Your Digestive System, Your “Highway to Health”
People are often surprised to learn how intricately their digestive system is woven into their overall well-being. Elizabeth Lipski, Ph.D, CCN, CHN, author of Digestive Wellness summarizes some of the amazing facts about the digestive system:
Nearly three-fourths of the immune system is located in the digestive system. The digestive system contains bacteria (three and a half to four and a half pounds worth!) that help to digest food, produce vitamins and protect against infection. The digestive system has its own nervous system and can actually function without nerve connection to the brain. A majority of the body’s serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) is produced in the gut. The food you eat becomes the fuel for all of the body’s cells. Problems with digestion and absorption of nutrients from food can be a factor in a wide range of problems, including depression, arthritis, behavioral problems, and autoimmune diseases, among others.
If you are chronically stressed, have a poor diet and/or take a variety of medications, you are probably not enjoying optimal digestion. As you can see in this chart, many factors can influence the health of our gut and thus our overall health. The good news is that there are just as many ways you can influence your gut in a positive way. Making better food choices, supporting digestion with enzymes or other supplements, practicing a relaxation technique such as yoga or meditation are just some of the ways you can help heal your gut and your body.
Helping people heal from their digestive issues isKathy’s passion in part due to her personal story. In her own words: “My own struggles with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) started when I was in my twenties. Since I was a dietitian, I thought I should know what to eat or not eat to stop the symptoms, yet I could not sort it out. I lost 10 pounds in the process and felt I was losing my sanity and my health. If someone had told me one day I would be free of my IBS symptoms, I never would have believed them. My symptoms were part of my life for so long, but here I am, IBS-free.”
Kathy uses the “5 R” approach to improving digestion and health: 1. Remove triggers (foods and chemicals) that are bringing about ill effects in the digestive tract and body, 2. Replace components needed for digestion such as digestive enzymes, 3. Repair the gut lining with healing herbs, 4. Restore proper balance of bacteria, and 5. Rebalance body’s coping mechanisms such as exercise, emotions, and beliefs. This systematic approach to gut health is one that can bring about profound improvements in overall health and well being. Don’t hesitate to get started on your path to better health and improved digestive wellness! Contact us to make an appointment at 301-474-2499 or fill out our website request form.
Chart below from Elizabeth Lipski, PhD, CCN
For free recipes and other gut healing ideas you can visit Kathy at the Happy, Healthy Gut Blog.