In recent headlines, digestive health seems to take center stage, and good gut health is a commonly discussed theme. Older systems of medicine like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have established the importance of optimal digestion for centuries. In the integrative medicine community, good gut health is the key to long term wellness. Approximately 70 percent of the immune system is centered in the gut.
What are the most common symptoms of digestive disorders? Digestive disorders will present bloating, diarrhea, constipation, reflux and abdominal pain. The symptoms can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. What are some common triggers of indigestion?
Triggers of poor digestion include stress, poor diet including ingestion of undiagnosed food intolerances, structural abnormalities and nutritional deficiencies. Hormone imbalances can also lead to digestive disorders and vice versa.
What are some typical digestive disorders you see in your patients? Common digestive disorders include irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, colitis and reflux.
How do you diagnose these “gut” issues? These can be diagnosed through blood and stool studies and imaging. Occasionally biopsies may be warranted if symptoms continue to be baffling. What are some natural supplements that can improve and/or restore digestive health?
At ACHIM, patients are often placed on a gut restoration program. This may involve dietary changes and supplements. Some natural supplements include pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes and Omega-3 supplementation. What is the difference between the “good” and “bad” gut bacteria? Digestion heals as inflammatory proteins are taken away and creates the right mix of bacteria is in the gut. Good bacteria, found naturally in yogurt and kefir, help promote digestion and metabolism of food. Bad bacteria contribute to yeast overgrowth in the gut wall and many of the symptoms patients present.
Why is good gut health so important to our overall wellbeing? Good gut health is the foundation of wellness. It may prove to be the key in preventing cancer, autoimmune disease and hormone imbalances.