The Digestive System & All it’s Moving Parts

The Digestive System & All it’s Moving Parts

Have you ever experienced bloating or discomfort, which you couldn’t work out what was causing it or what actually relieved it, because it seemed like every day it was different, one day you could eat meat no worries, the next it sat in your gut like a log, one minute your stools were loose, then next you couldn’t go for a few days! Well this is really common and its because there are many different elements to the digestive system and there are several reason why things can go wrong with the digestive system. One of the major causes of digestive dysfunction is definitely a result of eating foods, medications or products that are damaging to the GIT or foods you are allergic or intolerant too, but the other factor is when there is a break down of the functioning of any of the components which make up the digestive system and that’s what we are going to be focusing on this week in Balance Me.


Following is a list of the common Digestive System elements that need to be addressed for healthy Digestive health

1. Digestive Secretions

Digestive enzymes, bile and hydrochloric acid can all be classified as digestive secretions, required for digesting food, breaking up waste, supporting the immune function and also clearing excess mucus and foreign matter.

When we are not digesting our food properly due to an under production of digestive secretions common symptoms such as: bloating, reflux/burning, indigestion, abdominal distension, pain, burping, gas and general uncomfortable feelings often result. This can occur due to a number of reasons:

  1. Your food is not being digested, its stagnant within your digestive system and now beginning to ferment and product gases created all or any of the above symptoms
  2. You are not producing enough acid (hydrochloric acid) which is required to digest and break down more dense proteins such as meats and animal products
  3. You are producing too much hydrochloric acid
  4. Your gall bladder is clogged up and not secreting bile
  5. Your liver is sluggish and not doing its job in stimulating and orchestrating the above functions

ACTION

Experiment with the follow Digestive Secretion Stimulants

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Dose: 15-30ml dilute this with a little water to make a shot and take this either just before eating, while you are eating or straight after eating. This will stimulate the acid production within your digestive system. This can be helpful for those who are experiencing burning, which can be caused by both an under or over production of acid. Experiment with taking the ACV at different times, if you take it before eating and find your reflux gets worse, then the cause of your acid reflux is most likely due to an over production of acid, if it soothes the problem, then your reflux and indigestion is most likely caused by an under production of acid. 2

2.Lemon Juice 

Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water and drink every morning first thing, to stimulate your digestive secretions. You can continue to do this through out the entire day if this eases your symptoms

3 .Foods with natural digestive enzymes: Pineapple, Papaya/Paw Paw, Bee Pollen or Fermented Foods (sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha)

Add these foods to your diet to assist with the digestion of your foods.


It has been said that humans actually contain more beneficial live bacteria within our entire system than we do DNA, so as imagined, this bacteria plays huge roles in the assistance of a healthy human body!

  • Aiding Digestion
  • Aiding detoxification and elimination of toxins, especially the metabolism of oestrogen
  • Supporting the immune system
  • Aiding mental and emotional well being
  • Signaling to various cells and neurotransmitters – cellular communication

Factors which deplete beneficial bacteria

  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Medications especially antibiotics & oral contraceptive pill
  • Processed foods
  • Over use of anti-bacterial products including hand wash, house hold cleaners
  • GIT infections and parasites

ACTION – Probiotics

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living bacteria or yeasts which are beneficial for your health, especially your gut health and digestion. There are millions of different strains of each of these, perhaps many that have not even been discovered yet, but it is vital for our health, well being and functioning of our body that we have a good supply of these symbiotic organisms.

Where do I get Probiotics?

Forget about Yakult, this is a very well marketed but poor source of living bacteria, which is also very high in sugar, which is counter productive by encouraging the growth of the harmful bacteria which can easily build up in our system and affect the beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics, although these are not a mainstream readily available food source and require home fermenting for best results, choosing a good quality, high strength probiotic is often necessary and worth taking once to twice per year. As part of your Balance Me program, you will be implementing ‘RestoreME’ a 10 strain powerful probiotic supplement, however we always ensure that the GIT environment is clear and clean, rid of bad infections before we start a probiotic supplement, otherwise it’s like pouring water into a leaky bucket. We need to ensure the healthy bacteria can survive and thrive within your GIT.

If you are interested in culturing your own fermented foods I suggest looking into:

Kombucha (directions below)

Kim Chi

Kefir

Sauerkraut

Homemade yoghurt

Homemade Cheeses

There are lots of resources available on the internet with instructions as to how to do this and I chose to purchase my starter ingredients and tools from the Australian company Nourish Me Organics, a family owned business.

https://www.nourishmeorganics.com.au/


If we don’t look after our Gall Bladder this little pear shaped and sized organ can get us into strife, leading to lots of pain and a really disrupted digestive function. No doubt you know someone who has had their Gall bladder removed, due to painful ‘attacks’ most commonly caused by the presence of Gall stones, but there’s a big problem with this, we actually need our Gall Bladder and here why:

Functions of the Gall Bladder

  • Stores Bile which is required to help us emulsify (dissolve, break-down) fats
  • Drains waste products from the liver into the small intestine (so they can be removed)
  • Assists with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E & K as well as many other lipid soluble nutrients and antioxidants

When food enters the small intestine, a hormone called cholecystokinin (see another pesky hormone) is released which signals the gallbladder to contract and release bile into the small intestine through the common bile duct.

Here’s where problems can arise

When we have a diet too high in ‘bad’ cholesterol, processed fats, trans fatty acids and basically bad dietary fats, they are quite difficult to digest and start to build up in our system, creating a sticky mess, which eventually hardens.  Bilirubin is a by-product of red blood cell recycling and it can also build up if our liver function is sluggish and then we have bile salts, which if they build up all of these things harden and lead to gallstones to form. Gallstones are generally small, hard deposits inside the gallbladder that are formed when stored bile crystallizes. Anyone who has every enjoyed some greasy fish n chips a few times in their life time will no doubt, have accumulated cholesterol stones. I’d say nearly every one has lots of these little cholesterol or gall stones, but its not until they become a certain size that you will experience pain, and doing coffee enemas or Gall bladder flushes is the best way to clear them out, before they get bigger in size and cause damage!

The best way to remove Gall stones while they are still small is through Coffee Enemas

Please note, if you have a really large gall stone, a coffee enemas won’t move this and is not dangerous


Bowel Function

If there is one vital piece of information I really want you to take from this weeks module, its the importance of the Bowel in clearing Estrogen and keeping your hormones balanced! 

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE BOWEL

  1. To remove the crap – toxins, waste and all other impurities we do not want kept in our body
  2. Provide a home for the micro-biome – the helpful bacteria which metabolize our excess and left over estrogen

MINIMUM REQUIREMENT 

This shocks some of us,  but did you know the NORMAL requirement for daily bowel movements is 2 per day! And if you are going any less then this, which is really common, you have a sluggish digestive system and your body is going to be over loaded with toxins, which will eventually negatively affect all the cells in your body leading to poor health.
 

TRICKS TO REGULATE BOWEL FUNCTION & GET THINGS MOVING

  • YOU MUST be drinking at least 2 litres of water each day in order for your bowels to evacuate
  • Exercise – 30 minutes at least 4 times a week, or daily if your bowels are lazy, which improves general circulation in the body
  • Eat 10 serves of fruit & Vegetables combined EVERYDAY
  • Massage Doterra Digestzen Essential oil blend into your stomach each morning. This is a blend of digestive herbs which can be taken internally, used in a difuser or used externally
  • Magnesium supplementation can assist with the relaxing of the bowel to encourage peristalsis which is the natural action which moves things through the bowel
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