Improving Digestion

In the ideal eating situation we would eat tasty, wholesome food which is broken down well, the nutrients would be utilized, and waste would be eliminated in a timely fashion. But a typical situation is often much different. Indigestion is a problem that many people suffer from. This word can be used to describe a feeling of fullness, gaseousness in the abdomen, and heartburn. Indigestion can be attributed to many causes, from increased secretion of acid, decreased secretion of acid, to enzyme deficiency. It is not normal to have digestive problems and a person who suffers from indigestion should be seen by a natural medicine physician in order to avoid the long term need for over the counter antacids, and the like.

“As soon as the dog starts barking, my stomach starts rumbling”

This is how a good friend of ours used to sit down to dinner. The dog goes crazy begging for food and she could not enjoy her meal without getting indigestion from stress. Very often digestion can start going wrong just by being “stressed out.” When a person is in a stressed state, the body is programmed to shove blood and energy away from the digestive tract in favor of the skeletal muscles and brain. Learning to calm the mind and body is extremely important in relieving stress and improving digestion. People who are constantly eating at their desks finishing work or trying to drive through rush hour traffic while wolfing down fast food and then feel lousy are good examples too.

If you find that your stress level is leaving you feeling bloated and miserable, take steps to change that. Concentrate on enjoying your meal rather than work, returning phone calls, or getting the house cleaned. Put on some nice music, light the candles, and turn off the TV at dinner time. Very often we talk to people who could not recall the last time he or she made a nice home-cooked meal and sat down to eat in a relaxed atmosphere. We are NOT talking about dining out. A good home-cooked, sit-down meal is hard to come by nowadays, but it shouldn’t be. Make your main mealtime as relaxed as possible!

The importance of pH balance

The stomach’s optimal pH range is 1.5 to 2.5, with hydrochloric acid being the primary stomach acid. The use of antacids (prescription and over the counter) increases the stomach pH to 3.5. The pH increase inhibits the action of pepsin, an enzyme involved in protein digestion that can be irritating to the stomach. Even though taking antacids relieved the symptoms, people have to keep in mind that hydrochloric acid and pepsin are very important in digestion. When the secretion is not enough, or hindered, proper digestion and mineral dissociation will not occur. The change in pH can affect gut microbial flora, including the overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection of the gut.

Blood pH Ranges Graph

Pancreatic Enzyme Insufficiency

Often we see people who lack sufficient enzymes to maintain healthy digestion, including pancreatic enzymes. Impaired digestion, malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and abdominal discomfort characterize it. Physical and laboratory tests can be used to assess pancreatic insufficiency include abdominal bloating and discomfort, gas, indigestion, and the passing of undigested food in the stool.

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

The upper portion of the human small intestine is designed to be relatively free of bacteria. The reason is when bacteria are present in significant concentrations in the duodenum and jejunum they compete with their host for nutrition. The bacteria can ferment the carbohydrates and produce excessive gas, bloating, and abdominal distension. At our clinic we perform careful evaluation for small intestine for bacterial overgrowth.

Favorite foods are often the cause of frequent indigestion

If you suffer from food allergies, it is likely that those will cause, or worsen, your indigestion. This is a good place to start for those who have tested positive for food sensitivities but have yet to cut them out of your diet. Your body is telling you that it does not need, nor want, the food that you are eating. We understand that it is often difficult to begin taking foods out of your diet and replacing them with others you might not like as well. But if you want to improve your overall health, look for the obvious solutions-COMMON FOODS, NOT OVER THE COUNTER ANTACIDS!

It is also imperative that you eat right for your Diet Type

One of the most common things we get feedback on is the improvement in digestion when someone begins the Hauser Diet based on their test results. If you feel that your digestion can use a little fine tuning, give us a call!

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