We have done a lot of health shows on Zee Companion and after several requests we decided to focus on “digestive problems”. I have been to countless weddings/parties and functions where Auntyjis openly discuss their bowel movement and often it has been so graphic I have actually had to get up to get a “glass of water” and as someone who hardly drinks enough water, it’s also my get out of jail free card when it comes to getting out of an awkward conversation.

It would seem that digestive problems are very common particularly in the South Asian community, we all have been to those events or even when our Mother’s make our favourite dish we are guilty of over eating and indulging in about 3 bowls of chicken Biryani and feel the pain for hours afterwards.

Overeating is not the only digestive problem that we suffer from and sometimes we do not take our digestive issues seriously enough.

Today I was joined by Dr Sapna Sharma MBChB, MRCGP is a senior GP and holds the Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists (DRCOG) in London as well as the Diploma of Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (DFFRSH). She also was awarded a doctorate in medicine (MD) from the University of Aberdeen for her work on the genetics of cardiomyopathy conducted at Harvard Medical School, USA.

Dr Sharma said that digestive problems were very common amongst the ethnic minorities and she urged people to take better care of their diets. She said it was hard to avoid oily food, but had to be done, she also mentioned switching from white to wholemeal flour and bread.

I asked her if my Mother’s top tip to cure for constipation (which is eating an endless supply of prunes) was actually correct? She whole heartedly agreed stating that eating more fibre based foods would help a person regulate their bowel movement.

Many people were concerned about diarrhoea and Dr Sharma said that we need to be very careful as food poisoning is very common when people travel abroad. Also, being summer it is essential that one stays hydrated at all times, even if you did not feel like drinking water when you are unwell.

It seems fair to conclude that digestive problems are an issue for many people and even though it can seem embarrassing, if the problem persists one must seek medical attention to ensure that it is not something more serious.