By Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
- If you’ve got digestive problems you have lots of company
- How digestive health supports overall wellness
- Married for life: the intimate relationship between your GI tract and your immune system
- Nutrient absorption supports your “bioenergetic” activities
- When absorption goes wrong
- Improving nutrient absorption
- When you have that gut feeling
- If it goes in, it must come out
- Good digestive health is a reason for celebration!
As a functional medicine practitioner, I know that nothing contributes more to your overall health than digestive wellness. No matter how well you eat, if your digestive system isn’t breaking down and absorbing the nutrients in your food, your body can’t get what it needs to keep you healthy.
Recently I saw a patient at the Clinic who was disappointed with conventional medicine’s approach to wellness. When I asked about her GI (gastrointestinal) health, she said she’d never really thought about it — at all — until she woke up after gallbladder surgery! But it hasn’t always been this way. For centuries, “How’s your digestion?” was the first question doctors asked. Wise practitioners have always known that a healthy GI system is the foundation for wellness. Today, progressive medical professionals are seeing proof that a diverse array of symptoms, illnesses, and disorders can be traced directly to digestive dysfunction, even when they seem unconnected to the gut.
If you’ve got digestive problems you have lots of company
In the United States, at least 70 million people experience digestive disorders. Many more don’t know that their unlikely symptoms may also be related to trouble in their GI tracts.
Women with digestive problems are often so accustomed to stomach issues that they don’t realize how much better they could feel. They may have learned to live with the discomfort and think that’s just how it’s supposed to be. But over time, functional digestive problems can lead to chronic illnesses that are likely to impair your health even further.
Some surprising signs and symptoms of digestive dysfunction:
- Fuzzy thinking
- Loss of bone density •
- Migraine and other headaches
- Joint inflammation
- Arthritis (all types)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure
Many of my patients don’t make a connection between the food they eat, either, and how they feel, physically and emotionally. But any factor that affects your GI function is worth looking into, because good digestion promotes optimal health — both physical and emotional.