Digestive health can bea delicate topic (pooping,gassiness and bloating arehardly the topics of coffeebreak conversations), but it’sa pretty big deal. Any kindof change in normal bowelpatterns, especially passingblood, needs to be discussedwith your doctor.
Gut health can also affectweight and overall health,says Dr. Raylene Reimer,PhD, a professor of nutritionin the University of Calgary’sFaculty of Kinesiology anda scientist at the AlbertaChildren’s HospitalResearch Institute.
“The big key is fibre—fibre is what feeds the healthybacteria in your intestine.”
Waist circumference is a vitalsign for health, based onclinical practice guidelineson managing and preventingobesity, says Dr. David Lau,an obesity researcher andendocrinologist in AlbertaHealth Services’ Calgary Zoneand professor of medicine atthe University of Calgary. If awoman’s waistline is greaterthan 88 cm, and if a man’swaistline is greater than 102cm, health risks increase.
The BMI alone doesnot tell you where fat isdistributed in the body,Lau explains. “Work frommany laboratories, includingmine, has shown that ifyou have excess body fatlocated centrally around thewaistline, you are at greaterrisk for heart disease, diabetesand many forms of cancer.”
Your body will
often tell you when
something isn’t right
Any persistent changein appetite could be anindication of stress, a gutproblem, or possibly anunderlying illness, says Dr.
Norm Yee, a family physicianat the Riley Park PrimaryCare Centre in Calgary.
“Be vigilant: pay attentionto your appetite. Your bodywill often tell you whensomething isn’t right.”