The importance of gut health
You are not what you EAT but what you ABSORB
The Importance of that Gut Feeling; Building health from the inside out
The health of your digestive system is of vital importance to your overall health. The gut is where food is digested and nutrients are absorbed. If this process is not working optimally then your health will be impaired in many more ways than you may initially think.
If the mucus membranes or gut lining is damaged, through medication, stress, illness or poor diet then this can cause a host of problems. It will no longer be able to absorb all the goodness from your food, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Additionally it will absorb proteins which usually would not pass into the blood stream and this can lead to an increase in food allergies and inflammation. Inflammatory processes contribute to almost all illnesses (including back pain!) which is why nurofen an anti-inflammatory is such a popular over the counter medication. But if you can stop the inflammatory process at the root cause then that’s a much better way to go.
The microflora and digestive enzymes of the gut also have a huge part to play. The good bacteria live off the fibre we eat and actually produce protective substances in our faecal matter which can protect us from bowel cancer. Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat, but if this is not happening properly that food begins to ferment and produce gas which causes bloating and flatulence. Stress stops these enzymes working which is why people often lose their appetite or struggle to digest well in high stress situations.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is an umbrella term to describe a wide range of symptoms including bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea and discomfort. It is very common but it does not mean nothing can be done about it. Conditions ranging from depression to arthritis can also clearly be linked to the health of the gut.
As a Naturopath looking at the gut and digestion is often where I start a treatment plan with a patient. It is the foundation of health and needs to be well looked after to build up a strong immune system and absorb all the nutrients you need to live well.
Please ring the clinic if you would like to discuss a gut or nutritional problems with Claire.
Claire Sutton M.Ost, BSc(hons) ND DO
Osteopath and Naturopath