When Indigestion Kills

The Truth Behind IBD

This may sounds extreme, when in fact its very true. Digestion, when it happens correctly is our source of life and sustenance. Its how our body takes food and creates energy, cellular functions, immune functions, muscular function and everything else our body does every minute of every day relies on nutrients. Your body must take food from your mouth, mix it with salvia and enzymes, get it to the stomach and add hydrochloric acid and more digestive enzymes, then move it to the small and large intestines where nutrients are absorbed from it, then finally to the colon where it is expelled through the rectum. This process can take 48 hours to complete, as the food must travel approximately 30 feet!

You are not what you eat, you are what you digest. Digestion is the critical process of breaking down your food so all of these functions of the body happen. So when is happening when we have gas, or bloating, or nausea or constipation? We are not digesting properly, and therefor not absorbing. If we cannot absorb we cannot feed our cells, and they will die. When food goes undigested, it runs amok and causes disease. These diseases can kill you. So yes, Indigestion can be deadly.

How can a little gas harm you? When food goes undigested, it does not just disappear in the body. Food particles are left in the intestines and take a lot longer to breakdown. Sitting there in the intestines they begin to decay and as a result cause gas and bloating. The gas is uncomfortable, but what is worse is the food that is sitting in there. This can also cause inflammation in the intestinal lining, which is the region of the body that absorbs all the nutrients. When the lining is inflamed or damaged it cannot do this. Furthermore, when food particles sit in the intestines too long, they become food for Candida, a living fungus (yeast) in the body that often overgrows causing many yeast related illness such as inflammation (especially within the intestines) nail fungus, thrush, vaginal infections, jock itch, skin disorders, mental fatigue and brain fog, hair loss, immune system dysfunction and more. This is no small issue.

To make matters worse, when the intestinal wall becomes inflamed, it can also become ulcerated and often holds excess Candida, mucus and bacteria or infection causing heat, inflammation, pain, bloating, diarrhea and bleeding. This is referred to as Ulcerative Colitis. There is a similar disease which can spread throughout the entire intestinal tract as a bacterial infections, we call this type of condition Chron’s disease. If in the process of getting food from the intestines to the colon there is too much pressure, pockets along the sides of the intestinal wall can develop and become a breeding ground for bacteria and infection, this is called diverticulitis. All of these conditions are essentially inflammatory conditions within the intestines; inflammation is the root of all disease. But wait there is more! If your intestinal wall is inflamed, it is weak and holes can tear right into and through it. When this happens, tiny food particles escape the intestines and float in the blood stream. The body then responds with immune system function (increased white blood cells, fevers, inflammation) as a way of trying to rid the body of this foreign invader, when in actuality its just food.

So now that we know we must digest our food properly, lets talk about how we do that to make sure we are getting optimal digestive functions to reduce disease risk.

  1. Improve Food Quality so that it is easier to digest. This means eliminate anything that is not a real food (manufactured foods such as meat analogs and any food made in a lab or factory).
  2. Increase digestive enzymes – We lose enzymes as we age, and as our gut health deteriorates. Supplement with digestive enzymes.
  3. Increase hydrochloric acid – This also reduces with age and poor food quality, you can take capsules before your meal to improve hydrochloric acid levels.
  4. Probiotics – Fight Candida by improving digestion and leaving no food for candida to thrive on, remove sugars and grains from the diet, consume live bacteria from various sources.
  5. Prebiotics – Live bacteria need the right foods to grow, this means specific fibers from plants only. Eat plenty of vegetables to improve your prebiotic fiber content!
  6. Increase bile production – Bile is a necessary digestive fluid manufactured in the liver, the released via the gallbladder to help break down your food. It is especially important for breaking down dietary fats. Bitter foods help to do this.
  7. Reduce Inflammation – Inflammation is the root of all disease and is especially prevalent in the digestive tract with gut disorders. Eat anti-inflammatory foods, use anti-inflammatory plants, herbs, essential oils and omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.
  8. Practice proper food combining and chewing habits. Combining all kinds of foods gets confusing to the body because there are different enzymes needed for different foods. Fats, proteins and starches all require different enzymes for example. Avoid combing fruits with other foods, eat proteins and fats together, veggies and starches together for best results. Chew food for at least 30 seconds before swallowing.
  9. Stress – Stress is one of the biggest triggers for inflammatory bowel disease and increases overall stress hormone cortisol that also triggers inflammation. Reduce stress, reduce workload, get enough sleep, incorporate the use of lavender essential oil and add just 10 minutes of daily meditation to keep stress levels down.

Food is the first place to make changes if you want to be healthier.

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Nicole Carter MEd
The Wellness Experience

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