20 Jul The Digestion Matrix
There aren’t a lot of certainties in health and nutrition. But there is one universal truth that I subscribe to:
Digestion. Is. Everything.
How your GI (gastrointestinal) tract breaks down food and utilizes it literally affects every other system in your body.
Unfortunately, much of the medical community takes a symptom=pill approach instead of looking at the root cause of a health issue, so that’s how the average person starts to view their health. But what I see over and over in my clients, is that the root cause of a majority of common health concerns stems from what’s going on in your gut. If you get that in check, usually everything else will fall into place.
Common Symptoms of Compromised Digestion:
- Gas & Bloating
- Constipation & Diarrhea
- Acid Reflux
- Unhealthy Weight Gain & Loss
- Brain Fog
- Sleep Problems
- Depression & Anxiety
- Immune Disorders
- Acne & Skin Problems
- Allergies & Congestion
- Hormone Imbalances
- Candida/ Thrush/Yeast Infections
- Muscle & Joint Pain
Do I really believe you can trace all that back to the gut? Why yes I do…here’s why…
You literally are what you eat.
Digestion is the chemical breakdown of food into molecules that essentially become your body tissues.
On a macronutrient level…
- Lipids/fats are converted to fatty acids to be used in brain, nervous system, reproductive system and hormones
- Proteins are converted to individual amino acids, used in muscles, brain and hormones
- Carbohydrates are converted into simple sugars to be used as energy by cells throughout the body and brain
And on a micronutrient level, complex foods are broken down into their individual vitamins and minerals which are carried to where they need to go to perform specific functions in the body. These functions include everything from muscle movement to neurological function, to cell metabolism.
And how does this happen?
As food travels from your mouth throughout your GI tract, different parts of your body excrete various enzymes until it’s broken down into the smallest molecules.
There is also a balance of trillions of bacteria that line your intestinal tract that all serve specific functions. This is your microbiome, and it’s a big deal. We will get into this more in part 2.
All of these things work together to break down the food and get the macro and micronutrients where they need to go…which is to every other part of the body.
So if there’s a flaw in the digestive process, your body is not going to break down the foods correctly, which can lead to obvious signs like gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
But also think about this…if the food isn’t broken down correctly, then the carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals aren’t getting to the right organs or parts of the body, and those issues will manifest themselves in many different ways. Refer to the list above for just a few signs of compromised digestion.
In addition, if the good bacteria in the microbiome aren’t getting what they need, they cannot flourish and bad bacteria can start taking over, which also can lead to the problems listed above.
Starting to see why digestion is kind of a big deal yet?
How Your Gut is Connected to the Matrix
Besides actually breaking down all of your food and turning it into molecules that become you, there is a huge connection between your gut, your immune system, and your brain.
–80% of your immune system is in your digestive tract
So if something is going on in your gut, you could be getting a lot sicker than you should be. Your gut is the first line of defense against external pathogens. If you are having immune problems, looking at gut health is incredibly important.
–Gut bacteria manufacture neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, along with vitamins that are important for brain health
It’s very likely that your mood and mental function could be a result of what is going on in your stomach and intestines. There is a huge brain/gut connection; you basically have a second brain in your gut. So anxiety, depression, and even disorders like OCD and ADD can often be helped if you heal the gut first.
Of course there are other factors to look at when it comes to how our brain works, but not including our gut health in those factors is a huge oversight.
So how do I make sure my gut is happy? And how do I know if something is wrong?
Stay tuned. I’ve got you covered…
Coming up in this Digestion Series:
If you have more questions or want to learn how to heal your gut on an individual level, contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.