Do you love your gut? Here’s how we stay healthy.

Last year, a member of our team had a blockage in the colon and has been suffering ongoing digestive complications ever since. Despite a diagnosis for diverticulitis, the medical professionals still can’t put at finger on exactly what’s wrong, which has meant months of cutting out different foods, keeping diaries, and filling endless hot water bottles.

This gut problem happened suddenly and without warning to a vegetarian who lives a healthy and active lifestyle. There is so much scientists still don’t know about this extremely complex organ, but to support #Loveyourgut week, we thought we’d share a few tips we’ve learned and what we try to do as an agency, and individuals, to support our gut health…

Eat healthily

We don’t just mean getting your five a day. People with sensitive guts might find certain foods send them into spasm or increase bloating. Keeping a food diary is a great way to track your symptoms. We’ve recently contributed to an Eat Smart guide for Sheffield City Council to help people eat healthily while working from home and we’re currently helping families to pack lots of fruit, fibre, and wholegrains into lunchboxes.

Stay active

Another thumbs up for getting off the couch! Regular exercise, like walking or cycling, can actually improve your gut health because carrying excess weight can put extra pressure on your stomach. We’re big fans of being active and we’ve organised a few step challenges to keep us motivated and moving at work. The last one raising over £2,000 for St. Ann’s Hospice. Just don’t do any exercise within two hours of eating, as this can slow digestion and lead to nausea or cramping.

Stress less and sleep more

It’s not just food and drink that has an impact on your gut health. It’s important to keep your stress levels to a minimum, too. Stressful situations speed everything up inside – including how quickly food passes through your gut - which can lead to digestive issues. A good night’s sleep also helps. Being a curious bunch, we once tried out different sleep aids to see if it helped with the shuteye, from cherry juice to pillow mists. Anything’s worth a try!

Use support groups and forums

Most abdominal symptoms are nothing to worry about, but if you’re diagnosed with one of the many different conditions relating to the digestive system, from Coeliac Disease to Crohn’s, there are plenty of resources to help. We work with Salts Healthcare, who make stoma bags and accessories for people living with colostomies, ileostomies and urostomies. As well as providing lots of useful advice on their website, we also encourage patients to share their stories on podcasts and social channels, which can be a great source of support.

Love Your Gut Week is an initiative of Yakult UK Limited, in association with charity and healthcare professional organisations including The IBS Network, Guts UK, Bowel and Cancer Research, St Mark’s Hospital Foundation, the Bowel Disease Research Foundation and the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology. You’ll find lots more tips for improving your gut health on their website. If your brand or business also needs a health kick, get in touch to see how we can help!

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About The Foundry

The Foundry is a strategic communications agency, based in Manchester, delivering fully-integrated marketing campaigns for B2B, B2C, public sector and healthcare clients.

Marketing services that support patient education include qualitative and quantitative research, social media campaigns, educational websites, CPD programmes, online learning tools, in-clinic training materials, posters and patient literature.

For more information, call 0161 926 8444.