Digestion, Your Inner Garden
If you remember, in past notes, we talked about low thyroid hormone (hypothyroid) and some of its effects on the other systems of the body. Today, I want to focus on digestion.
As we said, unbalanced and improperly supported thyroid hormone can manifest in many symptoms including, chronic constipation or diarrhea, or as in the case of Inflammatory Bowel disease,(Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's disease) or Irritable Bowel Disease, erratic and painful attacks of both.
Either of these conditions can be disastrous in the long term, to all body systems.
The gut is to the body , what the soil is to the plant. If the soil is depleted of essential nutrients, like minerals, is dry and hard, or overtaken by bacterial overgrowth, the plant may survive for a time, but it will not thrive and will eventually die due to malnutrition and dehydration.
Our digestive tract provides the main source for assimilating nutrients.
Nutrients are vitamins and minerals, which come from fresh whole, natural food and supplements. Nutrients heal damaged and injured cells. As I like to say, Illness and disease are not a deficiency of antibiotics or steroids.
It has been said that people who die from cancer actually die from malnutrition.
It's important to understand that the best oral supplements in the world are pretty much useless in a gut that is sluggish from years of fungal overgrowth and toxic chemicals. You can pass a football over and over again, but if there isn't a receiver to catch the ball or he keeps dropping it, the ball does not advance.
In the same way with our bodies, we first need to have the correct nutrient(the ball) then we need our cells to be able transfer them (the quarterback) and then we need healthy cells to be able to receive (the receiver) the nutrients.
So our goal is to maintain a healthy and strong inner garden. A garden that grows healthy flora creates many of the body's own nutrients. I recommend taking high quality probiotics in capsule form. One that is enteric coated as it doesn't open until it reaches the small intestine. In addition to another that is in a regular capsule that would open in the stomach. I suggest taking one of each , every day for those who are sick or chronically fatigued.
Regarding yogurt as a source of probiotics, there are two things to consider. One, dairy is very acid forming and second, dairy is a common allergy.
Digestion starts in the mouth. A healthy hydrated mouth creates saliva. Saliva contains digestive enzymes called salivary amylase which digests carbohydrates.
Healthy gums and strong teeth, break down the food we eat into small pieces for initial digestion.
The stomach's job is to digest proteins and fats. The stomach has a very acidic environment to accomplish this. The PH of the stomach is about 2, which is 50,000 to 100,000 times more acidic than the rest of the body.
Most of the indigestion symptoms people experience is probably due to low hydrochloric acid, as opposed to too much acid, because hydrochloric acid reduces as we age. Always make sure you are tested for H-pylori bacteria before taking hydrochloric acid.
Magnesium is required for the body to make hydrochloric acid, and since most of us are severely magnesium deficient, we are experiencing more and more digestion problems.
I believe transdermal magnesium oil is the most effective way to rebuild low magnesium stores.
The stomach also requires enzymes to break down food.
A little personal side story; a few years ago, my family and I were staying in a very old cabin with very old plumbing. The sewer had backed up into the shower drain and , as you can imagine, created a very unpleasant smell. When the plumber came to fix the problem, we noticed that he poured a very large bottle of liquid down the drain. I asked him what was in the bottle and he said it was enzymes. In just a few minutes, the drain was open and the smell had gone away.
I believe every person over the age of forty could use digestive enzyme supplementation, as enzymes also tend to be reduced as we age.
Some foods contain their own enzymes such as raw fruit and vegetables. But when we eat anything else, we need to consider taking digestive enzymes before each meal.
As we travel further down the digestive tract, we meet the duodenum, the first part of the small intestines.
The duodenum is where more digestive enzymes are added, such as bile from the liver and pancreatic enzymes from the pancreas (lipase and protease.)
Next is the jejunem, where our food is assimilated and taken throughout the body. The ileum is the final section of the small intestines. The ileum has three primary purposes. 1) absorption of vitamin B12 and bile salts 2) recirculate bile to the liver. 3) neutralize potentially disease causing organisms in specially modified lymph tissue called Peyer's patches.
The colon's main job is to maintain electrolyte and fluid balance.
As we have discussed in previous notes, electrolytes are minerals, calcium, magnesium , potassium, sodium, chloride, etc. The colon's job is to balance minerals, for maintaining body PH balance.
The importance of a healthy digestive system and properly supported thyroid cannot be overstated.
In future notes, we'll talk about the liver and gallbladder as well detoxification, repairing and restoring the digestive tract to homeostasis.