Do you often suffer from bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, stomach pain, or reflux? These rather uncomfortable symptoms are signs of an imbalance in your gut health. It can affect the whole body, and it is often linked to autoimmunity, food sensitivity, allergy, and might even increase risks of getting a cardiovascular disease.
The digestive system breaks down food in order for the body to absorb the nutrients that it needs. For it to function seamlessly, all key aspects involved in digestion must be given attention. From the food that is being ingested, to how the digestive system’s health, and the balance of beneficial bacteria particularly those located in the gut, also called the gastrointestinal microbiome. If there is something wrong with one of those aspects, then the whole system is affected, leading to those uncomfortable symptoms that you are experiencing.
Digestive Enzyme Levels
When the body cannot produce enough digestive enzymes to break the food you eat into smaller particles to help with absorption, it leads to bloating and the feeling of being full. This is because digestion has slowed down or is incomplete. A digestive disorder such as IBS, eating on the run, and stress are among those that can cause low production of enzymes. To help resolve this issue, enzyme production must be reestablished by helping the pancreas.
Intestinal Hyperpermeability (A.K.A Leaky Gut)
The body’s gut lining is where the food that is digested waits until its nutrients are ready be absorbed. It is also what protects the digestive tract from waste products that are toxic. In a way, it acts like a filter, allowing only nutrients that are beneficial to get into the bloodstream. When the lining becomes weak, it results to what is known as a leaky gut. Factors that can lead to this are stress, poor diet, a digestive disorder, and alcohol.
Natural Remedies For Digestive Problems
Below are some herbs and nutrients that can help with digestive problems:
- Gentian and dandelion root. These bitter herbs increases the production of digestive enzymes, as well as improve the overall digestive flow.
- Glutamine. It is a component of protein and it can improve the gut lining’s condition, reducing the occurrence of digestive problems.
- Vitamin A and Zinc. These two are known to help the cells in the gut lining stay intact, lessening the gaps that cause the gut to “leak”.
- Vegetarian digestive enzymes. These enzymes are derived from plants and boosts the body’s own supply.
- Apple cider vinegar – be sure to get the one with “the mother”
Improve Gut Health Further
The following lifestyle changes can improve your gut health dramatically:
- Increase your fruit, vegetable, and fibre-rich food intake. They promote overall digestive health.
- Eat at a slow pace. Don’t rush. Chew your food thoroughly. And lastly, don’t eat and run. Doing this gives the gut time to prepare as it gets “alerted” that there is incoming food, and ultimately stimulating the production of enzymes to aid in digestion.
- Learn to manage stress as it reduces the production of enzyme, increasing the chances of having a leaky gut.
- Decrease your consumption of alcohol and food that is either processed, sugary or fatty as they can all bring harm to your gut lining.
- Get help from your Functional medicine practitioner for a more thorough health assessment and recovery plan that is tailored to your personal health.