NPN | Your Pharmacy Can Help - Digestive Health

Our digestive systems are highly complex, and if they are causing problems, they can leave one feeling pretty miserable. For many, stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation can last for days, or even months and years before discovering the cause.

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS can be a lifelong condition, without a cure, that can be extremely impactful on day-to-life for sufferers. Thankfully, your local pharmacy can support you in your quest for better digestive health in a number of ways.

Often the symptoms of digestive health problems or IBS can be lessened or remedied with certain medications, or by making choices that lead you to living a healthier lifestyle. Many pharmacists are trained to help you lose weight, using services like the NHS Digital Weight management service, or will be able to prescribe you medications to lessen your symptoms, as well as advising ways to avoid issues in future.

If you're suffering from any of the following; pop in and visit your nearest pharmacist today:

  • Acute flare ups
    This could be a flare up of an existing condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, or gastritis. There are a number of medicines which can help to improve the symptoms of conditions such as heartburn, nausea or diarrhea. Digestive disruption is also a common side effect of many medications, and so speaking with a pharmacist can help you to understand how to manage these effectively.

  • Travel sickness
    When it comes to travel, experiencing an upset stomach is a common occurrence. The last thing anyone wants when traveling is the panic of having to find the nearest toilet! Pharmacists can help to advise on preventing illness from occurring, how to manage symptoms, and specific destination advice.

  • Stress
    Our digestive systems are intrinsically linked to our moods. In fact, it is thought that up to 90% of serotonin (a chemical commonly associated with how we feel) is found within our gut. By improving different areas of our lives, we can help to reduce stress and curate a healthier relationship with our digestive systems. This may be through tips on increasing exercise, stopping smoking and stress management. Another way that pharmacists can support patients is by helping people to make better food choices. The phrase “you are what you eat” often rings true, and pharmacists are well placed to help provide guidance on a better diet and weight management.

Don't forget that all pharmacists receive at least five years worth of training in the use of different medications, how they interact with one another, and how to manage many common ailments.

So, next time you are planning (or back from) the trip of a lifetime, or are experiencing discomfort with your digestion, stop by your community pharmacy. And don’t feel embarrassed about discussing your digestive habits with pharmacists either; they’ve heard it all before!

Be well!