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Do You Have a Health Issue or a Digestive Issue?

If your body was a three ring circus the digestive system would be the main attraction. This is because the digestive system dictates the health of all other body systems. Does this sound strange to you?  It actually should not because as we learn more about the body through research we find out more amazing ways that the digestive system, or gut, controls the health of the whole body.

The gut contains 50% of the immune system in the body.

The gut contains 3-4 pounds of bacteria which digest our food.

The gut controls the amount of inflammation in our body.

The gut controls allergies, even respiratory allergies!

The gut removes toxins and carcinogens from our body!

The gut has a built in indicator of how much inflammation you have!

So many of us have some sort of health concern, yet most of us with health concerns will tend to think we have great digestion. This demonstrates a common disconnect between our overall health and our gut health. How can we tell if we are having a problem with our digestive system that could be the root cause of a seemingly unrelated health condition?

Do you have heartburn?

Do you take pills to reduce stomach acid?

Do you have intestinal gas?

Do you feel bloated?

Do you have loose or incomplete bowel movements?

Do you get abdominal cramps?

Do you have chronic joint pain?

Do you have allergies?

Do you experience constipation or diarrhea?

Do you experience fatigue in the afternoon?

Do you have insomnia?

Do you experience heavy fatigue in general?

Do you get foggy-thinking to the point where you are not yourself?

Do you worry excessively?

Do you have unexplained weight gain?

Do you suffer from intermittent low back or knee pain?

Do you have any autoimmune conditions?

Do you have problems with your thyroid?

Look at your tongue, is the coating splotchy?

Is the edge of your tongue scalloped or serrated?

If you have any of these, it could be that it started in your gut and chances are that treatments for any condition you have may work at first, but lose its effectiveness later because the root problem is in the digestive system. The digestive system uses powerful neurotransmitters usually associated with mental emotional health such as serotonin to maintain healthy digestion and elimination while it also relies heavily on simple components of the whole digestive tract such as saliva, stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes and bile to keep digestion normal. Do not underestimate the impact each can have on your overall health. Many women with decades of long-term constipation need only to increase their stomach acid to restore intestinal movement. An easy thing for a skilled physician to address, but try finding one who really knows the gut. This is the first part of a 3 part series on the Gut, Your Foundation of Health. Part 2 will discuss beneficial bacteria which ones they are and how they can repair the damaged gut.

BTW- wondering about the gut’s built in inflammation indicator mentioned previously in this article? It’s called the omentum, look it up online. It’s very interesting and it is a moveable covering over the gut that swells when inflamed. This shows up as a bloated belly on many people. While gas can cause short term bloating the inflamed swollen omentum causes long term “beer belly” type  swelling and was the subject of the best selling book “Wheatbelly”.

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