We cannot live without our brain, our blood, our heart, our liver, our kidneys, or our lungs. Can you name anything else? How about our digestive system?
Our digestive system is one of the most neglected major systems in our bodies, which is a shame when one considers that it is responsible for almost everything that enters and leaves. It breaks down food, absorbs it, turns it into useable products, and gets rid of what is not required or may be harmful. Consider that, in a sense, the health of every part of your body, from your skin to your immune system, begins and ends in your digestive system. Naturopathic medicine historically considers the digestive system to be one of the most important organ systems in our body, helping to provide all other organs with the nutrition they need.
The entire process is complex and fine-tuned, involving acid, alkalines, symbiotic microorganisms, and numerous muscles, valves, enzymes, and cells. With such complexity there are a lot of possible ways for the balance to get thrown off.
Are there enough enzymes to break down the food? Does your body have a food intolerance to begin with? Is it having an inflammatory response? Are there unwanted guests, such as yeast, parasites, or unhealthy bacteria? Or, most commonly is the resident friendly bacteria population what it should be?
Keeping our digestive systems happy is not nearly as complex, but it is not always easy and you may benefit from consulting a naturopathic doctor at our clinic. Ensuring we consume a balanced diet, manage our physical and emotional stress, and take that little probiotic capsule every day is a lot to deal with for the average modern Westerner. Consequently an imbalance may occur, and the finely tuned system may start to malfunction, manifesting in all kinds of direct digestive symptoms and impacting every system in the body as their supply line starts to become less dependable.
The best way to pinpoint which part, or parts, of the digestive system are having trouble is accurate testing. The NutrEval test, for example, provides a comprehensive look at what vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the digestive system is actually absorbing. Perhaps testing for parasites, intestinal bacteria levels, and other invaders is in order. For that matter, a complete stool analysis to measure invaders plus digestion, absorption, inflammation, and so on may be important. Knowing what foods your body will and will not tolerate can make a large difference in your health and the way you feel.
If tests reveal that your digestive system could use a little help there are a lot of targeted treatments available, such as straight supplementation of deficient enzymes and symbiotic bacteria, cleansing and repopulating the colon with colonic hydrotherapy and reflorestation, treating ongoing infection, and adjusting diet. The choices are many, but the right choice depends on your body, your needs, and your life. The Nardella Clinic’s naturopathic doctors have over a decade of experience using diagnostic testing to help identify which treatments are best for your digestive health.
There is no better first assessment than your digestive system for achieving optimum health and ensuring that you’re getting that ounce of prevention we all hear so much about.
If your digestive system seems out of balance or you’re interested to find out how it can be in the best possible shape, contact us to set up a consultation with one of our naturopathic doctors and get on the road to happier digestion.