AUTHOR: Dr. Jason Bush
Despite the fact that many people suffer from various gut health issues, speaking about gut health remains something of a taboo. Humor may help get people talking about bowel movements or digestive upset, but it can also freeze the conversation, leaving those with issues concerned that they may become the butt of a joke. See? Sometimes humor just doesn’t help.
We all know someone suffering from poor gut health and many of us would like to help but aren’t sure how. Here are three ideas for how to start a conversation with your loved ones to help get gut health issues out into the open, and show that you support them in helping to find a solution.
- Share a blog
When you don’t want to have the conversation in person, it may help to forward a relevant article by email or on social media. If you are familiar enough with the other person’s gut health issues, you will likely be able to find a relevant post on a topic that will personally resonate with them. Of course, it’s easy to ignore an email or post, but this strategy can help to get the conversation going.
- Share your experience
Gut health issues are common enough that you likely have your own experiences to relate. Sharing your own slightly embarrassing story may spur the other person to share their own uncomfortable experience. In cases where you are familiar with the other person’s issues, you can make the discussion go more smoothly by sharing only the relevant issues. The goal isn’t to commiserate but rather provide the path to a solution, so be prepared to describe how you resolved your issues – or how you are still working to solve them.
- Give them the gift of gut health
Some of us are lucky enough to have never experienced gut health issues, so sharing a personal story may not be an option. In this case, you could purchase a gift, ideally a high-quality prebiotic, to get the conversation going. Prebiotics feed healthy bacteria and can play a helpful role in resolving many gut health issues. Beginning a gut health conversation by providing a potential solution is great in a variety of situations – everything from meeting with a close friend to helping an elderly family member. Even if your gift ultimately does not help, taking a step towards better gut health may be the push needed towards resolving lifelong gut issues.
Persistent gut issues can be a source of both discomfort and shame, but talking about them should bring neither. Providing support to your friends and family affected by gut health issues can give them the confidence they need to seek solutions. Recognize that everyone’s gut is different and that quick fixes are rare, but a combination of dietary changes and supplementation can often make a world of improvement.