Gut Health…How Your Digestive System Works
We’ve discussed how important your gut health is to your entire well-being. Too often, modern medicine gives us the impression we can eat anything we want with no consequences as big pharma will have a pill to fix everything. Not true! We are responsible for our health as a result of what we eat, so let’s take a look at the digestive system to have a basic understanding of how it works.
Your digestive system is a series of several parts. In addition to accessory organs like the gallbladder and liver, you have your stomach, small intestine, large intestine and pancreas. Each part of the path, from your mouth to your colon, is responsible for some part of the digestive process. And it’s a complicated process.
Your body needs to add fluid and enzymes to break food down, then extract the nutrients. Fluid is constantly being added and removed from the system to facilitate the processes. Bacteria, bile, and water are all players in the digestive process, as are enzymes. If any of these elements are out of balance, your digestion is affected. Bacteria can grow out of control, and they can die too. Your enzymes may be deficient.
You may have too much or not enough fluid. Your fluid balance is often the difference between constipation and diarrhea or absorption and mal-absorption of the nutrients you ingest, so fluid balance is important for proper functioning of your digestive system. What you put into your stomach can have an effect on fluid balance.
For example, if you eat salty foods, your body has to pull fluid from your cells to help balance the ratio in your gut. If this happens to an extreme, it can cause dehydration and can ultimately lead to constipation and digestive problems.
Eating a low fiber, high fat diet can cause problems too. Fiber essentially pushes material through your gut. If the waste becomes stuck in your digestive system it can injure the delicate lining of your gut. This not only causes pain and discomfort, it can also cause an immune response and food sensitivities. Diverticulitis is one example of food particles becoming trapped in the lining of the intestines and causes severe pain and damage.
Your gut has a lot of tasks to manage and each task is responsible for keeping you healthy – both physically and mentally. When you have good gut health, you’re better able to manage any challenges that come your way, and you’re less likely to become ill. Because your gut health is so important, the blogs that follow will be dedicated to providing you with steps to build and maintain good gut health.
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