This is the beginning of a seven part series on digestive health.
The digestive system is a set of organs responsible for food breakdown, nutrient absorption and elimination of waste. This intricate system is critical for hormonal balance because it controls its own functions via hormonal signals. Amazingly, over 30 hormone genes are currently known to be expressed in the stomach and the intestines, making your gut the largest endocrine organ in your body! The digestive system is also interesting because it involves both the nervous system and the cells and activities of the endocrine system.
Your nervous system, especially the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) and sympathetic (fight-or-flight), influences digestion. However, your digestive system has its own nervous system too. It’s huge, with just as many nerves as your spinal cord! So, when you get a gut instinct, go with it. The foods you chose and the function of your digestive tract both strongly influence your nervous system and your endocrine system. Their effects can in turn alter your hormones, inflammatory response and – you guessed it – affect your ability to lose weight by influencing your ability to burn fat, appetite or cravings.
Good digestion offers many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing:
o Optimal nutrient absorption o Effective elimination of waste o Healthy immunity o Healthy mind, mood and memory o Glowing skin o Appetite control o Protection from the harmful effects of stress
In order to function at its healthy best, your digestive system needs:
o Relief from inflammation, food allergies or poor food choices o Relief from the negative effects of stress and tension o The right bacterial balance for immunity and for ridding the body of excess estrogen o Proper enzymes and acid levels for nutrient absorption o Open communication with the nervous system and the brain to control appetite, metabolism and digestive functions o The ability to “keep moving” so it can rid the body of hormonal waste, fat and toxins
The first step of your wellness plan should center on optimizing your sleep, stress reduction, conquering inflammation and improving digestion all at once – the essence of our Clear Medicine Wellness Program. This is good news considering the astounding number of people who are plagued by lack of sleep, excessive stress, weakened immunity and poor digestion. The steps outlined here offer many other positive benefits, as well, including more energy, glowing skin, stronger mental focus, less joint pain and stiffness and, of course, fat loss.
We hope this information can help you rid bloating, brain fog and sugar cravings for good.
KEY 1: Reduce Inflammation by Removing Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities or intolerances usually involve a different set of immune system antibodies called IgG antibodies. Symptoms are less intense and typically do not appear immediately but rather within 12–48 hours after eating the offending foodstuff. Heartburn, headaches, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, looking tired even after sufficient sleep, an inability to lose weight, bloating and relentless water retention can all be related to food sensitivities or intolerances. Because the connection between the symptom and a specific food can be difficult to pinpoint, those who suffer these discomforts often go on feeling worse and worse as their immune system takes a constant beating.
Many of us with food sensitivities don’t even realize how bad we feel until the problematic foods are removed from our diet. Then suddenly getting out of bed becomes easier, our energy, mood and concentration improve, and joint pain, headaches and sinus congestion disappear. During your anti-inflammatory detox, you will take these foods out of your diet for a specific period of time to give your body a break and a chance to calm down and detoxify. Slowly re-introducing each food after a 10-day break can allow you to connect symptoms with your food choices. With the proper guidance, you can identify your food sensitivities in just three weeks.