Prophet Muhammad (SAW) reminded us over 1400 years ago that “The root of all diseases is in the stomach.” Modern medicine stands as a witness to the paramount importance of the digestive system in promoting overall health.
What Are the Major Steps Involved In Digestion?
As we ingest food, a number of processes are triggered. The digestive process begins in the mouth where saliva and its various enzymes begin to break down food particles. The physical action of peristalsis then helps to move food through the gastrointestinal tract. Digestion includes both the mechanical churning of the stomach muscles as well as the chemical breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into small molecules using enzymes and chemicals such as hydrochloric acid. Next, absorption, which primarily occurs in the small intestine, allows the passage of valuable nutrients from the digested food to the vascular and lymphatic systems for distribution in the cells. The final step of elimination then removes indigestible substances and waste products from the body.
What Are the Consequences of Poor Digestion?
Modern medicine has shown that inadequate digestion can lead not only to common digestive disorders like acid-reflux, constipation, heartburn, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers and Chrohn’s disease, but also chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. With chronic indigestion, undigested food particles can produce toxins that damage the mucosal lining of intestines and allow “leakage” into inappropriate parts of the bloodstream, leading to immune disorders including food allergies, rheumatoid arthiritis, fibromyalgia and lupus. In addition, not having the proper balance of “friendly” bacteria, which aid the digestive process in the intestines, allows the proliferation of harmful microorganisms which can lead to many chronic infections, such as urinary tract infection, prostatitis, and yeast infections.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Indigestion?
There are numerous causes of indigestion, including swallowing air while chewing, drinking too much liquid with food (which dilutes digestive enzymes, inadequate chewing, specific food intolerances or allergies, intestinal obstruction, ulcers, lack of digestive enzymes, lack of friendly bacteria in the intestines, and/or disorders of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas.
What Can I Do To Improve Digestion?
Anything that counteracts the above causes will strengthen digestion. Among the simplest measures are to chew food adequately, avoid keeping our mouths open while eating, and avoid drinking liquids while eating. For food allergies/intolerances, please refer to “NAET for Allergies” which explains how this problem can be treated at Green Crescent Herbs & Acupuncture Clinic. Besides these steps, one of the most easily correctable problems is the deficiency of digestive enzymes and/or friendly intestinal bacteria. While most of us have enzymes needed to break down food, many do not have sufficient quantities of enzymes in proportion to our particular intakes of carbohydrates, proteins or fats. In addition, due to the frequent use of antibiotics and poor dietary habits, most adults do not have the proper ratio of “good” bacteria in their intestines, which increases the likelihood of a number of diseases and hampers digestion. Green Crescent Herbs & Acupuncture Clinic can recommend safe and effective supplements and/or foods that can replenish your source of digestive enzymes and “pro-biotics” that can help restore a healthy balance of friendly bacteria in order to strengthen your digestion and ward off disease. Consult Green Crescent Herbs & Acupuncture Clinic today to further understand how you can improve your digestion.