WASHINGTON, DC, January 29, 2013 ― “All diseases begin in the gut,” said Hippocrates.
Gastrointestinal problems are among the most overlooked and most common health problems today. Who doesn’t know someone with digestive problems? How many TV commercials talk to you about upset stomach, indigestion, acid reflux and related problems?
Companies spend billions of dollars every year advertising digestive aids. While these drugs offer temporary and sometimes immediate relief, the underlying causes of digestive problems go ignored, and people end up far worse down the road.
Problems with digestion can lead to immune system problems. The lining of the stomach is an important immune barrier, and poor gut health leads to autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems, and immune compromises.
Gut flora: Poor digestion eliminates gut flora or good bacteria. The stomach generally contains three to four pounds of bacteria that help with digestion and immunity.
Antibiotics, however, kill off these beneficial bacteria. The problem is not just oral antibiotics prescribed by your physician, but also traces of antibiotics found in meat, milk and other foods.
For a healthy digestive tract, replenish your natural gut bacteria and stop killing them off. One of the best things you can do for your health is add some good pre- and probiotics. Yogurt does not supply enough for good health.
Stomach acid: Another common problem is low stomach acid. When food is not digested it putrefies, ferments, and becomes rancid in the stomach, creating gas and other discomforts. The small intestine won’t accept the rotting food, which can then cause regurgitation of gastric acid, irritating the delicate tissue of the esophagus and causing heartburn. This rotting mess eventually does pass through the small intestine where it causes inflammation, infection, and intestinal permeability called “leaky gut,” an intestine so sore it has tiny perforations.
Your stomach should be very acidic, 2-3 on the pH scale. Hydrochloric acid keeps the stomach acidic to assist with food digestion. Stop drinking sodas and energy drinks, stop taking Tums, and eating poorly digestible foods like pizzas, which cause pH imbalances!
Fat digestion: The gall bladder helps digest fat. Bile helps emulsify fat, coating fat droplets to keep them from reaggregating into larger drops and increasing the surface area exposed to pancreatic enzymes; bile makes it easier to digest fat.
Bile is stored in the gall bladder and released when fat is in the GI tract.
Pain under the ribs after meals or pain into the right shoulder may signal a gallbladder problem. Poor diets cause the gall bladder to release insufficient bile. A sluggish gallbladder causes the liver’s detoxification pathways to back up so you cannot detoxify hormones, toxins, and other metabolites. Beware of suggestions to have a gall bladder removed, because lack of the bile from the gallbladder will put more stress on other glands and organs to help with digestion.
Repairing your gut: Good food choices are the first step in repairing a damaged digestive tract. A healthy gut is less likely to absorb harmful bacteria, harmful foods, and undigested food particles into the bloodstream. A chronically inflamed gut brought on by poor diet, poor blood sugar control, and chronic stress creates pores in the lining of the gut and allows harmful substances to go where they shouldn’t.
Diet: You may just have to change your diet again. No grain, no gluten, no sugar, eat lots of fresh vegetables, and clean, high-quality proteins and fats. The more your food is processed the poorer the nutritional value and the harder it is on your entire system.
The very least you can do about diet is to reduce your sugar intake! America has an addiction to sugar, fast food, and a grain-based diet that has made a nation of carbohydrate-addicts riding the highs and lows of blood sugar swings. The average American consumes 200 pounds of sugar every year. Soon one out of three people will have diabetes. Scandalous!
Dr. Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of 3 books on health, one novel, and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional, and emotional stress.
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