Blog | gutCARE - Part 3

Potential Health Benefits Of Drinking Coffee For Your Liver

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June 13, 2019 Blog

Fatty Liver Doctor Singapore, Gastroenterology Specialist Singapore

Our liver is vital to life and is the largest internal organ in the body. It performs many different functions for the body, including processing digested food and nutrients from the intestine, eliminating toxins from the bloodstream, and manufacturing proteins and enzymes responsible for the body’s chemical reactions. The complexity of the liver makes it susceptible to different diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis and fatty liver disease.

Liver disease is an important health issue; liver cancer is one of the most common cancer around the world. It is also a major cause of cancer-related deaths globally.

Benefits of consuming coffee

Studies have proven that having a cup of morning coffee might lower the risks of liver disease. Through epidemiological evidence, studies in patients who suffer from a variety of liver diseases have found that moderate coffee consumption brought a positive effect on limiting the progression rate of the disease.

In essence:

  • Moderate amounts of coffee consumption may help to lessen the risk of liver cancer, and the risk of developing liver cancer reduces as coffee consumption increases.
  • Patients with Hepatitis C who consumes more coffee, have a lower rate of disease progression as compared to those who drink lesser.
  • Drinking coffee moderately may also be related to a slower progression rate of chronic liver disease. Those who drink higher amounts of coffee were found to show a milder course of fibrosis, particularly in patients with alcohol-related liver disease.
  • Consumption of caffeine has been related to slower development of cirrhosis in patients who are scheduled to undergo liver biopsy.
  • The association between moderate consumption of coffee and a slower rate of fibrosis were also seen in patients with cirrhosis, fibrosis, Hepatitis C and non-alcohol related liver disease.

Aside from caffeine, several coffee components are also investigated for their benefits with the liver. Naturally-occurring compounds found in coffee, such as cafestol and kahweol, have revealed anti-carcinogenic properties, while caffeic acids and chlorogenic display anti-viral characteristics.

However you drink coffee, be it espresso, filtered or instant, you should keep in mind to avoid adding too much milk or sugar to prevent any other health complications. It is important to also remember that despite the fact that drinking coffee may provide benefits and reduce the risk of developing liver disease, as well as lower the progression risk for those who already suffer from some degree of liver damage.

The key messages for good liver health continue to be the same, such as reducing the amount of alcohol consumption, keeping to healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, doing regular exercises, and drinking plenty of water.

Cases of fatty liver is also on a rise among the younger population, where there is an abnormal accumulation of fats in the liver cells. It is prevalent in those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You can talk to a gastroenterology specialist in Singapore to address any health concerns regarding your liver.


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June 7, 2019 Blog

Constipation Symptoms, Diarrhoea Symptoms

Your digestive system includes the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas and colon, which means the symptoms of gastrointestinal can be all over the map. This means some medical concerns may need more specific attention and care than your primary care doctor typically provides. Gastroenterologists have additional specialised medication training and signification experience dealing with digestive and liver disorders. Seeing a specialist in gastroenterology can leave you more assured under experienced hands during procedures and a more accurate detection of concerns like polyps and cancer.

So, when do you need to see a gastroenterologist? Here are a few signs that it is time to book an appointment.

If you are experiencing any of the following common symptoms:

Conditions under the care of a gastroenterologist include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (including Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
  • Polyps
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ulcers

A gastroenterologist is specially trained to treat and manage disorders and diseases of the digestive tract, starting from the esophagus to the anus. Getting your symptoms looked into and treated by a specialist is the best choice to receive the most up-to-date care for digestive conditions.

Diagnosis and Screening by a Gastroenterologist 

If you are at the age 50 or above, it is recommended to see a gastroenterologist for cancer screening. You’ll also be able to determine the best schedule of screening for you depending on your potential risk factors such as family history. Even though you do not have any symptoms or suspected diseases, undergoing such tests allow cancers to be detected earlier and have a higher chance of being treated more successfully. The certainty of a cure is higher when cancers are detected at an early stage and even reduce the risk of cancer development itself.

A specialist in gastroenterology will be able to perform medical procedures like colonoscopy to investigate symptoms and detection of cancers as well as carry out a biopsy.


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May 31, 2019 Blog

Gastroenterology Specialist Singapore

Do you know that your stomach is capable of eating itself due to the strong acid produce in your stomach? There is a thick protective mucus barrier which prevents that from happening, and without it, ulcers can form which leads to poor digestion and abdominal pain symptoms.

This jellylike substance also keeps the lining of your colon moist and lubricated. As such, experiencing a small amount of mucus in your stool is usually nothing worrying and it can appear clear, white or yellow. But when will the presence of mucus in your stool be a cause for concern?

Excess mucus in stool

The presence of large amounts of visible mucus in your stool might be a sign of a problem. Sometimes it can be accompanied by other symptoms, which could be indicative of an underlying problem that may be serious. Symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, cramping, changes in bowel movements or blood in stool can be present. You should talk to a gastroenterology specialist if you noticed an increase in the amount of mucus in stool.

Causes

Excess mucus in the stool may point towards a gastrointestinal (GI) problem. Changes in mucus level may lie in the mucosal layer in your intestines being broken down as a result of an inflammatory process. As such, mucus may be excreted with your stool. This will give pathogens inside your colon easier access to your body and increases your chance of potentially falling ill.

There are also other conditions that can be the cause of an increase in mucus levels, namely:

  • Cystic fibrosis

A genetic disorder that causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus, causing mucus buildup in liver, lung, and intestines which leads to breathing and digestive problems.

  • Crohn’s disease

An inflammatory bowel disease affecting the GI tract with symptoms like diarrhoea or fatigue.

  • Ulcerative colitis

Similar to Crohn’s disease, this inflammatory bowel disease affects the large intestine or colon with symptoms such as blood-stained mucus or stools containing mucus during bowel movements.

  • Intestinal infection

Infection from bacteria or food-borne GI illnesses can also lead to mucus in the stool, such as salmonella, which develops from consuming contaminated water or food.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

It is a common disorder that affects the normal function of the large intestine, and can increase the amount of mucus that appears in stool.

  • Malabsorption issues

There is a number of different disorders that can result in malabsorption issues, which is when the intestines are unable to absorb or digest certain essential nutrients. Some conditions related to malabsorption are chronic pancreatitis, certain cardiovascular problems and celiac disease.

  • Colon cancer

Also known as bowel cancer or rectal cancer, it begins at the rectum with symptoms including constipation, persistent diarrhoea or abdominal pain.

How to treat it

To treat the excess mucus, the doctor will need to diagnose and treat the underlying problems. Tests can be carried out including stool culture, colonoscopy, endoscopy and pelvic MRI scan to reach a diagnosis. Depending on the cause, lifestyle changes, prescription medications, surgical procedures or a combination of them will be necessary to help relieve or resolve the issue.

If you have recently been sick or taken antibiotics, you might also notice a change in your stool mucus levels. Seek medical attention from a gastroenterologist specialist if it persists after a few weeks and there are other symptoms of a GI problem.


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May 24, 2019 Blog

IBS Symptoms, Colonoscopy Treatment Singapore

What you put in your mouth plays a part in the internal environment of your gut, thus the foods you choose to eat are a crucial component in maintaining your gut health. Sugar-rich and heavily processed foods can leave your gut inflamed and prone to diseases, while whole foods can support your digestive health.

Superfoods offer essential nutrients and vitamins that can promote good health, and go a long way toward repairing any damage and healing your gut. They are also synergistic and work together to benefit your whole body.

Try incorporating the following superfoods into your meals and diet:

1. Eggs

Unlike previously reported, having moderate consumption of eggs will not give your high cholesterol. They are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, choline, iron and phosphorus. They also contain two potent antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin known to support eye health and protect vision.

There are many ways to prepare and consume eggs, such as omelettes, poached and baked goods. You can also hard-boil a batch of eggs for a quick on-the-go snack.

2. Berries

High in fiber, berries are also rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They also have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce sustained inflammation in the body caused by inadequate physical activity, unhealthy food choices and stress. Berries can be included in different types of diets and they are also low in calories.

Examples are strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and blueberries. You can add them to cereals, smoothies, yoghurts or eat them plain for a snack.

3. Garlic

A popular culinary ingredient, garlic has also been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits. It is a good source of vitamin B5, manganese, fiber, vitamin C and selenium. Garlic also increases your body’s immune function by promoting the growth of white cells, which helps combat sickness and lowers harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high blood pressure. In general, with its antioxidant, antibacterial and antivirus properties, garlic is good for keeping your body healthy.

4. Dark Leafy Greens

Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, kale and collard greens are an excellent source of nutrients including iron, fiber, zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. They also contain high levels of carotenoids, an anti-inflammatory compound that may protect against certain types of cancer. They have the potential to lower the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

You can throw them in salads, or stir fry them with a little olive oil and herbs and seasonings for flavour. They can also be added to stews and soups.

5. Kefir

Fermented foods such as kefir are rich in probiotics and enzymes to promote a healthy bacterial balance for proper gut health. Probiotics are known to relieve symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and restore bacterial balance in the gut. Kefir also have several associated health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects, lowered blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and improved digestion, as they contain B vitamins, protein, potassium and more.

6. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are packed in various plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect against oxidative stress. They are also rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats that may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Some common nuts and seeds include chia seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts and pistachios. You can add a handful to your yoghurt, cereal or oatmeal, or have it on its own as a snack. They make a great accompaniment to cooked vegetables and salads as well.

The list of superfoods is exhaustive thus good health is best supported by consuming a variety of nutritious foods daily. Try incorporating some of the foods mentioned as part of a balanced diet that is key towards overall health and disease prevention.

Certain foods such as carbonated drinks, dairy products, dried fruits and high-fiber foods can also trigger symptoms like rectal pain, abdominal pain and weight loss if you are suffering from digestive illnesses like ulcerative colitis. This disease causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract and will require colonoscopy treatment to reduce its signs and symptoms.

If you have dietary concerns or wish to learn more about the suitability of certain foods for your health condition, you can consult with a dietitian or gastroenterology doctor in Singapore.


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May 14, 2019 Blog

Constipation Treatment Singapore, Stomach Pain Symptoms

The gut microbiome is an expansive community of trillions of bacteria that lives in our gastrointestinal tract. Our microbial ecosystems have a major influence on parts of our body such as immune system, body weight, metabolism, mood and appetite. Throwing them off balance can cause us to fall sick, and some illnesses can also disrupt our microbial ecosystems.

Our microbiome can also change throughout our lives as our environment, long-term diet and lifestyle factors continuously play a role as we age. We also have varying gut microbiome which explains why people might have different responses towards the same foods. As researchers learn more about microbes and how it keeps us healthy, there is also an understanding that richer and more diverse gut microbes can help lower the risk of allergies and diseases.

So what can you do to maintain healthy gut flora and increase the number of good bacteria in your body? Start with these diet tips to give your microbiome a healthy boost.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods have been receiving a lot of attention for its various health-promoting attributes, and are known to be beneficial on the gut flora through a probiotic effect. These foods are fermented using natural processes which boost the nutritional values and probiotics, which are live microorganisms essential in healthy digestion. Try kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, unsweetened yoghurt, and soybean-based products like tempeh.

Polyphenol-rich foods

Polyphenols are found in plants and they refer to naturally-occurring compounds. According to researchers, polyphenols act as a prebiotic-type substance and have an effect on the composition of the gut bacteria, increasing the number of healthy gut bacteria. Good choices are berries, nuts and seeds, broccoli, red onion, coffee and tea – especially green tea.

High-fibre vegetables

Once consumed, each type of plant becomes either soluble or insoluble when they enter our digestive system. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation symptoms and speeds up the waste’s movement through the digestive tract. Some soluble fibers are prebiotic, such as inulin and beta-glucan, which helps the good bacteria in our gut to thrive. Good examples are onions and garlic, artichokes, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, broccoli and carrots.

It is crucial to increase your fiber intake gradually and drink plenty of fluids to ensure your waste movement in your digestive tract is going smoothly too. Too much fiber amount may cause bloating and stomach pain symptoms.

Cut down on sugar and artificial sweeteners

They are sugar substitutes commonly used as food additives and are also found diet soda and other soft drinks. Researchers found evidence that suggests consuming artificial sweeteners may adversely affect gut microbial activity which can pose a range of health issues. Consuming large amounts of sugar and sugary foods on a regular basis can be difficult on your gut to achieve a healthy microbiome.

When it comes down to the gut microbiome, our digestive systems plays a vital role in many areas of our health concerns such as immunity, mental health and metabolism. There may also be digestive symptoms such as chronic constipation and blood in stools that will require a colonoscopy to investigate them. Pay attention to what you are eating as your intestinal flora can influence your health in beneficial and harmful ways. You can also visit a gastroenterology specialist in Singapore to know more about your gut health.


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May 10, 2019 Blog

Gastroenterology Specialist Singapore

What is Fibroscan?

Similar to an ultrasound used during pregnancy, Fibroscan is a specialised ultrasound machine that measuressteatosis (fatty change) and fibrosis (scarring) in your liver. It can be used on its own or along with other tests such as imagine scans or blood tests that also helps measure the scarring or fatty changes in your liver.

Fibroscan helps specialists to learn more about your liver, and give a more complete assessment of your liver health.

How is the scan done?

It is a non-invasive, painless and quick procedure that involves a probe being placed on your abdominal wall. The probe will emit a vibration wave in pulses, and 10 reading will be taken minimally to ensure an accurate result. It should take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to perform and you can resume your normal activities afterwards. To prepare for the scan, you will be advised not to consume any food or drink for two hours before the procedure.

Your Fibroscan result

On your next appointment, your gastroenterology specialist will talk to you about your results. Fibroscan calculates the median liver stiffness measurement (LSM) reading and measures the amount of scarring in your liver, giving you your fibrosis result.

The result is measured in kilopascals (kPa) and it is typically between 2 to 6 kPa. A normal liver should also result in a low median LSM. For those with liver disease(s), they can have a result that is higher than the normal range.

Fibrosis score ranges from F0 to F4.

F0 to F1: No liver scarring or mild liver scarring

F2: Liver scarring is moderate

F3: Liver scarring is severe

F4: Liver scarring is more advanced (cirrhosis)

What type of liver diseases can Fibroscan help with?

Because it is principally used to estimate the degree of liver scarring present, the scan is useful to assess patients with the following conditions:

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Viral hepatitis B and C
  • Hepatitis C and HIV co-infection
  • Other liver diseases

The liver stiffness reading can also be used to monitor disease progression or regression through a series of measurements, as well as provide prognosis and further management including treatment.

Pitfalls of Fibroscan

There may also be incidences of false elevations such as an over-estimated fibrosis results due to several reasons. As such, liver stiffness readings require careful interpretations with considerations to the following potential factors.

Possible reasons for an over-estimation of fibrosis

  • Benign or cancerous tumours in the liver
  • Liver inflammation (caused by a recent liver illness or alcohol consumption)
  • Cholestasis
  • Liver congestion, typically caused by heart failure

Inaccurate or unreliable readings can also be commonly seen in patients with:

  • Obesity – a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 – 35
  • Presence of build-up of fluid in the abdomen, known as ascites
  • Biliary obstruction – too little bile flowing out of the liver
  • Features of metabolic syndrome (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, increased waist circumference)

Regardless, the interpretation of the Fibroscan results is best performed by a gastroenterology specialist who is experienced in managing chronic liver diseases and in conjunction with other tests.


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May 3, 2019 Blog

Flatulence Symptoms

Passing wind, farting, or flatulence all refer to the release of excess air through the intestinal tract. It can happen a lot throughout your day, and it is not a major problem for most people. However, if you are experiencing frequent flatulence symptoms, there are several factors that can contribute to excess gas buildup in your intestine.

Causes of Excessive Gas

You can have gas accumulated in your digestive tract simply by swallowing air frequently. This can occur while eating and/or drinking too fast, smoking, sucking on hard candy or even laughing. You might also burp it out, but some can still remain in your stomach, which will eventually be released through your anus when you pass gas.

There are also common gas-causing foods that will cause your stomach to bloat or pass gas, such as cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and broccoli, and most starches such as bread and pasta.

Excess gas can also be collected when your intestines are sluggish and food moves through the gut too slowly. The longer that food sits in your system, the more gas-producing bacteria builds up, which causes abdominal discomfort. The intestinal tract also naturally slows down due to ageing, which will reduce your metabolism and the movement of food through the colon, thus producing more gas.

How to Reduce Gas Buildup 

  • Limit your consumption of fermented foods, carbonated beverages, and drinks that are high in fructose. These products will feed the bacteria in your digestive tract and add more gas. Drink plenty of water daily.
  • Avoid eating too fast and swallowing your food with little chewing. You are much more likely to swallow air when you rush down food. Additionally, when you savour your meals and chew longer, more saliva is mixed with the food you are eating. This is important for digestion to assist in the enzymatic breakdown of your meal.
  • Exercise regularly. The more active and frequently you do, exercising can help stimulate and support the passage of gas through the digestive system. You can try abdominal-strengthening exercises which benefit in keeping the digestive tract moving. Aim for at least a 30-minutes work out a day, 3 to 4 times a week.
  • Limit your intake of well-known gassy foods such as cruciferous vegetables, dairy products and certain fruits like pears and apples. They contain fructose, lactose and insoluble fiber that releases gas when fermented in the large intestine. However, don’t avoid them altogether as these foods are still nutritious and make up a part of a healthful, balanced diet.
  • Look out for food intolerances and allergies. Different people are sensitive to different foods and may experience allergies that will cause a reaction in the body. These can lead to symptoms like diarrhoea, bloating and nausea. Having an elimination diet can help someone with excessive gas. Cut out known gas-causing foods and introduce them back in one at a time, to figure out which ones are causing problems.

When to See a Doctor

 If you are so gassy and your flatulence is affecting your daily activities, causing you embarrassment or accompanied by symptoms like vomiting, stomach aches, and blood in the stool, it is recommended that you see a gastroenterology doctor in Singapore. It could be a sign of something more serious.


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April 23, 2019 Blog

Gastroenterology Specialist Singapore

One of the common conditions experienced by many in Singapore is constipation. It is characterised by infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools. It can also cause the stools to be lumpy and hard, and are unusually small or large. The typical length of time between bowel movements depends on the individual, varying from person to person.

In general, constipation is described as having lesser than 3 bowel movements in a week. Going for more than 3 days without passing stools should raise alarms, and your stools can get harder and be more difficult to pass.

Identifying the Symptoms

You may experience the following symptoms of constipation:

  • Few bowel movements, such as passing lesser than 3 stools weekly
  • Hard, lumpy or small stools
  • Straining or having trouble during bowel movements
  • Belly bloating
  • A feeling of not completely emptying the stool from the rectum
  • Needing help to empty the bowels, such as pressing on the abdomen using your hands or using a finger to remove stool from the rectum

Your constipation may be considered a chronic case if you have experienced 2 or more of the above-mentioned symptoms for the last 3 months.

Causes of Constipation

Constipation occurs most commonly when the stool moves too slowly through the digestive tract. It can also occur when the stool cannot be eliminated from the rectum effectively, causing it to become dry and hard.

There are several lifestyle causes, namely:

  • Insufficient water or fiber intake
  • Changes to what you eat in your diet
  • Not being active and irregular exercise
  • Stress

Other causes include:

  • Certain medications such as antidepressants, strong pain drugs and iron pills
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease

What Can You Do

You can take the following steps in the event of a constipation:

  • Drink 2 to 4 additional glasses of water daily, unless you are advised by your doctor to limit fluids for a different reason.
  • For mornings, try consuming warm liquids.
  • Eat prunes and bran cereal.
  • Incorporate exercise into your week. When you get active and move your body, this helps the muscles in your intestines to become more active too.
  • Include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Avoid ignoring the urge to poop and go to the bathroom as soon as possible.

When to See a Doctor

If you have sudden constipation and symptoms like cramps, belly pain and inability to poop or pass gas, seek for medical help. Look out for other signs such as blood in stools, unintentional weight loss, severe pain with bowel movements and constipation that has lasted for more than 2 weeks, which also require a doctor’s consultation.

You can also see a gastroenterology specialist in Singapore for your constipation problem and know more about your gut health.


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April 9, 2019 Blog

Gastroenterology Singapore, Hepatitis B Specialist Singapore

When one drinks alcohol heavily over a long period of time, the body can begin to replace healthy tissues in the liver with scar tissues. This condition is known as alcoholic liver cirrhosis, an advanced form of liver disease that is related to alcohol consumption. As the disease progresses, more of the healthy liver tissue will be replaced and the liver will eventually stop functioning properly.

Our liver is a vital organ that does an important job in the body such as breaking down proteins and filtering the blood of toxins. Because the liver tissue starts to scar, it will affect the performance of the liver. The disease can also be part of a progression, starting from fatty liver disease, to alcoholic hepatitis and then progress to alcoholic cirrhosis. However, it is also possible that one can develop alcoholic liver cirrhosis without initially having alcoholic hepatitis.

Symptoms of alcoholic liver cirrhosis

Some people have the impression that alcoholic liver cirrhosis will show certain symptoms. They will continue drinking hoping that some symptoms will come about and only stop drinking when the symptoms occur.

However, in the early stages, there might not be symptoms at all. They begin to appear or be noticeable only in the later stages, which can often be too late.

These symptoms share similarities to other alcohol-related liver disorders and include:

  • Jaundice
  • Lower limb swelling
  • Confusion or problems thinking
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Kidney failure

Causes

The chances of getting alcoholic liver disease or cirrhosis increase the longer a person have been drinking and the more alcohol is consumed. Additionally, liver cells are only able to process a certain amount of alcohol and break it down into other chemicals hourly. If alcohol is consumed at a faster rate than the liver is able to process, the body’s bloodstream will see a rise in alcohol levels which can be damaging.

Therefore, alcohol should always be taken in moderation. Always watch out for signs that you need to stop drinking. Firstly, look at the quantity you drink and whether you are drinking large amounts in one sitting. It is recommended that it is safe for an adult male to consume 3 cans of beer and 2 cans of beer for an adult female a day. Frequency is also another factor. If you drink daily or almost every day, it is a good time to pause for a while.

Diagnosis

Gastroenterology specialists can diagnose alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Besides discussing the patient’s history of drinking and taking a medical history, the doctor will also run tests that are able to confirm a cirrhosis diagnosis.

Fibroscan is also able to assist in the diagnosis as well as give a complete assessment of one’s liver health. This non-invasive scan measures the stiffness of the liver and provides an estimate of the amount of scarring present in the liver. It helps to assess patients suffering from liver diseases such as hepatitis B, cirrhosis or fatty liver in Singapore, and whether they may need to start treatment accordingly.


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March 29, 2019 Blog

Constipation Symptoms, Constipation Singapore

Having an adequate fiber intake can bring many health benefits and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Found in foods, fibers can help in improving digestion, blood glucous levels, and lowering the risk of certain types of cancer and arthritis. Depending on the type of fiber, it also regulates blood sugar, helps with weight control and reduces constipation symptoms.

Seeing how essential dietary fiber is and the various health benefits it brings, here’s some quick, easy ways to incorporate fibrous foods into your daily diet with minimal effort.

  • Snack on fruits

Individual pieces of fruit make great snacks and they are portable and tasty. Some fruits have significantly more fiber than others. High-fiber fruits include apples, berries and pears. They can also be paired with foods that contain protein and/or fat such as cheese or nut butter, and improve fullness.

  • Eat the veggies first in meals

Vegetables are full of minerals, vitamins and fiber and offer plenty of health benefits including lowering your risk of several chronic diseases. It is a good strategy to eat your vegetables before a meal so you are able to eat more of them. Non-starchy vegetables such as artichokes, baby corn, Chinese spinach and carrots are high in nutrients and fiber while being low in calories.

  • Choose whole grains over refined grains

Due to the fact that whole grains are minimally processed, they are still intact with their germ, bran and hull, making them more nutritious. On the other hand, refined grains are only left with a fast-absorbing carb with the most nutritious parts taken away. Replace the refined grains with whole-grain versions in your diet, such as whole-wheat pasta or whole-wheat bread. You can also try oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and barley.

  • Snack on nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds make for a heart-healthy snacks and are full of beneficial nutrients, protein and fiber. They are also versatile foods and shelf-stable, making them ideal to snack on during the day. They can also be added in recipes to add extra fiber and nutrition to your meals.

  • Include beans and legumes in your diet

Legumes and beans contain a wide variety of nutrients and they are rich in fiber, vitamins, protein and minerals. They also have a positive impact on the gut microbiome and may reduce the risk of chronic disease. For example, a cup of cooked beans can meet up to 75% of your daily fiber requirements. Try chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, alfafa, tamarind, red kidney beans and lupins.

You can adopt the strategies mentioned above to help boost your fiber intake to optimal amounts. Having a balanced intake is crucial so you can receive the benefits for your health. You can also consult with a dietitian or gastroenterology specialist in Singapore to learn more about incorporating more dietary fiber and boost your gut health.


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