In this article I am going to discuss some basic tips to help you maintain a healthy digestive system through the food that you eat.
Most of our clients think about movement only in terms of weight loss, fitness, strength, competitive sports or maybe body sculpting. There is a lot more to movement than this. And for clients suffering from digestive troubles, the type of movement program can directly affect your symptoms and likewise the digestive issues can impact the success of the movement program. Here’s how.
In this article we are going to overview the parasitic infection known as cryptosporidium (aka crypto) and take a look at how functional medicine can be used to address it.
So you’ve had a stool test and it looks like you have a Giardia infection. In this article we are going to review what giardia is, how you might have contracted this parasite, commonly associated symptoms, the difference between chronic vs acute infections and then review some nutrition considerations.
We all have gas, some of us more than others, but on average we all pass wind 10-15 times per day. For some excessive gas can be embarrassing, and for others a tool for child-like humour, what should be understood is that intestinal gas can contribute to a significant amount of discomfort, pain and bloating as well.
In this article I am going to discuss the role of inflammation in the gut with a particular focus on Crohn’s disease. We’ll look at the main symptoms, probable causes and what you can do to help improve your outcome.
To help support the balance of bacteria in our gut there are certain foods that should feature regularly in your diet. The two food groups you should include are prebiotics and probiotics.
What I am going to introduce to you today is a concept known as the 5R protocol for gastrointestinal health. It’s something I have been using for a number of years now since I was first introduced to it when I overcame my own health challenges back in 2010, although I think it was the 4R approach back then. Ultimately the 5R protocol is a framework to allow for a more holistic approach to addressing your digestive issues.
In this comprehensive article I want to outline how a thorough Comprehensive Blood Chemistry (CBC) can be one of the main starting and ongoing assessments used to get an overview of your current state of health and to guide decisions about your health, nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Mucosal surfaces cover a large part of our body. The digestive tract, nose, mouth and throat are prime examples where this mucosal layer plays a critical role in supporting our health.
As I have already pointed out in previous articles, IBS is a blanket term used to diagnose someone with a particular set of symptoms. Unfortunately being diagnosed with IBS gets you no closer to understanding why you are experiencing these IBS symptoms. In case you missed it, read my article: What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
As I was explaining in my article titled ‘What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?’, one of the major causes of IBS is the presence of something in the digestive system that should not be there, such as unwanted invaders or overgrowths in our system like certain bacteria, parasites and yeast or fungi. I personally experienced the effects of having these unwanted invaders in my gut, and felt the effects throughout my body (read my story).
Probably one of the most common diagnoses when attending your doctor with digestive symptoms is that of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS in short. But what exactly is IBS?
Your cephalic response occurs when we see, smell, think or taste food. It is a primal response that stimulates the limbic system in the brain before it then stimulates the vagus nerve that goes on to stimulate the production of gastric juices.
The small intestine is roughly 20 feet long and spread flat could cover the size of a tennis court. It is at this crucial point that digestion is completed and much of the absorption takes place.
Our stomach mostly plays a role in terms of digestion; very little absorption takes place here, other than certain medications, some water, certain salts and alcohol.
As you would have seen from my previous article digestion actually begins in the brain and I gave some simple steps that might allow you to improve this starting point of digestion.
There are many considerations when it comes to optimising digestion, but first of all we must understand the journey that our food takes to get broken down into its simply molecular form such as amino acids, fatty acids and glucose.
Flying can be particularly stressful on the body; I know in my experience that when I fly I’d often feel pretty out of whack for at least 24hours after landing and often my digestion felt awful for days. Even if you take your own clean, non-airplane food you can still feel pretty awful, why is this?
Optimising digestive health is one of the first and most important steps when addressing the health or body composition of an individual. The digestive system is the connection between our outside environment and the inside of the body.
The acid that begins the process of protein digestion in the stomach is Hydrochloric acid (HCl). Within the health industry I have noticed the abuse of supplementary HCl in a hope to improve digestion. The use of non-scientific methods of testing HCl are commonly used and if truth be told are more a method of selling supplements than addressing gastrointestinal dysfunction. All that being said though the prevalence of sub-optimal stomach acid and pancreatic insufficiency could be something that in the general population is being severely underestimated.
As you saw in my article ‘What your poo says about you’, there are many indicators that can tell us is something is imbalanced in the gastrointestinal system. Moving on from assessing our stools, there are also a number of other symptoms that might indicate dysfunctions in the gastrointestinal tract.
Many years ago I remember watching ‘Dr’ Gillian Mckeith poking her nose around peoples stools on the programme ‘You Are What You Eat’. Little did I know that whilst watching that programme I would go on to become quite fascinated by the function of the gut, and my real passion is trying to translate the language of the human body. It is my opinion that the better we become at interpreting the signs and signals our body is giving the more we can revolutionise health care.
Many people assume that I have been healthy all my life, and whilst I have always been aware of health, read about health and studied health, I have by no means always been healthy.
My own experiences with ill health have always been the strongest catalysts to me understanding more about how the body functions and how all of the systems of the body interact with one another, something that has been lost in the modern ‘pill for an ill’ approach to healthcare.
In this blog I am going to look at some of the natural approaches to helping prevent colon cancer but also some interesting natural methods of supporting the body if you have already been diagnosed with colon cancer.
I am going to start this blog with some interesting and potentially surprising facts and then a personal story about how digestive health can affect symptoms that would seemingly appear unrelated.
- 2 million people were diagnosed with a digestive disorder in 2009.
- 1/3 of the UK’s population regularly suffers from digestive illness such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, diarrhoea, stomach aches and nausea.
- In 2005/2006 over 3.7 million operations were carried out on parts of the digestive system.
- 42% of people suffering from digestive problems turn to sources other than their GP for help.
- 15% of Death in the UK is linked to digestive health.
- Cancers of the digestive tract account for 23% of cancer deaths.
Hippocrates once stated that “bad digestion is the root of all evil”, and many naturopathic Doctors state that “life and death begins in the gut”. I have first hand experienced what an unknown digestive dysfunction can cause.