Poor digestion can make anyone’s life miserable. On the other hand, good digestion promotes a more enjoyable and healthier life.
Anyone can experience some stomach upset at one time or another. However, chronic stomach upset indicates there is an underlying problem.
Signs of Stomach Disorders
There are a host of problems that can occur from bad digestion such as, IBS, heartburn (referred to as acid reflux or GERD), bloating, gas and ulcers. Many people think these problems are just hopeless conditions diagnosed by their family doctor. But most don’t realize there are healthy, effective solutions to resolving these problems. And they don’t require taking medications!
Symptoms of a possible underlying problem:
- Belching and gas.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- An acidic taste in your mouth.
- Fullness during or after a meal.
- Growling stomach.
- Burning in your stomach or upper belly.
- Belly pain.
Root Causes of Digestion Disorders
All digestive problems have a root cause. And it is not just about what you eat.
Digestive problems can be caused by many things. However, here are the main causes of digestive disorders:
- Poor microbiome balance. In other words, not enough probiotic (beneficial) bacteria in ratio to harmful bacteria. Just adding in probiotics has been linked to many more issues including activation of autoimmunity and flare ups of systemic inflammation. Therefore, testing is important to see what each body requires.
- Poor diet. We recommend eating real food. This means particularly avoiding processed foods and having a good portion of your diet containing plant based foods.
- Eating too quickly. Our bodies are designed to store calories. And unfortunately most Americans eat too fast. As a result, they take in too many calories before they realize they’ve eaten more than enough. This is especially the case with processed foods that are now so abundant in our society. On the other hand, leisurely eating allows enough time for your body to realize it is full.
- Being dehydrated. Digestion relies on proper hydration. For example, chronic dehydration is a major factor in constipation. Stools absorb water in the gastrointestinal tract. If a person is dehydrated there is insufficient water, the stool becomes hard and digestion slows down.
- Raw food. Some patients such as those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have difficulty digesting raw foods. If a person’s digestion problems are symptomatic with raw foods it is really an indication that something else is going on and they need to visit with a Functional Medicine doctor.
Unfortunately when persons experience one or more of the above problems doctors often recommend over-the-counter medications. However, drugs usually only give temporarily relief. And worse, they can mask underlying problems.
How We Address Digestion Disorders
At Epic Functional Medicine we address the underlying causes of disorders. We utilize laboratory testing to get to the real root cause – we don’t guess at causes. Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. We engage both the patient and practitioner in a health-centered partnership to resolve the problem.
Benefits of Healthy Digestion
Digestion affects many necessary functions in life. When your digestion is working properly there are many health benefits. For example:
- You have more energy and stamina.
- Helps you think more clearly.
- Enhance elimination of toxins from your body.
- Improved absorption of nutrients.
- Regularity of bowel movements.
Tips to Improve Digestion
Here are a few things anyone can do to improve their digestion:
- Drink water 30 minutes before your meal and with your meal to stay hydrated.
- Chew your food 10 to 30 times before swallowing to break it down.
- Eat something raw or living with every meal which is filled with enzymes.
Don’t let stomach problems ruin your life or the life of a loved one. Contact us today so we can help!
Dr. Jason Bradley