Digestion is the foundation of your health and the bottom layer of the FMHP.
I have created the Functional Medicine Health Pyramid so that you can gain a better understanding of how your body works and how the various systems and processes work together and ultimately determine your level of health or lack of it.
Common problems of Digestion and the Digestive Tract:
- Poor stomach acid production / regulation
- Poor production of digestive enzymes
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Leaky gut syndrome
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Yeast overgrowth
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Gas and bloating
- Poor food breakdown
- Poor absorption of nutrients
- Lack of vital nutrients
- Low nutrient foods
As you can see, there are lots problems that can affect your digestive tract. If there are any problems with digestion, they should be addressed first. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to restore health until these problems are addressed.
How does the Digestive tract affect other systems of your body?
Absorption of Nutrients
- The digestive tract is where you absorb all of the nutrients that are required for every single system and cell in your body to function properly. Vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates…without these, your body will not function properly and life cannot be sustained.
- Your digestive tract is home to countless microorganisms that are required for your body to function properly. Your digestive tract contains more of these organisms than you have cells in your body. Your digestive tract is teaming with beneficial bacteria, yeasts, etc.
- Most your body’s entire immune system is located in and around your digestive tract. An unhealthy digestive tract that lead to immune system problems like allergies, autoimmunity, ear infections, asthma, sinus infections and chronic inflammation.
- After your liver has processed toxins and prepared them for elimination from the body, most of them exit your body through the digestive tract; in the stool. These two systems are very closely related. Poor digestive health can place increased burden on the liver (your main organ of detoxification). Without a healthy digestive tract to carry toxins out of the body they can end up being absorbed back into your blood stream…leading to increased levels of toxins and increased burden on your liver and the other systems of your body.
- We know there is a strong link between digestive health and brain health. By improving the health of the digestive tract you will also be improving your brain health. Your brain is susceptible to lack of nutrients, inflammation, autoimmunity, toxicity, etc. The way you begin to improve your brain health is by getting your digestive tract working properly.
Good health starts with a healthy digestive tract. This is the first layer of the FMHP and with the help of a functional medicine doctor you can get this system working the way it should.
The next layer of the FMHP is Detoxification and that will be covered in the next article.
I wish you health, happiness and a better quality of life!
If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com
Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.
This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.