Fix Your Digestion-Fix Your Health

As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I was trained to look at a client’s digestive health first and foremost before designing any kind of health game plan for that individual. Why? Because we can tell so much about a person’s current health by knowing the details of their bathroom visits. I know, sounds yucky! Ha ha! But it’s an easy way for me to see what nutrients the client needs in order to gain the health that they’re looking for.

If you’re the type that’s dealing with weird #2’s, your body is BEGGING for healing and you might not even realize it. Typically, I’ll ask clients the same question at their very first meeting, “Do you go #2 daily?” And they often say, “I go like every other day or every couple of days but that’s normal for me. ” And I want to scream, “NOOOO, THAT’S NOT NORMAL–THAT’S DANGEROUS!!” As I’ve researched certain diseases in my client’s lives over the years, I often see one common denominator–chronic constipation or diarrhea long before they are diagnosed with said disease. What does this tell us? It says that we MUST pay attention to our bowel movements in order to know whether our body is trying to tell us something or not. Symptoms are our bodies’ messengers to us……letting us know that something is up. We have to listen when it speaks because ignoring symptoms will NEVER fix the problem but it sure could get worse and worse…and then turn into a painful disease down the road. With various chronic diseases becoming super common over the past 100 years, it’s wise for us to be aware and get to the root cause of the problem. Especially if we have parents or grandparents with health struggles already. While we do carry their genes, that does not mean we’ll automatically inherit their developed diseases especially if they were lifestyle induced like the majority of diseases today. That being said, we must understand that if we ignore symptoms for a long time and don’t fix the root cause, it’s very possible we’ll develop the same diseases of our older family members.

So how does proper digestion play into the development of diseases? DIGESTION IS EVERYTHING!!! I can’t shout this statement enough! Just recognize that if your digestion is on point, your overall health is looking pretty good! So many of our organs are controlled by our digestive health believe it or not. Here are some ways to enhance your digestion if it’s struggling:

If you’re constipated, your body could have food sensitivities that you’re not aware of. I see this symptom extremely often working with every day clients. Most of them have no clue that this is a food sensitivity symptom. It’s fascinating to see their bodies actually eliminating this symptom once we get down to the root cause. If this is you, please look into these common food sensitivities:

1. Grains
2. Dairy
3. Legumes
4. Nuts
5. Eggs

So what can I do if I suspect that my weird BMs are caused by a food sensitivity? The easiest answer is to begin eliminating one food at a time to see if anything changes. I have some clients that see great success once they eliminate grains but many are struggling with such poor digestive health that they need to be much more strict so their digestive organs have some time to heal. For a person like that, I recommend going to a straight, whole food diet such as paleo while also eliminating the nuts for a while. Focusing on healthy fat, protein, and whole food carbohydrates is extremely healing on a digestive system. After you’ve seen regular BMs for a while, go ahead and slowly add in the foods in question one at a time to see how your body handles them. This is a sure fire way to spot a food sensitivity because you’ll notice some unwanted symptoms when you add in a food your body doesn’t appreciate. I’ve had clients notice brain fog, tiredness, low energy, cravings, skin issues, and/or weird stools once they added in one or more of the above mentioned foods back into their diets. It’ usually pretty easy to see and very motivating for you to stick to once the food sensitivity is made known.

Also consider other lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your constipation like not drinking enough water (huge constipater), not moving enough (exercise), and not supplementing with Magnesium and Vitamin C. The combo of both of those nutrients (Magnesium & Vitamin C) are pretty great at relieving constipation. If you’re already eating a whole food diet and don’t feel that you have any of the above mentioned food sensitivities, then try these other methods to see if the constipation subsides.

If you struggle with diarrhea, this problem needs to be fixed ASAP!! Diarrhea is the body’s way of pushing everything out super fast because there is something in your system that it doesn’t like. Basically, your body sees an intruder inside and forces it out. In a addition, this means that the good healthy foods that you’re eating are not having enough time to be absorbed and sadly, your body doesn’t benefit from them. Again, look at the foods that you could be sensitive to like grains, dairy, legumes, nuts, and/or eggs. And eat a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes can really help clear up diarrhea however, if you eat a food shortly after that you’re sensitive to, the diarrhea will come right back. It’s a great idea to journal your foods for a week or two along with your bowel movements to help give you some clarity.

Just a side note, if you’re experiencing diarrhea and have had your gallbladder removed, your body could really use some help digesting fat and a good digestive enzyme like ox bile is extremely beneficial. I don’t know why doctors are not recommending this to their patients that have had cholecystectomies but they really, really should be. Without a gallbladder, your liver is now taking on extra work and can easily become overworked causing fat digestion to be too hard for your body to handle. So take note if this is you.

Please recognize that if you’re trying all of these tips I’ve mentioned and still are not seeing the success you’re searching for, PLEASE hire someone to help you figure it out like an NTP or a Functional Medicine Doctor. It could truly save you from developing a disease later on in your lifetime. And who’s got time for that? Happy pooping!!

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