Soothe your stomach

The digestive system is a workhorse of the human body. When it breaks down, so do you. Here’s how to calm the most common belly beasts

A SOUR STOMACH

Where it hurts: Stomach, below the rib cage.

How it feels: Rhythmic, burning pain when you’re hungry. DIY diagnosis: An ulcer. Painkillers and the bacteria He/icobacter pylon could be culprits. Your strategy: Chuck the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Aspirin and ibuprofen impair your stomach’s defences, letting acid burn through the lining. Treating pain? Take them with food.

A STITCH IN YOUR SIDE

Where it hurts: Gall bladder, in the upper rightabdomen, nearthe bottom of your ribs.
How it feels: Steady, sharp pain that rapidly intensifies for 30 minutes or more.

DIY diagnosis: Gallstones-cholesterol that has hardened to form small pellets.
Your strategy: Sound them out- ask your doctor for an ultrasound of your gall bladder. Most stones can be removed laparoscopically. The only way to avoid surgery is to prevent them in the first place. Your best defence is your diet. Men who eat the most saturated fat (who usually have large waistlines) are at the greatest risk.

CLOGGED PLUMBING

Where it hurts: The lower section of your intestines, just below your navel. How it feels: Uncomfortably tull, yet your bowels won’t budge. DIY diagnosis: Constipation. Your strategies: Swig soda.

Drinking carbonated water relieves constipation, according to Italian researchers. And hit the road. Research from the University of Washington shows that regular exercise helps your body move stool through the intestines.

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