nurture ( the environment they live in). As a result, some of them tend to be good guys, some tend to be bad guys, and some can be fickle, and end up being good or bad depending on the circumstances.

how to fix a digestion problem

For example, some strains of the often-feared E. coli are good for us while other strains are bad. The potentially deadly bacteria, staphylococcus aureus (i.e., staff) is present in 25% of healthy people —it only hurts us when it overgrows . And even good bugs, when there are too many of them, can cause a world of hurt when they move up into the small intestine and overgrow (causing SIBO).

Why does it help to know your gut bugs? Well, because when we understand what leads to an unhealthy society of microbiota, we can take the right steps to create a healthy society of microbiota and heal the gut.

Here's exactly how to do it.

When you start healing your gut, its best to start by gently supporting and encouraging healthy gut bugs. But if your gut is in a state of distress (as mine was), then you'll likely need to ramp up slowly to the more harsh gut healing strategies, forcing those gut bullies in your microbiota to "get out!".

To help you find the right protocol for healing your unique gut, I've listed 17 gut-healing strategies below in order from most gentle to most harsh.

I've also split these strategies into 3 phases to help you ramp up slowly and effectively.

What to expect

If your gut is unhealthy, it's going to get worse before it gets better. You're almost guaranteed to get die-off ( Herxheimer ) symptoms at some point in the gut healing process.

What are die-off symptoms?

Die-off symptoms can include fatigue, brain fog , gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, low-grade fever, headache, sore throat, itching, muscle and joint soreness, chills, flu-like symptoms, lethargy, intense sweet cravings, rashes, and irritability.

Don't confuse die-off symptoms with a lack of calories or nutrients, which can also make us feel tired and weak. Die-off symptoms tend to come on suddenly (whereas insufficient calories can leave us feeling chronically tired and ill). Some people also find that they have die-off symptoms only at a certain time of the day—morning, afternoon, or evening.

When I started healing my gut, I had intense die-off reactions (chills and nausea) each night for 6 weeks. It decreased to every few days (as I moved through the phases), then once per week, and now very rarely, only when I use one of the more intense strategies below to amp up my detox.

How to minimize die-off

The die-off symptoms you'll experience will depend on the health of your liver, your gut bugs, and so forth.

  • If your die-off symptoms are making you feel miserable, then you're killing bad gut bugs too quickly. Slow down, support your liver (with supplements like Milk Thistle), take epsom salt baths to support your body's ability to get those dead gut bugs out of your body as quickly as possible, and eat foods with collagen (e.g., bone broth) to keep the bad stuff in your gut and out of your bloodstream.
  • If you feel fine one day and then complete crap the next, you might be getting die-off from parasites. It can be confusing because they have weird lifecycles, they die, reproduce, and create symptoms at weird times.
  • If your symptoms are consistently getting worse or staying the same over time, even though you haven't been adding new gut healing strategies, then it's likely NOT a result of die-off. See a doctor to make sure your symptoms are not a result of another health issue.

In this phase, you'll focus on generally improving your gut health.

1. Decrease Your Stress

It turns out that stress can actually help bad bugs, like Blasto, to thrive —a phenomenon that I experienced first hand (take the stress quiz to learn a bit more).

As I mentioned earlier, my gut switched from okay to completely berzerk in the blink of an eye. The cause of this switch was stress—I had a super stressful month. The stress taxed my immune system even further, enabling Blasto, and a bunch of other bad gut bugs to grow. They moved up into my small intestine (where they are not supposed to be)—and they even started "leaking" out of my gut.

This is how a short period of stress can snowball into major gut health issues. And it's why creating an anti-stress lifestyle is key to both gut health and mental health.

2. Support Your Immune System

If your gut is unhealthy, your immune system is already churning away trying to heal it . Without proper support, your immune system can get overworked and worn down. So a nice gentle way to heal the gut is to support your immune system in doing its job.

To support your immune system, you can eat immunity supporting foods, like citrus fruits, garlic, and spinach. If your immune system is already weak, it can also be helpful to supplement with key vitamins and minerals that may have become depleted like, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and Zinc. I also found that taking vitamins to support adrenal function was incredibly helpful as adrenals can get taxed when we are overstressed by gut health issues.

3. Reduce Inflammation

Another way to heal the gut is by removing inflammatory foods. This helps your immune system decrease it's workload so it can spend more energy on healing the gut.

Although each of us have different problem foods, wheat and dairy tend to be problematic for many people with gut health issues. Sugar feeds many bad bacteria (all carbs are digested as sugar). And partially-hydrogenated oils are toxic, so they busy the immune system leaving other problems in your body unaddressed. That's why it can be really helpful to remove these inflammatory foods if we want a healthy gut.

4. Consume Collagen

Collagen makes up the gut’s connective tissue—or the barrier between what's in your gut and the rest of your body. If this barrier gets "leaky", particles from the gut can seep into the bloodstream, causing everything from the herxheimer reaction (flu-like symptoms), to mental health issues, to autoimmune disease.

Consuming collagen is likely helpful for everyone, but especially those with an unhealthy microbiota. In general, those with gut-health issues tend to have low levels of collagen. In addition, your microbiota affect which symptoms (or diseases) you might get from a leaky gut. So if you have an unhealthy gut, leaky gut may be more problematic.

For example, research shows that one type of autoimmune arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis is caused by the bacteria, Klebsiella. Many of us have Klebsiella in our microbiome , so researchers hypothesize that's it's only when these bacteria "leak" into our bloodstream that they cause arthritis. So eating collagen (or high-collagen foods like bone broth) can potentially prevent these negative outcomes.

5. Eat Gut-Soothing Foods

We often eat with little consideration for what our gut must then do with our food. In fact, our guts must break down all the chunks, absorb the nutrients, and then push along the indigestible fiber to feed the gut bugs in the lower intestine—that's a lot of work for an unhealthy gut.

To help ease the burden on the gut, we can eat gut-soothing foods such as soft foods, cooked foods, and juiced fruits and vegetables. These foods are already broken down, which helps ease the burden on the gut.

6. Focus on Macronutrients

When it comes to the role of macronutrients (i.e., Carbs, Protein, and Fat) in gut health, the experts are split. Some say that feeding our gut bugs with carbs like fiber, vegetables, and fruits is the best approach. Others say that starving our gut bugs by eating primarily fat is the best approach. Indeed, both approaches seem to have benefits... depending on your unique gut and microbiota. So it's important to pay attention to how specific foods make you feel.

For some folks, consuming fiber can exacerbate gut issues. For others, certain types of carbs exacerbate gut issues. For others, consuming high-fat meals exacerbate gut health issues (e.g., those without the enzymes to break down fats). When it comes to your gut health, the key is to eat mindfully and explore how different foods make you feel. Only then can you know that you're eating to heal your gut.

If the tips in Phase 1 aren't resolving your gut health issues, move on to Phase 2. In this phase, you'll focus on more nuanced strategies to improve gut health.

7. Try a Ketogenic Diet

Although a Ketogenic diet doesn't seem to work for everyone, it appears to be a good way to reduce inflammation in the body more generally, improve insulin resistance, and clear gunk from the cells. It's also tends to be good for getting rid of bad bacteria and parasites . Why? Because the Ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, and gut bugs primarily eat carbs.

Keep in mind that starting a Ketogenic diet can often result in a few days or weeks of Keto flu—headaches, leg cramps, sugar cravings, and some other annoying symptoms. To prevent Keto flu, make sure you're getting electrolytes (especially sea salt, magnesium, and potassium). An easy way to do this is by drinking homemade "ketorade".

And if you don't feel good eating Keto after a few days, stop! If your body is already stressed, Keto can be too stressful for your body to handle. You might instead opt for a moderate to low carb diet just to reduce your sugar intake.

8. Detox The Liver

Our livers are responsible for detoxing us of the harmful byproducts of dying gut bugs. Eating liver supportive foods can help us reduce die-off reactions and kill bad gut bugs with more ease.

To help the liver and body detox, consider taking milk thistle supplements, calcium D-Glucarate, NAC, or liposomal glutathione. Next, eat bitter greens like dandelion leaves, raw radishes, and mustard greens to promote more bile excretion and process toxins effectively. And be sure to eat cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and arugula. These contain diindolylmethane (DIM), a substance that helps the liver detox effectively.

9. Take Natural Digestive Aids

If your gut is having a hard time digesting, for whatever reason, help it out by consuming natural digestive aids.

  • Betaine HCL and Apple Cider Vinegar are helpful for folks with insufficient stomach acid to break down food (common signs of this are heartburn or upset stomach).
  • Digestive enzymes are helpful for folks with a sluggish gallbladder or pancreas.
  • And ginger is helpful for those with sluggish migrating motor complex (MMC), which helps clean out the small intestine between meals.

10. Eat Less to Starve Gut Bugs

If you have an overgrowth of bad gut bugs, part of the goal is to starve them without starving yourself. Some folks advocate for fasting, intermittent fasting, or eating fewer carbs to reduce bacteria like firmicutes, which have been shown to be linked to obesity. Just be sure you're consuming enough calories not to stress your body out.

11. Remove Toxins from Your Life

Sometimes it seems like we are doing everything right, but we still can't seem to get a handle on our gut health issues. In this case, there is often some hidden toxin that's bogging down our immune system.

For example, are we eating all of our food out of plastic with BPA, a known gut toxin? Or are we living in a home that's covered in gut-harming mold? Or are we sleeping on a new bed that sprayed in toxic flame-retardant chemicals ?

Gut-harming toxins are all around us. The electromagnetic waves from our smartphones can even mess with our guts. So finding and removing these toxins is often instrumental in healing the gut.

If the tips in Phase 1 and 2 aren't resolving your gut health issues, your gut bugs just aren't going to go quickly into the night—now it's time for war! In this phase, you'll focus on evicting unhealthy gut bugs from your body... by force.

12. Break Up the Biofilms That House Bad Gut Bugs

When bad gut bugs just won't leave, it's often because they have a protective home, or biofilm, to hide in. Taking biofilm disrupting supplements can start to jar them loose. The biofilm disrupters include:

  • Allicin (from Garlic)
  • N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
  • Monolaurin (from coconut oil)

13. Eat Probiotic Foods

Consuming probiotic foods is probably the best thing you can do for gut health. Although probiotic supplements can be helpful, they are usually too small to make much of an impact. If you do want to try pills, get pills with 50 billion colony forming units (CFUs). I suggest the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii , which has been shown to combat digestive issues.

The reason I include this strategy in Phase 3 instead of Phase 1 is because probiotics can often be intense and cause bad die-off symptoms. So, how do you add probiotics to your diet successfully? Try the sauerkraut protocol.

The Saue rkraut protocol

Buy a jar of sauerkraut. Be sure that the jar is refrigerated, has live cultures, and doesn't include any preservatives whatsoever. Here is a handy guide to help you find the right stuff.

Consume 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut with a meal. Pay attention to how you feel. If you feel die-off symptoms (I did!) then keep eating this small amount once per day until it doesn't feel bad anymore. If you feel fine with the amount of kraut, go to the next step.

Increase the amount of sauerkraut you eat by 1 tablespoon per meal. Keep paying attention to how you feel to keep die-off symptoms to a minimum. And keep increasing your dosage until you get to 1/2 cup sauerkraut per meal. Make sure you don't go too fast or you'll kill too many bad bugs and feel like absolute garbage.

Continue this slow-build process with other probiotic foods. Once you tolerate sauerkraut, try kimchi, coconut yogurt, kefir (if you tolerate dairy), coconut kefir, kvass, kombucha, fermented fruit, and so forth until you can eat as many fermented foods as you desire without any symptoms.

Make your own fermented foods. Once you tolerate store-bought fermented foods, ideally, you should make your own fermented foods. These are far higher in probiotics and have a bigger positive impact on your gut.

When I did the sauerkraut protocol, it took me about 6 weeks to get through step 3 and about 2 months to get through all the steps. But everyone is different.

14. Eat Anti-Bacterial Foods

Probiotics crowd out bad bacteria; anti-bacterials kill bad bacteria. To eradicate stubborn bad gut bacteria, try taking some anti-bacterial herbs.

Some experts recommend you start with less aggressive anti-bacterials like cinnamon, clove, or garlic. Test each of these a little at a time to see how they make you feel. If these don't help, try more intense anti-bacterials like oregano oil, olive leaf, berberine, or grapefruit seed extract in small doses. That stuff is powerful!

15. Eat Anti-Parasitic Foods

One great, and cheap, way to find out if you have parasites is with anti-parasitic foods, specifically, papaya seeds . You can even test yourself for parasites at home with the papaya seed test.

The papaya parasite test

Make a papaya smoothie. Toss 1/2 of a papaya in a blender (or less if you prefer). Toss in all the papaya seeds from that half of the papaya. Feel free to add a little juice or water if you like a thinner smoothie.

Drink the smoothie on an empty stomach. Don't eat anything else for 3 hours (water is fine). This should be enough time for the papaya seeds to get through your small intestine. Pay attention to how you feel. If you get any die-off symptoms, then you might have parasites, and the papaya seeds have just made them angry.

If you get any die-off symptoms, get a parasite test to find out for sure (the papaya parasite test isn't a sure thing). This is also necessary to see which parasites you have if you do have them.

16. Eat Anti-Fungal Foods To Kill Gut Candida and Yeast

Just as papaya seeds kill parasites, anti-fungal foods kill gut fungi like candida. A great, and cheap, way to find out if you have problems with gut fungi is with the coconut oil test.

The coconut oil test

Eat 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil on an empty stomach. Don't eat anything else for 1-2 hours (water is fine). Pay attention to how you feel.

If you feel die-off symptoms then keep eating this amount of coconut oil (or less) until it doesn't feel bad anymore. If you feel fine, go to the next step.

Increase the amount of coconut oil you eat by just a tiny bit per day. Keep paying attention to how you feel. Keep increasing your dosage until you get to 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil per day (you can include this oil in food if that's easier, but it might not be as effective).

17. Combine Anti-Microbial Supplements

Since we don't know which approaches and which herbs will work best on our unique gut bugs, it's helpful to combine different herbs to see which ones work best for us. Here's a few more anti-microbial herbs to explore. But follow the directions carefully; these are potent herbs.

  • Black walnut
  • Pau de acro

Although I'm not happy that I got sick, I am grateful that I now have the opportunity to become truly well. And on a personal note, this whole experience has made me realize that all we have are these moments. At any point, we can end up sick and lose them all. Now that I'm on the mend, I see the silver lining of all this—I'm a bit more grateful for small things (like breathing and digestion) and strive to live my life with more purpose.

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. , is a consultant, writer, and expert on well-being technology.

  • Find a Therapist
  • Find a Treatment Center
  • Find a Psychiatrist
  • Find a Support Group
  • Find Teletherapy
  • United States
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Asperger's
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Passive Aggression
  • Personality
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Psychology
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Low Sexual Desire
  • Relationships
  • Child Development
  • Therapy Center NEW
  • Diagnosis Dictionary
  • Types of Therapy

November 2023 magazine cover

The people around us have a stronger influence on our decisions and actions than we realize. Here’s what research reveals about our networks’ gravitational force.

  • Coronavirus Disease 2019
  • Affective Forecasting
  • Neuroscience

We've detected unusual activity from your computer network

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.

Why did this happen?

Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy .

For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.


How to Fix the Packet Burst Error in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Posted: November 16, 2023 | Last updated: November 16, 2023

Quick Links

What causes packet burst in mw3, how to fix packet burst issues, how to prevent packet-related errors.

Packet Burst is a network error in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that causes stutters and frame rate drops. Although not limited to this specific installment, Packet Burst issues have become more common in Modern Warfare 3 's Pre-season multiplayer.

In this guide, players find out what causes this issue and learn four surefire methods for fixing it quickly .

RELATED: Best PC Graphic Settings For Modern Warfare 3

A Packet Burst occurs due to network or server failures . If it is a network issue, the player’s unstable or poor internet connection is the root cause. Server issues, on the other hand, arise from Call of Duty ’s matchmaking errors or the distance between the player’s location and the game server. Regardless of the cause, Packet Burst results in stuttering and delays.

The three stacked squares on the corner of the screen indicate a Packet Burst error.

After ensuring that Packet Loss is 0% and Activision servers are not down, players should turn off the On-demand Texture Streaming to fix the Packet Burst error. Go to the in-game Settings > select Graphics > Quality > and disable it under the Details & Textures tab.

On-demand Texture Streaming has an insignificant effect on gameplay and graphics. The feature allows Modern Warfare 3 to download high-quality textures and details, limiting the player’s bandwidth, which is not worth it. Another downside of having it on is that it allocates 32GB of additional HDD space to these textures.

Here are three other solutions:

  • Use a wired connection . Switch from wireless to Ethernet to minimize latency.
  • Disable cross-play . Cross-platform servers are likelier to cause Packet Burst. Avoid them by turning off the cross-play option in the Account & Network settings (under the Online tab).
  • Try port forwarding . Assign a static IP to the PC or console and set port forwarding on this IP. Also, use a network with Open NAT/Type 1 for the best multiplayer experience.

Restarting the PC or console will sometimes resolve the Packet Burst error, but players can also turn the router off and restart it after a few minutes.

To avoid packet loss problems, keep the bandwidth broad, enable QoS (Quality of Service) on the router, and update network drivers. Also, before changing network settings or hardware, players should check out the status of Modern Warfare 3 servers . If they’re down or under maintenance, launch the game in a few hours.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023)

How to Fix the Packet Burst Error in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

More for You

Mike Lindell Ruling Vindication

Mike Lindell Cheers Judge's 'Historic' Ruling as Vindication

A new COVID variant, HV.1, is now dominant. These are its most common symptoms

A new COVID variant, HV.1, is now dominant. These are its most common symptoms

FILE - The logo of Honda Motor Co., is seen in Yokohama, near Tokyo on Dec. 15, 2021. Honda is recalling nearly 250,000 vehicles in the U.S. because bearings can fail, causing the engines to stall and increasing the risk of a crash. The recall covers certain 2018 and 2019 Honda Pilot SUVs and Odyssey minivans, and some 2017 and 2019 Ridgeline pickup trucks. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

Honda recalls nearly 250K vehicles because bearing can fail and cause engines to run poorly or stall

A Russian official said soldiers are dying in large numbers, but he'll get in trouble if he doesn't send more to fight, leaked video shows

A Russian official said soldiers are dying in large numbers, but he'll get in trouble if he doesn't send more to fight, leaked video shows

Social Security Cards On Top Of $100 Bill

Here Are All the States That Don’t Tax Social Security Benefits

NBA says Hornets' LaMelo Ball must cover 'LF' tattoo, cites policy

NBA says Hornets' LaMelo Ball must cover 'LF' tattoo, cites policy

Doug Burgum North Dakota Redistricting

Trump-Appointed Judge Deals Blow to Republicans

Thanksgiving travel weather will be messy for a large part of US

Thanksgiving travel weather will be messy for a large part of US

Zits by Jeremy Scott and Jim Borgman

Zits by Jeremy Scott and Jim Borgman

how to fix a digestion problem

Minnesota considers changing flag after historic 1893 design accused of racism against Native Americans

Mortgage rates have been falling for weeks as inflation fades—but the housing market may still struggle with affordability and high home prices

Mortgage rates have been falling for weeks as inflation fades—but the housing market may still struggle with affordability and high home prices

Israeli soldiers of an artillery unit preparing ammunition near the Gaza border, southern Israel

‘The bottom of the barrel is visible’: Inside the West’s scramble for more ammo

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen Creates More Legal Problems for Donald Trump

A sign for the Food And Drug Administration is seen outside the agency's headquarters on July 20, 2020 in White Oak, Maryland.

Balance of Nature ordered to stop sales of supplements after FDA lawsuits

Hi & Lois by Chance Browne and Eric Reaves

Hi & Lois by Chance Browne and Eric Reaves

A gray wolf is seen, July 16, 2004, at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn.

Dangerous predators on the loose: Why this state plans to release dozens of wolves

Michigan staffer eyed as center of 'elaborate' scouting scheme, sources say

Sources: New NCAA evidence changed Michigan's stance on investigation

A Freedom Caucus member’s rant highlights the far right’s cluelessness

A Freedom Caucus member’s rant highlights the far right’s cluelessness

Veterans memorial

Vietnam Veterans Explain Why People Don't Want to Join Military

Worried Senior Male Driver Looking Through Car Windscreen

When should older drivers have to stop driving?


  1. Home Remedies for Digestive Problems

    how to fix a digestion problem

  2. 8 Ways To Improve Your Digestion Naturally

    how to fix a digestion problem

  3. Troubleshooting & Fixing Digestion Issues

    how to fix a digestion problem

  4. Learn how to fix your digestion to lead to wellness with physical and

    how to fix a digestion problem

  5. Digestion problem solution (Gas, bloating , constipation)

    how to fix a digestion problem

  6. 8 easy ways to fix that crappy digestion

    how to fix a digestion problem


  1. How to Fix your Digestion Permamnently?

  2. આ ફળનો એક કટકો કબજિયાતને જડમૂળથી મટાડે છે || best laxative for constipation

  3. Dr. Pandit Srinivas

  4. कब्ज गैस एसिडिटी पेट के हर रोग को एक ही बार में जड़ से ख़त्म करें इन घरेलु नुस्खो से/kabj ka ilaj/kabz

  5. Get Rid of BLOATING and GAS Permanently ! 😊✅ #shorts

  6. Dr.N.Subramanyam


  1. The 11 Best Ways to Improve Your Digestion Naturally

    1. Eat whole foods Photography by Aya Brackett Whole foods are minimally processed, rich in nutrients, and linked to a wide range of health benefits. On the other hand, the highly-processed foods...

  2. How to Reset Your Gut in 3 Days

    A diet that's high in animal protein, sugar, and fat, and low in fiber — like the diets full of processed foods that are popular in the United States — have been shown to decrease the amount of...

  3. Simple Ways to Manage Digestive Problems

    Gas and Bloating Bloating and passing gas can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Here's what you need to know. What is gas? Gas is a normal part of healthy digestion. Air that is in your...

  4. How to Fix Your Digestion: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    1 Narrow down your problems. The best place to start is by analyzing your diet, what foods are you eating that could contribute to this discomfort? [1] There are many different foods that can contribute to these feelings of unease in the gut.

  5. How to improve digestion: Tips and tricks

    8 ways to improve digestion What causes poor digestion? Home remedies What to use to clean the stomach When to consult a doctor Summary Home remedies such as dietary and lifestyle changes may...

  6. How to (finally) fix your chronic stomach issues

    Hydration: Nothing works well when you're dehydrated. Water acts as a lubricant for all organ systems and helps your body maintain homeostasis . Sleep: Lack of sleep affects every part of your...

  7. How to Solve Your Digestive Problems

    Drink Enough Water Fiber absorbs water, making stool softer and easier to pass. If you're dehydrated, fiber will be less effective and may cause more digestive symptoms. (Without adequate fluid...

  8. The 19 Best Foods to Improve Digestion

    If you have digestive problems, eating certain foods can help relieve symptoms. This includes fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt and fiber-rich foods like dark green vegetables, seeds, and...

  9. Home Remedies for Indigestion: Natural Ways to Treat at Home

    1. Peppermint tea Peppermint is more than a breath freshener. It also has an antispasmodic effect on the body, making it a great choice for relieving stomach problems like nausea and indigestion.

  10. Belching, gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them

    To prevent excess gas, it may help to: Eliminate certain foods. Common gas-causing offenders include beans, peas, lentils, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, whole-grain foods, mushrooms, certain fruits, and beer and other carbonated drinks. Try removing one food at a time to see if your gas improves. Read labels.

  11. 5 Foods to Improve Your Digestion

    Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, are excellent sources of fiber, as well as nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. Research shows that leafy greens also contain a specific type of sugar that helps fuel growth of healthy gut bacteria.

  12. How To Improve Gut Health: 9 Science-Backed Tips to Heal Your Gut

    Here's how you can support belly balance: Sleep well. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every eve. Poor sleep has been linked to disruptions in the gut microbiome in several studies, says Dr ...

  13. 10 Tips to Get Rid of Gas, Pains, and Bloating

    1. Peppermint Research has shown that peppermint tea or peppermint supplements can help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including gas. Talk with your doctor before you start using...

  14. 9 Remedies for Fast Indigestion Relief

    Baking Soda Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a safe, effective way to neutralize the acid in your stomach and relieve acid indigestion, gas, bloating, and heartburn after a meal. To use baking soda at home as an antacid, dissolve one-half teaspoon of baking soda in 4 ounces of water. Drink the solution within one to two hours after a meal.

  15. Indigestion and Stomach Pain

    1. Reflux What it feels like: Heartburn, a burning, stinging sensation rising from your stomach and chest to your throat; a sour taste in your mouth or constant need to clear your throat; episodes of coughing. If these symptoms happen frequently, you may have gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

  16. 5 Steps to Help Prevent Digestive Problems as You Age

    Five steps to improve your digestion. Aging may spur digestive issues, but Dr. Rizk suggests five steps you can take to counteract those challenges. 1. Maintain a healthy diet. Add fiber to meals ...

  17. Common digestive disorders: Symptoms and treatments

    Achalasia is a rare condition that typically affects adults aged 25-60 years. It occurs when the esophagus loses the ability to move food toward the stomach, and the valve at the end may fail to ...

  18. Digestive Problems: Causes, Symptoms, & Home Remedies

    Common digestive problems include the following: 1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux. GERD is a very common problem causing heartburn (6) and indigestion. Excessive acid exposure in the lower esophagus is thought to be the cause of the symptoms. A loose gastroesophageal flap valve (valve at the end of the esophagus) is the ...

  19. Indigestion

    CT scan Upper endoscopy Show more related information Treatment Lifestyle changes may help ease indigestion. Your health care provider may recommend: Avoiding foods that trigger indigestion. Eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large meals. Reducing or eliminating the use of alcohol and caffeine.

  20. How to Fix Your Gut: 7 Steps to Intestinal Health

    There are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders, many of which can create additional digestive problems. Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians. And that's not even the worst news.

  21. Heal The Gut: 17 Gut-Healing Strategies to Start Today

    To help ease the burden on the gut, we can eat gut-soothing foods such as soft foods, cooked foods, and juiced fruits and vegetables. These foods are already broken down, which helps ease the ...

  22. Malabsorption (Syndrome): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

    If you have digestive difficulties, the problem could be in any of these three stages (or several). Malabsorption disorders cover the second stage. They include specific food intolerances caused by enzyme deficiencies, as well as various gastrointestinal diseases that affect your digestive system.

  23. Improve Gut Health: Recognize the Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

    7 signs of an unhealthy gut. Many parts of modern life can affect your gut microbiome, including: high stress levels. too little sleep. eating a Western diet high in processed and high sugar foods ...

  24. 10 side effects of prolonged sitting with ways to fix them

    Obesity. Muscle strain. Prolonged sitting can negatively impact our health in many ways. It's linked to a higher risk of weight issues, heart problems, and stiff muscles. Our bodies are designed ...

  25. How to Fix the "Connection Problem or Invalid MMI Code" Error on ...

    No matter the cause, the solutions below will help you fix the issue. 1. Edit the Code. MMI codes aren't easy to remember, so there's a chance you typed in the wrong code. Take a second and check ...

  26. How to fix a GPU with no display

    Allow the software to detect your GPU and download the latest drivers. Restart the computer to see if the GPU turns on. If it doesn't, then return it and get a replacement. Search Windows for ...

  27. Apple Delays Work on Next Year's iPhone, Mac Software to Fix Bugs

    The Mac software, macOS 15, is called "Glow.". Apple delayed the start of work on the second milestone release, known as M2. The halt also applied to the next Apple Watch operating system ...

  28. How to Fix the Packet Burst Error in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

    Here are three other solutions: Use a wired connection. Switch from wireless to Ethernet to minimize latency. Disable cross-play. Cross-platform servers are likelier to cause Packet Burst. Avoid ...