The state of the health of your digestive system has a huge impact on the state of your overall health and wellness. In fact, intestinal health can be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. If you suffer some sort of digestive disorder, you are not alone. Studies show over 100 million Americans have digestive problems ranging from acid reflux to irregularity to more serious health issues. Diseases relating to poor digestive function are on the rise and include celiac disease, diverticulitis, irritable bowel and ulcerative colitis. Poor digestive health leaves us unable to properly digest, absorb and utilize the nutrients obtained from our diets.
Your intestinal tract is a microcosm of bacteria, some beneficial and some harmful. The proper balance of intestinal microflora has a profound influence on immune function. An underactive immune response leaves us vulnerable to infection, while an overactive immune response, or chronic inflammation, is at the root of autoimmune diseases and chronic age-related diseases, such as dementia, diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
Many lifestyle factors can affect the heath of the digestive system including a diet low in fiber and high in sugar and processed foods, overuse of medications including anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and acid blocking OTC’s, chronic low grade infections, an overgrowth of bacteria or parasites, chemical and environmental toxins, poor digestive enzyme function and stress.
To get on the right track to healthy digestive function:
- Treat any underlying infections.
- Take probiotics to re-establish a healthy gut microflora.
- Eliminate foods that are known to cause sensitivities such as gluten, dairy, yeast, corn and soy for a few weeks to see if your digestion improves and you start to feel better overall.
- Eat real, whole, unprocessed foods with plenty of fiber from vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Be sure to get plenty of water each day.
- Support the digestion of proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates with high activity, comprehensive digestive enzymes.
- Consider adding omega-3 supplements to help control inflammation.
- Supplement with gut healing nutrients such as l-glutamine and zinc.
Recommended products for gut healing and health and support of the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract:
Multi-Probiotic 15 Billion (200900) by Douglas Laboratories – Supports intestinal flora with 15 billion live beneficial prebiotics and probiotics. This product helps to establish and maintain a healthy microflora and discourages unfavorable pathogenic organisms.Digest Gold™ W/ATPro by Enzymedica – Represents one of the most potent digestive enzymes available. This formulation assists in the digestion of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and soluble and insoluble fiber. Digest Gold enables full benefit from nutrient intake, decreases the energy utilized in digestion, increases enzyme potential and supports whole body wellness. ProOmega Lemon 1000 mg by Nordic Naturals – Supplies high potency omega-3 essential fatty acids, clinically shown to support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response and overall health. Guaranteed purity and freshness. L-Glutamine 1,000 mg by Pure Encapsulations – For enhanced health and integrity of the intestinal tract and protective mucosal lining. This product helps to ensure proper nutrient utilization and absorption while limiting the passage of toxins through the intestinal barrier.