Is Your Digestion Making You Sick?
Is Your Digestion Making You Sick?
Did you know that you have a second brain in your digestive system? Next to the nervous system the digestive system is the most important system in your body. Doctors are now linking poor health in the gut to chronic health problems such as weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, autoimmune problems, sluggish metabolisms, chronic pain and arthritis. With a highly processed diet combined with high stressed living our digestive tracts are quickly becoming the source of many health problems.
The following is what you need to know to keep your digestion on the right tract:
What destroys your digestive system?
A diet high in white sugar, white flours, white rice and low in fiber will greatly injure the gut leading to poor absorption of nutrients and chronic inflammation. These will destroy the good bacteria of your intestinal tract
The easiest way to destroy your gut is through eating foods packed with chemicals that extend their shelf life and are high in Omega 6 fatty acids.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD in his book the “The Blood Sugar Solution” many modern inventions such as antibiotics, acid blockers, anti-inflammatory medication, aspirin, steroids, antibiotics in our food supply, chronic stress, and even cesarean section births also injure the gut, alter our good digestive flora, and lead to systemic inflammation.
How do I know if my digestive system is in trouble?
A malfunctioning digestive tract cannot always be detected until a significant amount of damage has already occurred. The most obvious symptoms are pain or bloating after eating, episodes of diarrhea or constipation, or burning pain in the stomach.
A whole new set of symptoms are now being linked to poor health in the gut such as aches and pains that won’t go away, inflammatory arthritic pain, unexplained weight gain, sugar cravings, hypoglycemia, insulin-resistance, chronic colds, low energy, depression, many autoimmune diseases, and obesity.
Your body needs the perfect balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut lining in order to function at an optimum level. Poor eating habits and stress set up the bad bacteria to out-number the good. This damages the gut lining creating a leaky gut syndrome. Just like a sprained ankle, when the brain senses injury to the body it initiates an inflammatory response. When inflammation hits the digestive tract it damages your metabolism, affects how your brain controls appetite, and creates an insulin resistance and weight gain. If that inflammation continues, it will start to affect your joints causing pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
What can I do to heal my digestion?
1. No Whites
The first and most important step to repairing your gut is to get off the foods that damage it. A no white diet is a great first step. This means no white flour, sugar, rice, or pasteurized diary.
2. Eat Fresh Raw Foods
Enzymes help us break our food down so that we can digest our foods better There are naturally occurring enzymes in fresh raw foods..When we cook food we destroy those enzymes. This places all the burden of digestion on the digestive tract. A key step to getting your gut healthy again is to increase the number of fresh raw foods in your diet. Ideally you want to be eating fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal. Green vegetables such as celery and lettuce are great additions to any meal and will help your body breakdown the foods you eat better.
3. No Bad Fats
Bad fats include canola oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated oils, and peanut oil. When we eat these oils it initiates the inflammatory response in our bodies. This inflammation will destroy the lining of our stomach and intestines and ultimately block the absorption of nutrients that are necessary to keep our bodies functioning optimally. Bottom line is that bad fats destroy your health
4. Add good bacteria
I highly recommend taking a probiotic supplement before every meal. Most likely you can get a good probiotic supplement at your chiropractor’s office or at a natural health food store. Adding good bacteria into your gut will help destroy harmful bacteria that may be making you sick. It also will help you increase the absorption of nutrients, fight infections, reduce yeast, and normalize the ph of your gut. Many patients ask me if they can just eat yogurt to get probiotics in their diet. I encourage a more quality source without the diary.
5. Get adjusted
In my sixteen years in practice, I have noticed that around ninety percent of patients with chronic low back pain, also have digestive problems. Why is that? If you look at the nerves that exit the vertebra of the lumbar spine, they supply information from the brain to the lower half of the body. This includes the small and large intestines. When a nerve has pressure on it from a bone, it reduces the amount of information that it can send. When any cell, tissue, or organ is deprived information from the brain it stops functioning properly. What a chiropractic adjustment does is move that bone off the nerve and allow brain and organ to communicate better.
6. Investigate more
There is a whole new way that doctors can investigate what is going on inside our bodies. It’s called Functional Health Testing. What functional health tests do is evaluate areas of your body that might not yet be in disease, but are definitely not functioning optimally. In our office, we use an at home diagnostic test that evaluates the stool to determine if a patient has allergies to certain foods, parasites, yeast, too much bad bacteria, too little good bacteria, or an infection that might be causing a patient to be in poor health. Once we determine where exactly the imbalance is, we can treat it nutritionally to improve a patients health.
If you suspect that some of your health problems may be coming from your gut or you want an evaluation to determine if your digestion has reached an unhealthy point, set a special appointment time with Dr. Mindy.