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The Worst Habits For Your Stomach, According to Science

Don’t make these mistakes, unless you want a bellyache.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

When most people think about stomach issues, food is the first culprit to come to mind. However, there are a number of other surprising habits that can majorly damage your gut. And tummy aches are the least of your troubles. Gut health is a major component of immunity, mood, mental health, skin conditions, and even cancer, according to multiple studies conducted over the years. What are some of the worst habits for your stomach? Read on for five of them. 

1

Taking Too Many NSAIDS

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Resist the urge to take too many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) —including ibuprofen like Advil and Motrin IB. The over-the-counter drugs can do serious damage to your stomach. "There is considerable evidence to show that NSAIDs cause bleeding, inflammation, and ulceration in the stomach and small intestine," explains a 2016 study

2

Not Consuming Enough Fiber

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Amp up your fiber intake to keep your gut functioning. Complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables—take the body longer to digest and then can be stored as energy. One study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that consuming whole grain oats can even increase "good" gut bacteria.

3

You Are Overdoing Antibiotics

Pharmacist holding medicine box and capsule pack in pharmacy drugstore.
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A lot of people take antibiotics whenever they feel a cough coming on. However, taking too many antibiotics can wipe your gut clean of good bacteria as well as the bad. A study published in Nature Microbiology found that patients who took three different antibiotics over a four day period lost a number of beneficial bacteria, and six months later they were still missing them. 

4

You Drink Sugary Drinks

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Drinking sugary drinks every day can be detrimental to your digestive health. According to a  study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people who drank a sugary beverage each day—soda, lemonade, and fruit drinks included—were at a 59 percent greater risk of digestive diseases. Even scarier? Those who consumed two or more soda servings were at a 17 percent increased risk of death compared to those who drank less than one per month. 

RELATED: Sure Signs You May Have Dementia, According to the CDC

5

Ignoring Digestive Symptoms

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The CDC explains that there are many causes of nausea, heartburn, or bloating. However, you should never ignore them—especially if you have diabetes. High blood sugar can lead to a digestive issue called gastroparesis. It not only impacts how your body digests food, but how the body absorbs nutrients and can lead to malnutrition. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Doctors.