Anne Darcy Naturopath 10/04/16
People talk about and complain about their digestion without fully understanding what it is. I would like to give you a good description of how your stomach works. What is normal? What symptoms are experienced when it is malfunctions? What can you do to correct the problem?
We eat food and digestion begins by first chewing to break it into small pieces to be worked on by chemicals in the saliva called amylase enzymes. When the partially digested food is swallowed, the stomach portion of digestion begins. Hydrochloric acid is released from the parietal cells lining the stomach, which is followed by the release of digestive enzymes, which breaks down the protein foods such as meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds (similar to the action of washing up liquid on your dirty dishes as it dissolves the food).
When the digestive system is working at its best, the body gets its optimum nutrients to run the body at its full capacity. There would plenty of energy provided, plus the nutrients needed to make new material such as muscle, hormones and enzymes. The liver would be able to adequately detoxify the body of poisonous and toxic waste products.
This is the ideal situation.
However, there are many complaints of poor digestion that people are putting up with, not realising how easy it is to correct the problem.
Undigested food ferments and produces wind because the stomach makes insufficient digestive enzymes to adequately digest food. There is the experience of bloating, feeling too full to finish the meal or burping up wind. Acid reflux may occur as the fermented contents rise into the oesophagus and sometimes into the throat causing a gagging or burning sensation (heartburn), worse when lying flat in the bed at night. Remember this occurs in all ages so the colicky baby experiences this, as does the person sleeping on four pillows and swallowing bottles of antacids. Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also occur.
Those children we refer to as picky eaters, often have a deficiency of digestive enzymes. As certain foods made them feel unwell, they stopped eating it. Protein foods that are essential for growth and development gradually get eliminated. Sausages, chicken nuggets and fish fingers are already processed and broken down, so may be tolerated while unprocessed meat and chicken may be refused.
The best treatment option and the best way to fix the problem is to stimulate the production of your own digestive enzymes. Bitter foods increase saliva and stomach enzymes as will lemon juice in water before you eat, salad with a lemon or vinegar dressing or bitter herbs. Raw fruits and vegetables also contain natural digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzymes are available in capsule or tablet form and will replace the missing enzymes to help break down the food, so it is digested not fermented.
The bloating, burping and full feeling will soon disappear. The well digested food will provide the energy and the raw material to make everything in your body work better.
If you realise that your digestion is working poorly and you are suffering symptoms, call 062 63436 and “Lets restore your health naturally”.