Our digestive tract is the absolute foundation for vibrant wellbeing. As a Nutritional Therapist, I prioritise gastrointestinal health and work to support its optimal function.
Here are some common digestive health complaints associated with digestive imbalance
- Acid reflux, acid stomach, heartburn or indigestion
- Constipation and/or diarrhoea
- Bloating and gas
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Bad breath
- The well functioning digestive system is involved in optimum absorption and assimilation of nutrients from food. The gastrointestinal mucosal membrane surface is the largest interface between our internal body and the external world and up to 80% of our immune system is also located underneath our mucosal lining of the gut. We also have beneficial gut bacteria in the GI tract which aids the intestinal immune system, breaking our food into nutrients, blocking the bad bacteria, and promoting a healthy intestinal lining.
- Digestion begins with the salivary glands with the majority of digestion of food occurring in the stomach which needs Hydrochloric Acid (HCL). Often times people don’t make adequate HCL and hence wont properly breakdown their food. Most digested molecules of food are absorbed through the small intestine. In a healthy intestinal tract, the intestines tight junctions limit the transport of large molecules across the epithelium. In an unhealthy intestine the tight junctions become leaky and these large molecules can slip into circulation causing diseases.
A careful balance of gut bacteria also promotes metabolic and hormone balance as well as inhibiting the growth of pathogenic (disease forming) bacteria, yeasts and parasites. Alternations in gut bacteria may lead to changes in digestive function and health.
As a Nutritional Therapist, I will be looking to support optimal gut function using foods, food-based supplements and biological agents (probiotics) if deemed necessary. Functional testing can also help fine tune my recommendations – please see testing tab for more info.
A healthy digestive system also supports optimum liver function. Our liver is responsible for metabolising proteins, carbohydrates and fats; and detoxifing hormones, toxins and drugs. The liver makes bile which is necessary for fat and fat-soluble vitamin absorption. Bile and pancreatic enzymes may also help destroy unwanted micro-organisms in the digestive tract and also prevent bacterial build up in the small intestine.
As a Nutritional Therapist, supporting your liver function to encourage good detoxification and elimination, and metabolic and hormonal balance is a fundamental part of any foundational plan.