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Digestion Issues

Our Naturopath, Dr Katherine Dale, explains how a Naturopath can help to reduce our bloating, stomach pains and indigestion.

Many of us suffer from discomfort in our tummies. Maybe this a simple pang on occasion. Perhaps we feel significant discomfort every time we eat. Or, severe bloating and gas throughout the day.
These symptoms are all related to the health of our gut and our bodies.

We may be eating foods that are harmful to our bodies thus effecting the ability of our bacteria to do their work. The acidity in our system may be out of balance. Our gut flora may be depleted or deficient. Perhaps our state of mind when we are eating is affecting our digestion.

Naturopathy looks at your digestive issues from a wholistic perspective. Rather than simple focusing on the gut, we will consider all health issues.

We need to pay attention to our gut. Listening to your gut now may prevent potentially greater health issues in the future.

Digestive issues can be related to food intolerances. When we are aware of the foods that cause problems for us we can eliminate these foods. Once these foods are eliminated we are able to heal our gut using nutrients and herbs. Often we can return to eating these foods once we have allowed the lining of our digestive system to be repaired.

After eating we may notice that we feel bloated and uncomfortable. This is often associated with “acid-reflux”. We may be given antacids to deal with the heartburn. However, we need to determine to see if we are actually suffering from low stomach acid.

We can test to see if we are suffering from low stomach acid. The symptoms are often confusing. But it is the balance of acidity in the stomach which allows us to digest our foods properly. When we digest properly, we are able to get the most nutrients out of our foods.

Probiotics are essential to healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients. The healthy bacteria in our gut may be depleted. Bacteria can be depleted after a treatment with antibiotics, or a bout of food poisoning. We need to be sure to replace these bacteria by using healthy probiotics and eating fermented foods.

We have all experienced a “gut feeling” about something, right? We seem to be able to feel in our belly when something is not quite right. Fear, discomfort, anxiety are all felt in our tummy.

Are we making decisions with our stomachs?
Well, in some ways this isn’t that far off. Our stomachs actually are involved in creating brain messengers. In fact our gut bacteria produce 90% of our serotonin – the happy-brain messenger. We use more than just our hearing and seeing to make decisions and choices.

Being under stress can affect your ability to digest and your ability to absorb nutrients from your food. Eating our meals in a stressful environment can cause indigestion and result in poor absorption.

Ideas for resolving your digestive issues:
Determine if you have food intolerances
Use remedies to heal the lining of the gut
Eat fermented foods containing healthy bacteria
Take a quality probiotic supplement to support your digestive system

As we make efforts to resolve the underlying issue, we will use herbal remedies and supplements to ease your discomfort. We will discover what is the underlying cause of your digestive issue, bringing you back to balance.

Written by Dr Katherine Dale ND.
Naturopathic Doctor
ND (Toronto), BEs (Waterloo)
Member Integrated Association of Naturopaths HK