The physiology and functional capacities of the digestive system have been outlined in the article on Digestion. It follows the process of digestion from the moment we begin to chew our food until we eliminate it. It explains the imbalances that can occur at each stage of digestion and explains the reasons. It also makes some basic recommendations for corrections. Though theses recommendations are not individually tailored, they represent what we find most commonly to work in our practice.
The following descriptions are related to a variety of digestive ailments. Though no specific corrections are given, it will outline and describe the ailment. If there is something specific to this any dysfunction, that is not part of the review on digestion, iw will be included.
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
This is a vague description of any form of digestive irritation or dysfunction for which the medical world can not clearly delineate a cause. Symptoms can run the gamut from minor abdominal aches to irregular bowel habits to chronic pain, flatulence, mucus in the stools or indigestion. There are many possible causes. Some of the most common influences we find are:
habits and food choices
Often, a positive change in diet with the elimination of processed and refined foods, an increase in vegetables, leafy greens and whole grains, can make a big difference. Before attempting to use any herbal or nutritional protocol for a specific problem i.e. candida, please make sure there is a corroborated diagnosis by your practitioner. Herbal preparations are not innocuous. Using the wrong ones in an improper way can have negative effects.
This is the term given to the inflammation of the large intestine. The inflammation can become so severe that the colon tissue develops ulcerations. The typical symptoms include:
During an acute episode, refrain from eating raw or rough foods until your intestines relax. Sometimes it is best to put your foods through a blender until the episode fades. Abstain from all sugars and sweeteners. If more extreme measures are needed, it may be necessary to work with broths and liquids. Please consult your practitioner before placing yourself on this type of program.
Factors involved with colitis are the same as IBS, including
Other than dietary corrections and stress management techniques to reduce inflammation, butyric acid enemas can provide relief. This is one of the ways to differentiate colitis from Crohns disease. Butyric acid enemas have no affect on Crohns.
This syndrome is characterized by long term inflammation usually in the lower part of the small intestine. As the intestinal tissue degenerates, scar tissue forms and narrows the passageway.
Onset starts about age 20 and recurs every few months to every few years. Over time, the bowel tissue can deteriorate. Malabsorption may follow, compromising immune system function, limiting the bodys ability to calm down the inflammation or possibly exacerbating it. Bleeding may occur and create anemia. If the intestinal walls leak, peritonitis may occur.
Symptoms involved with Crohns are:
Factors involved are the same as colitis. It appears a history of food allergies increases ones risk. Increased free radical production plays a role, usually from an over-stimulated immune system and probably a weaken detoxification ability.
This describes an erosion of the mucosa in the intestinal tract. The mucosa is a protective barrier that lines the entire intestinal tract. An ulcer is usually located in the stomach (gastric) or upper small intestinal area (duodenum).
One way to differentiate is to pay attention to the pain when you eat. Gastric ulcers tend to cause pain after eating while the pain is reduced for an hour or two with a duodenal ulcer, only to return later. Gastric ulcers may alos be accompanied by bloating, nausea and vomiting.
The common belief that increased stomach acids are responsible for ulcers has now been discredited. Though the acid produced by the stomach elicits the pain, it does not cause the original deterioration of the stomach lining.
The precipitation of ulcers results from the following influences:
pylori-this bacteria is now considered the primary factor in ulcer formation.
More than 80% of all ulcers are influenced by this microorganism. For
H. pylori to thrive, it requires a decreased anti-oxidant level in the
tissue lining and a low acidic environment. This is in direct contrast
to the old belief that ulcers occur from too much acid.
Different practitioners approach the elimination of H. pylori by different means. Successful eradication has been achieved with the alternative and medical model. If you have any gastric distress, please test for H. pylori. It can be performed through blood or saliva.
The elimination of ulcers requires:
fiber, lots of leafy greens and vegetable intake; decrease saturated fats.
Do not go on a bland diet. No milk or milk products. Eat small
PARASITES & CANDIDA
See digestion article