Digestive Disorders, Problems, Dysfunction & a Fix

While many patients don’t come in complaining of digestive symptoms, more often than not, faulty digestion is one of their most significant problems. The majority of them don’t realize that their digestive functions have slowly eroded.

So many of us have become used to mild indigestion, irritated bowels, bloating, and/or gas and think it is a normal part of aging. We see it as an inevitable nuisance rather than a real issue that needs to be addressed. Walk down the aisles of any drugstore and you will see hundreds of over-the-counter “remedies” for gas, diarrhea, and indigestion. Unfortunately, these drugs, like most other kinds of drugs, just treat symptoms and don’t solve the real problem. What we really want is a fully functioning digestive system so that we are truly digesting and absorbing our food’s vital nutrients—because no matter how healthily you eat, if your digestive system is not working well, your food is not nourishing you well. We want our food to actually feed us.

The gut’s lining is extremely thin, often just a one cell-thick layer. Damage to it can be extremely problematic because about seventy percent of your immune system is found in your digestive tract. When this delicate lining is damaged or worn down by a poor diet, large food particles or bacteria and toxins, which should normally stay in your gut’s inner tube, pass through it into the bloodstream, where the immune system must deal with them. These leaking particles tax your immune system.

So, with a poorly functioning digestive system, you don’t just get digestive symptoms, you also get an exhausted immune system. To add insult to injury, you can also get pain. An overactive immune system can lead to inflammation in the body. This is one of the reasons why your body feels so cranky and achy when you are spent. Another consideration for keeping your digestion in good shape is to help promote the invaluable ecosystem of bacterial flora, the trillions of bugs that reside in your gut. There are more than 500 species of bacteria in your gut, most of them “good guys” helping you to digest your food, produce vitamins, excrete toxins, regulate hormones, and generally keep your gut healthy and balanced. These functions are impaired when there are too many of the “bad” guys and not enough of the “good” guys. But most importantly, an imbalance in the flora can damage the delicate gut lining. Antibiotics are just one environmental element that can destroy the balance between good and bad.

A digestive dysfunction can lead to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, acne, psoriasis, rashes, mood disorders, migraine headaches, autism, dementia, and cancer. Here are two ways to restore rhythm and balance in your digestive tract:

  1. Decrease your intake of common food allergens like gluten, dairy, and soy, which irritate the digestive system.
  2. Include more fiber-rich foods in your diet