The Top 3 Most Common Digestive Issues and their easy, at-home Natural Remedies

The Top 3 Most Common Digestive Issues and their easy, at-home Natural Remedies

The Top 3 Most Common Digestive Issues and their easy, at-home Natural Remedies

This article explores three of the most common digestive issues:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Acid reflux

I’m diving into these three common complaints first because I’m on a mission to arm other people struggling with digestive issues with knowledge that took me years of practice, study, and research to figure out.

Because while bloating, gas, and acid reflux are treated as normal, or at least common things, I believe there’s good reason they shouldn’t be.

Your gut health is the foundation of your health overall.

You can read more about that here if that’s a new concept for you. 


While experiencing these symptoms here and there is a little reminder of when something goes off track with your gut health, when these issues are chronic or frequent, they are actually canaries in the coal mine - warning signs that something is up with your gut. 

And if something is chronically amiss in your digestion, then it is bound to negatively affect other areas or systems in your body eventually, from your skin to your mental health, mood and energy. 

Many people turn to medications for fast-acting relief. These often fail to resolve the root cause of the problem, so it never really goes away.

Natural remedies, on the other hand, provide a gentler and more holistic approach to managing or resolving digestive problems.

So here’s my quick guide to these three symptoms, what causes them, and what are some natural remedies I’d recommend to manage them, or perhaps even restore your gut back to good health.  

(If you're interested in getting more insight on another digestive issue, reach out to me and I'd be happy to write a blog post to give you my take on it.) 

Let’s dive in!

The Top 3 Most Common Digestive Issues


1. Bloating

What is bloating? 

If you know you know. 

Bloating is that uncomfortable feeling of fullness, stagnation or swelling in the abdominal area. You’ll also often find you have gas afterwards.

What really causes bloating? 

To understand bloating you need to understand where all this gas and swelling is coming from. 

Most “experts” or Google searches will tell you bloating is caused by overeating, food intolerances, or even swallowing air. 

I’m here to tell you that’s a Kindergarten answer that isn’t close to giving you the full scoop. 

So here’s the full scoop for ya! 

In your gastro-intestinal tract there are trillions of bacteria known as your gut microbiome.Some of these types of microbes are beneficial and in fact, necessary for good digestion and healthy immunity. 

I explored the gut-microbiome more in depth in this article you can read here

When it comes to eating and digestion… keep in mind it’s a process:

  • Digestion starts in your mouth with your teeth breaking up your food into smaller and smaller bits. Meanwhile your salivary glands mix saliva - the first of your digestive fluids - in with your food. 

  • Next up is your stomach which uses stomach acid and contractions that create a churning motion to break down the food further into a paste known as chyme that is more readily absorbable by your intestines than, say, a full chunk of apple. 

  • Once the chyme moves into the intestines, two further substances - bile and pancreatic juices, which help neutralize the stomach acid and inject important enzymes to further break down fats, proteins and starches (those good ‘ol macro nutrients). At this point the chyme becomes a more liquidy substance known as chyle (pronounced like your neighbor Kyle). 


The small intestine is also filled with your gut bacteria that do their job to further break down larger, more complex molecules present in the chyle into metabolites that your gut lining can readily absorb into your bloodstream.

This is why these microbes are so important! 


The diversity of the gut microbiota helps you digest a diversity of foods. And vice versa, the more diversity of foods you eat, the more diversity of gut microbes you feed, and so the more foods you are likely to be able to digest! 


Okay… so… what causes bloating? 

The real culprit of bloating is usually one of two things:

  1. One of the previous stages of digestion didn’t fully complete its job (chewing, stomach acid, secretion of other digestive fluids), so you’re left over with larger portions of undigested material that hasn’t been broken down enough now floating around your intestines like it’s the Lazy River at the waterpark. 
  2. You don’t have enough of the right gut microbes needed to further break down whatever you just ate.


When either of these situations happen, the “bad” gut bacteria gets to this unprocessed food before your “good” gut bacteria can.


This means the food essentially begins to rot or ferment inside of your gut, producing more of the gas that starts to balloon in the tubes of your small intestine. 

While some science suggests that certain gastric gasses may actually play a functional role in intestinal physiology, there are many gasses that can also play a role in the development of disease, pain and discomfort.

What’s a quick test to know when the gasses are helpful or not?

You can rest assure it’s not the “healthy” kind of gasses if you’ve ever smelled a fart and asked yourself, “What in the world smells like it just died in here?”

Going back to the notion of rot and ferment taking place inside you thanks to the not-so-beneficial gut bacteria, the answer is… your food, your food is what just died in here. 

Natural Remedies for bloating:

To give the best recommendation for bloating, you need to get clear on what type of bloating it is. You can generally get a good idea of this by considering other symptoms or sensations. 

  • For bloating with heaviness, burps, gas or constipation (and no burning or acidic sensations): 

Squeeze the juice of half a lime into a glass and take it as a shot after your meal. 

Have you ever squeezed a lime and a little squirt gets in your eye? Immediately your eye starts watering and burning, right? Well… that same action can be beneficial for kicking your stomach into high gear and helping break down your food more.

  • For bloating with burning or acidity: 

Steep a small portion of peppermint tea and drink it after or with your meals. 

Peppermint is known to relax the digestive tract, cool the acidity, and the warmth of the tea will bring more blood flow to your gut to improve digestion. 

  • For bloating and you experience low appetite: 

Try eating a sliver of ginger (imagine the thickness of one or two coins). 

Fresh ginger or also ginger tea can help stimulate digestion if taken before or with your meal, which will improve your digestive process and alleviate bloating. 

  • For bloating in general, avoid potentially trigger foods: 

The foods that most often trigger bloating are cold foods and beverages, such as smoothies or iced drinks, especially when taken with meals, legumes, and raw vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. 

You may also be more triggered by fatty, oily or fried foods, or rich and creamy foods. 

Learn to identify what types of meals do and don’t work for your bloating by mixing up the types of food you eat. 


Be your own best scientist! Or consider working with a specialist like me to help you skip a lot of the guesswork. 


2. Gas

Gas is another big one. 

We all have childhood memories of fart jokes and the quintessential “whoever smelt it dealt it.” 

And very likely if you struggle as an adult being the person who hath “dealt it,” then you likely feel embarrassed more likely than you need to. 

Gas is another sign, like bloating, that something is off with your digestive process, your gut microbiome, or there’s a mismatch between what/how you’re eating and what your body digests well. 

But wait… How is gas different from bloating?

When you’re experiencing bloating, it is often related to gas or swelling building up in the small intestines, which has to eventually make its way out somehow. 

When you experience a lot of gas but maybe not as much bloating, it is more commonly a byproduct of the process happening in your large intestine, also known as your colon. 

So What Causes Gas? 

Gas is most commonly the byproduct of gut bacteria in the colon feasting on unprocessed carbohydrates. 

These carbohydrates can range from starches to the complex carbs present in beans, to the forms of sugar naturally present in fruits or milk in addition to the added sugars in processed snacks, treats and drinks. 

The curious thing is that starches and sugars should have begun their breakdown process via an enzyme known as amylase present in saliva in the mouth and continued to break down thanks to pancreatic fluids released into the intestines. 

Physiologically speaking, most of the carbohydrate processing should have already taken place upstream. 


So why is the bacteria in the colon now getting to feast on all these extra carbs that made it this far?

Well… the cause likely depends on other systemic factors.


Choosing the best natural remedy will depend on the likely cause. Let's explore that here: 

Natural Remedies for Gas:

  • If you experience dryness overall (dry skin, hair, eyes, cracking and popping joints, etc.): 

Consume ¼ tsp each of fennel and cumin seeds when you’ve just finished your meal. 

If chewing a few pinches of seeds isn’t your thing, you could also end your meal with a cumin and/or fennel tea. Steep the same amount of herbs in a mug with hot water while you eat, and when you finish your meal, sip the cumin/fennel tea. 

Fennel and cumin herbs are known to help expel gas, improve digestion, and reduce gastro-intestinal discomfort.

  • If you experience gas and constipation: 

Add ¼-½ tsp more healthy oil (like coconut, olive, avocado, ghee, or another high quality oil) to your meals. 

Sometimes the fiber-to-lubrication ratio is off in your meals. Like a salad without enough oil or dressing, or too many croutons or crispy tortilla strips. 

Fibrous foods are also notoriously harder to break down in your gut! I mean be real… don’t tell me you haven’t seen a corn kernel or certain seeds come out the other end looking pretty darn similar to how it went in.

When these foods haven’t broken down fully or your colon is lacking the lubrication it needs to keep your bowel movements regular, then your meal spends extra time in your colon, giving the bacteria more time to get to it which produces more gas.

So the main tip here: Make sure the oil balance is right with these meals by adding an extra drizzle to your meals, especially if they’re crunchy, dry or high-fiber. By doing this, you’ll generally greatly reduce the amount of time that material spends in your colon and you’ll work on the constipation and the gas at the same time. 

  • If you’re a fast or distracted eater: 

Turn off your phone and screens, and minimize other distractions while you eat. 

Chew each bite of food at least 40 times! This is a challenge that will make you more aware of how much time you’re actually allowing for your saliva to mix with your food. 

Likewise, swish sips of sweet drinks around in your mouth for about 15 seconds before gulping it down. 

Sometimes people end up with extra gas because their chunks of food are too big for their gut to handle or they haven’t mixed enough saliva in to break down more of the carbohydrates present in the food. So the bacteria in their colon gets to it just before the exit door, leaving you looking for the exit door to go relieve yourself of gas. 

3. Acid Reflux

What is Acid Reflux? 

Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, which causes a burning sensation in the gut or chest, also known as heartburn.

It’s another one of those things… if you know, you know. It’s painful and can get in the way of enjoying your morning routine, your afternoon activities or it can even interrupt trying to get to sleep. 

What Causes Acid Reflux? 

When it comes to acid reflux there’s two main things to know: 

The number one thing to know with acid reflux is that your body might not digest certain foods well. Then you work to figure out what foods those are.

What I see most often with people experiencing acid reflux is that their body doesn’t process one of four things well: 

  1. Coffee
  2. Sour/fermented foods (and drinks)
  3. Fatty/oily/fried/creamy/rich foods
  4. Spicy foods, ingredients, sauces and salsas

I get it, you might love to cover your meals with Sriracha or hot sauce because you grew up with it. Maybe you got hooked on it in college (because the food was otherwise, well… bland). 

Maybe you love a good late night pizza and fries moment.

I mean… who doesn’t? 

Or maybe you’ve been consuming (or even making) tons of fermented goodies like sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha since you learned it was supposed to be good for gut health. 

And coffee is another thing that gets a lot of people into gut trouble. 

I agree with you 100%, it smells delicious. I also get that most regular coffee drinkers enjoy “the ritual” of preparing their morning brew. And I have traveled with enough of my beloved coffee-loving friends to know some people genuinely feel they cannot actually function in the world as a human until they’ve had their first cup of it. 

But especially if you have difficulties with any of the other previously mentioned categories of food, or if you’re dealing with acid reflux, then I’d recommend laying off the coffee long enough to see if it’s a contributing factor or not. 


Because the thing is… and I hope this doesn’t come as a shock to you, if something is causing issues for your gut, it’s not good for gut health, so it’s not good for your overall health. 


It doesn’t really matter how many anti-oxidants something has if it messes with the sole process responsible for extracting the entirety of the nutrition your body needs to function and survive.

Again, this is not a definitive list of foods your body might not digest well, but I have seen that these types of foods can often trigger acid indigestion.

The second thing to not overlook is your body’s internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm.  

Two daily things play the biggest role in regulating and maintaining your body’s internal clock, which is responsible for coordinating organ function: 

  • Meal times and
  • Sleep-Wake times 

Pop-Quiz time: 

Have you ever had a late night out, and all of a sudden it feels like your entire week is erratic, or like your mood and energy is just… off? 

That’s your circadian rhythm being off. 

Are you a chronic snacker? 

If you guessed that also throws your circadian rhythm off, you would be correct! 

Do you have little structure to your days, eat meals at random or irregular intervals, or sometimes even skip a meal? 

Then yes, your circadian rhythm takes the hit at those times too. 

Your circadian rhythm plays a key role in governing all bodily processes. 

So the more irregular your meals are, or if you eat a meal late at night, it’s like catching your stomach (and all other subsequent major organs) on its off-hours. 

It might already be clocked out for the night, and you call it into work when it was looking forward to some time off. 


This results in your stomach struggling to process the meal to the best of its ability, which means food will spend more time in your stomach. 

The more time food spends in your stomach, the more likely you are to experience your stomach acids moving upwards towards your esophagus and then GULP, now you have heartburn again. 


Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux:

  • Eat at regular meal times: 

Be nicer to your stomach. Give it some time off the clock for goodness sake. We all deserve more time off & vacation days. 

By eating at regular times, you create circumstances for your stomach to know when it needs to clock in so it can show up and do its best work, digesting your meals quicker, closing the gap where acid reflux can come in. 

  • And if that doesn’t work for you, eat lighter meals, earlier: 

Work and life circumstances can make it so that the idea of a calm, structured day sounds impossible for you right now. It’s not the end of the world. For many people too, depending on how you grew up, structuring scheduled meal times can be challenging.  

So if/when eating at routine times is a challenge, eat lighter meals. 

And if you can opt for a light something you have at home to tide you over (even like a warm cup of milk, a fruit or a few nuts), versus some fatty, greasy, heavy, late night guilty pleasure food delivery, then your acid reflux, and your digestion, will be grateful for it. 

  • Find out what isn’t working for you, and do less of it: 

Oh you thought this was just digestive advice? 

Think again. 

I believe if you apply this rule to your life… oh the places you’ll go! 

Revisit the list of foods I previously mentioned that are the usual culprits of acid reflux, and if any of the categories sounds like you, go easy on it for a week or cut it out entirely. 

If you find that cutting it out helps your acid reflux, well… there’s your sign from the Universe. 

  • Try Aloe Vera Juice: 

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and cooling properties. It can help reduce inflammation and ease acid reflux symptoms. 

You can find aloe vera juice at many stores, or you can make your own by blending 1 inch of fresh aloe gel into 1 cup of water to drink. 

You can then change the proportions as you see fit. 



If you walk forward with nothing else from this article, I hope you take with you a greater sense of curiosity about how your own body works, and how nature’s abundant offerings can support you to stay healthy, longer. 

I hope these simple, at-home, natural methods can give you some practical, if not long-term relief to your digestive issues, and have also served to make you want to go deeper into understanding what is really causing your issues. 

Because when you accept quick-fixes like pills or even supplements for your symptoms, it works… kinda… for a while. 

But when you rely on quick-fixes, then you’re choosing to overlook the fact that your symptoms are often signs of your body’s unmet needs. 

And when you recognize your symptoms are signs trying to redirect you, your diet and lifestyle down a different path, you can then start to realign your diet or lifestyle with what your body really needs. 

Sometimes those needs involve your lifestyle as much as in your diet, and as much WHAT you eat as HOW or even WHEN you eat it.

I believe natural remedies, just like prescriptions, shouldn’t be dosed out willy-nilly (scientific term there). In order to actually work to solve the problem at hand, we must look at the other symptoms going on in your gut and throughout other bodily systems to understand systemically what is going on. 

No symptom in your body exists as an island by itself. 

Every part of you is connected - your body-mind and consciousness. 

So while digestive issues are unfortunately becoming increasingly common, I sincerely hope they can serve as a catalyst for more people to see that something isn’t quite in alignment between their lives and their health, and to recognize that taking different actions is the only way to get different results. 

And if we want the results of long-lasting, sustainable symptomatic relief, and beyond that - vibrant health - I truly believe that we must start to see natural methods of healing as the foundations upon which we build everything else in our lives. 

If you’d like to work 1:1 with me to fire out a diet and lifestyle that can help you manage or even reverse your gut health issues, book a free 15 minute Discovery Call with me using the scheduler below. 

And as a final disclaimer, the information in this article comes about from my studies with Ayurveda, and my research on the digestive system and gut health. I am not a licensed medical professional in the United States, so this article does NOT serve as medical advice from a qualified medical professional. I, in no way, aim to diagnose, treat or prescribe a treatment or treatment plan for any health concerns you may have. If you have any pressing health concerns, please get in touch with a qualified medical professional for support. I used this article, and my writing in general, as an educational article interwoven with my personal opinion and things I have learned from my personal experiences with healing my own digestive issues. 

As an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, I am happy to help you develop a precision, personalized diet and lifestyle plan you can actually stick to that can support you along your health journey.

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