Do you have weird symptoms? Are you wondering what might be wrong?
Truly, many people I see in my clinic are eating good diets. But, when it comes to the human body, we know things are never as simple as they seem, right? The common assumption is that eating good wholesome food will make you strong, resilient, and age well. While that’s a good place to start, there’s more to good nutrition than just choosing the foods that are highly nutritious.
What do I mean? In this post I am talking about how eating healthy food isn’t going to serve you if your digestive system isn’t able to extract the nutrients.
We all have symptoms, but many seem weird because we don’t know where they came from or why they crop up at odd times. What you and others probably can’t see is the subtle damage to your digestion system over a long period of time. A digestive system that is not operating properly can actually block necessary nutrients from being absorbed. That’s right. The very ones you think you’re getting when you eat that perfectly planned dinner.
Damages in the digestive system can and do lead to problems and they can show up anywhere.
It is important to understand that each step in your digestion is critical and must operate efficiently. If we consider the many phases of the digestive process, we see 3 essential qualities:
- TIMING: Each extremely precise enzyme produced by your own body must be timed and sequenced with other enzymes. If one is either missing or shows up in the wrong amount in the chain, the whole process wobbles.
- ORGANIZATION: The mechanics (contractions) in the stomach and gut and chemistry (enzymes) of digestion are necessarily coordinated. Each one triggers the next. Any misstep affects the entire digestive process.
- CLEAN EXECUTION: The close tolerances here do not allow for a lot of interference. Toxins, bacteria/yeast overgrowth, and allergens all derail the delicate balances mentioned above. If your system has been assaulted by heavy metals, herbicides, or poor non-food choices in the past, the damage may still be blocking your digestion and blocking absorption of the nutritious food you are eating now.
Furthermore, you may feel fine, but even stressful states (ranging from personal grief or responsibilities or national news) will have an impact that you cannot see. It’s difficult to know if it all is OK inside.
Of course, the human body can compensate to a point, but as the corrective measures stack up, they take a toll and reduce our prospects for energetic and symptom-free lives.
Some Useful Help For …
When someone tells me they have trouble with gastric reflux, I immediately suggest betaine hydrochloride for improved acid production. Typically, there is a shocked reaction because the client has been told they need to reduce the stomach acid by avoiding citrus and taking a prescription for acid reduction.
But here’s the problem with that advice: The stomach is made to pre-process your meal by churning it up with acid before it moves on to the next stage, the upper bowel. In fact, if the gate (sphincter) at the bottom of the stomach does not register the proper acid content it will not open. The stomach is left with food that is only partially prepared for the rest of the digestive process. The longer the semi-digested food remains in the stomach, the higher the probability that it will bubble and produce gastric reflux.
The solution is to spark a better acid response with betaine HCl. Taking 2-4 tablets (according to label recommendation) at the beginning of a meal usually resolves acid reflux and regurgitation.
Gall Bladder Removed
Once the gall bladder is removed, patients are told to drastically reduce the intake of fats. Let me explain a little about the gall bladder. It collects bile which is produced in the liver. When partially digested food leaves the stomach, the gall bladder adds the collected bile to be mixed in. Bile then emulsifies the fats in the food for further digestion.
The gall bladder is a sack that dumps the bile from the liver. Once it is removed, the liver continues to make all the bile you need for digestion.
If you start out slowly and gradually increase fat in your diet, your liver will begin to compensate for the missing gall bladder, delivering the important bile when needed.
A plant resin known as Boswellia is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance that supports many tissues in the body when taken in safe amounts. It helps the gastro-intestinal tract by reducing inflammation, but the bonus is the nourishment to brain and nerve tissue, lungs, joints, muscles, and tendons.
A simple tea of Boswellia is the answer. Some preparations include herbs that further nourish the intestinal walls and provide relief.
Intestinal Gas and Bloating
Intestinal gas is embarrassing and painful, but it is also irritating to the bowel tissues. If this is a frequent problem for you, understand that legumes (beans, peas, and peanuts) encourage bacteria responsible for foul gas. Treating this problem may be simply removing these foods from your diet.
Many herbal companies make effective herbal teas that soothe and reduce gas in the bowels. An example is Gaia Herbs’ Gas & Bloating Herbal Tea.
There are entire books written on this subject, so I’ll not try to explain the condition here. I simply want to say that while you may eliminate offending foods, the damage to the gut lining takes, sometimes, years to recover.
Glutamine (aka L-glutamine) is an important fuel for the cells lining the intestinal tract. Supplementing with this can be a powerful support for optimally functioning intestinal barriers.
Sensitivities to Toxins and Allergens
Cacao (not cocoa) has been shown to decrease sensitivity to oral antigens (toxins and allergens) by enhancing the function of a special layer in your digestive tract that helps to protect and maintain digestive health. Good news for chocolate lovers!
Good Diet Choices and Support
As you begin to understand some of the ways you can support your own digestion, these suggestions may help calm inner disorder and add to your overall feeling of strength and peace.
I think many problems can be corrected and prevented by dialing in your best diet with Glow Coaching using the Paleo-Keto-Carnivore flexible plan.
Of course, this post is only a general guide. Consult your functional medicine practitioner if you are having serious symptoms. Your health depends on it.
These suggestions and other are found in My protocol for Better Digestion. You will also find my other protocols, including “Health After 40”, “Facial and Body Treatments”, “Strong Immunity”, and others.