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Digestion:

The Key to Overall Health

Digestion is one of the most important processes for overall health and well-being. Having healthy digestion is essential because we are much more than what we eat—we are what we digest and absorb. Even when we eat well, there can be digestive issues, and this is an indication that our digestive system is not working optimally. This means that we are not fully absorbing all the nutrients that our food has to offer.

When we also consider that the majority of the body’s immune system functions within the digestive tract, attaining healthy digestion becomes even more critical.
What does it mean to have good digestion?   Good digestion means that nutrients from the food we eat are properly digested and absorbed. It also means that the waste is then efficiently eliminated through properly functioning bowels.

How does the digestive system process nutrients?   The digestive system processes important nutrients through properly functioning gastrointestinal organs. The process begins in the mouth and involves several organs which include the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

Chewing food well breaks the food down into smaller pieces for it to be thoroughly coated with saliva, which contains enzymes essential for food breakdown. The food then travels down the esophagus and reaches the stomach, where more enzymes and acids continue breaking down the food. Food then leaves the stomach and moves through the small intestine, where most absorption occurs. Nutrients are then transported through the bloodstream and delivered to the cells. These nutrients repair cells, create new ones, and keep all body functions working well. A problem that occurs anywhere along the digestive tract can result in health issues.

What are some signs of poor digestive health?  People with poor digestive health can experience:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Heartburn or stomach upset
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Struggles with weight

Other signs of impaired digestion include low iron levels (anemia), weak or cracked finger nails, dilated capillaries on the cheeks and nose, and chronic yeast or parasitic infections. Poor digestive health can even be related to cardiovascular health such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, allergies including chronic sinus problems and asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, headaches, and excessive fatigue.

If you suffer from any of these health issues, you must make your digestive health a priority.  Consider consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor for guidance and to improve your overall health and well-being.

 

 

 

Dr. Suzanne Bartolini practices Naturopathic Medicine in both Toronto & Oakville clinic locations. For more information contact:  doctorbartolini@gmail.com