You’re laying in bed, bloated, belching, praying the gas away while a heating pad rests on your lower abdomen. As you’re weathering yet another night of gastrointestinal distress, the love of your life crawls into bed and says, “Hey babe, down to fuck?”
As you can imagine, chronic nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping is a major turn off. Good gut health is central to wellness — which includes your sexual wellness, too.
Gut health is influenced by a variety of factors: your age, diet, medications, and other health conditions.
Furthermore, your gut health is deeply intertwined with your mental health through the gut-brain axis. The 100 trillion microbiota that live in your gastrointestinal tract create an environment known as the gut microbiome.
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Attention-deficit disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
In addition to the distressing symptoms of GI disorders, these conditions can affect your sex life. It’s hard to be “in the mood” if your mind is ruminating or you’re feeling depressed.
Common symptoms of gut microbiome imbalance include:
- Chest pain
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent upset stomach
- Persistent bad breath
- Redness and rashes
- Vaginal or rectal itching
The Path to Good Gut Health
Navigating the path to good gut health has its ups and downs.
More often than not, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands — unless, of course, you’re fortunate enough to work with a GI doctor or nutritionist who’s brave enough to recommend something other than the FODMAP diet for the 100th time.
Listen to Your Gut
When you’re hunched over and reeling with reflux, your tummy’s trying to tell you something. Listen to your gut feeling.
Google will quickly become your best friend as you sleuth your way to good gut health. If you’re noticing symptoms that seem to flare up after “just about anything,” your GI troubles may be the result of something more elusive, like fructose malabsorption or lectin intolerance.
However, avoiding fructose or lectins can be an arduous task. Both of them are abundant throughout foods you would’ve never imagined could be harming you.
For example, high fructose corn syrup isn’t exclusive to candy and soda. It’s also found in soups and condiments.
Some fruits are also higher in fructose than others, making it hard to decipher what could be a potential trigger by just looking at it. Fructose also peaks its head in certain vegetables, like broccoli.
Lectins, on the other hand, are found in the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables. They’re abundant in grains, dairy products, beans, and legumes, too.
Keep a Food Diary
Every body is different. Even if you’re able to pigeonhole your symptoms to a specific allergy, your tolerance levels may be significantly lower or higher than someone else who’s also — for example — lactose intolerance.
Keeping track of what you eat throughout the day and how it affects your body can be an instrumental guide as you traverse the path to good gut health.
From there, you can begin compiling personalized lists of what foods are a total no-go for you.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms that encourage the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and fight off disease-causing bacteria.
Meanwhile, prebiotics stimulate the growth of gut bacteria in the microbiome of your colon. Probiotics and prebiotics work together to improve your immune system and digestive function.
You can find probiotics and prebiotics in supplements or raw fruits and vegetables. Fermented pickles and dairy products also contain probiotics.
… On second thought, pickles and milk together don’t sound like the most appetizing or sexy combination. It’s probably best to enjoy those separately.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Stress is deeply intertwined with your gut health. You’ve probably experienced this firsthand before — getting the shits before a big presentation at work, or puking the first time someone tells you they love you. Yeah, all of that is thanks to good ol’ nerves.
As mentioned before, the gut microbiome also affects your mental health. One of the main symptoms of gut microbiome imbalance is anxiety, after all.
This imbalance can affect how you handle stressful situations. Additionally, stress alters the composition of your gut microbiome, further fueling the vicious cycle.
Some stressors are unavoidable, especially if you work in a high-stress environment. Nevertheless, you can still lower your stress levels through relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, yoga, meditating, or masturbating.
Head on over to Chic Sex Shop to expand your pleasure chest! We have a wide array of exotic sexual wellness products that will help you unwind or hold your lover off while you rest with a heating pad.