A Chiropractor's Guide To Gut Health

Let’s talk about some gut issues and how to help them.

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic disorder of the intestines that causes pain, cramping constipation or diarrhea and urgency. There are things that can affect this problem-hormones, stress level, diet and stress patterns in the brain. 70% of IBS suffers have had severe food poisoning at some time in their life.

In this office we eliminate the usual bowel irritants, look for triggers as well as work to reduce the inflammation in the gut. Various supplements may be needed to get the gut healthy again.

IBD or Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic and reoccurring inflammation of the digestive tract. The most common inflammatory diseases are Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease affects the bowel but can also affect the liver, joints, eyes and skin. There is a bacteria associated with Crohn’s-Mycobaterium avium. This organism is found in meats, plastic water bottles, tap water, biofilms, deer, rabbits and around livestock.

Ulcerative colitis symptoms include pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, anemia and rectal bleeding. The mucosal layer of the bowel becomes ulcerated. An apparent risk factor is antibiotics during the first year of life. If your child had antibiotics, it would be good to heal their gut and watch it for signs of trouble.

Leaky gut is a name given to a gut that has permeability problems. There are junctions between the cells of the bowel that keep foreign protein and organisms from entering the blood stream. If those junctions break down bad things enter the blood increasing the risk of disease, allergies and inflammation. It can even affect brain function. Diets that have sugar, low fiber, gluten, the wrong fats, alcohol and little fruit and vegetables can cause leaky gut.  Stress and medication also play a role in the development of this problem.

Constipation is due to a bowel that moves too slowly. While the tendency towards constipation seems to run in families it can also be due to not eating foods that help empty the bowel. Fruits and vegetables act like tiny brooms to help move food along the intestines. Taking a hot bath can help loosenr the intestines. A good amount of water daily helps. Being active helps.

Diarrhea is due to foods that irritate one’s gut, allergies and inflammation. Lactose intolerance is common but unless one really takes a look at when they have diarrhea and what they ate for the previous 36 hours they may not connect the two. Cheese, yogurt, ranch dressing, meatballs, mashed potatoes, cakes, ice cream, cream cheese, gravy, pudding, flan, cream and more are common milk containing foods that people don’t associate with milk/lactose and may not see the correlation to their diarrhea. Keep a food diary so you can look at what you ate and what symptoms you have.

So what do you do?

The first step is to get rid of foods that harm you. If you keep a food diary you can look it over and look at the timing of your symptoms and find foods that make you feel worse. Clean out the problem foods and put the good stuff in its place. Over time you will find which foods agree with you and which don’t. There are some foods that need to go even if it seems that they don’t bother you.

What needs to go? Artificial anything, sugar, gluten, corn, milk and milk products and for most-grains. People with gluten sensitivities can cross-react with other grains.

Next-do you physically eat correctly? Chewing is vital to start digestion correctly. When you chew you add saliva to the food and break it into small pieces. If you don’t chew enough the saliva volume won’t be enough to properly start digestion. If you drink liquids with your meals, you will dilute not only the saliva but your gastric enzymes as well.

 Next we look at digestion-do you need enzymes to help break down the food. There are stomach enzymes, pancreas enzymes and liver enzymes. Do you need prebiotics, probiotics? Do we have to kill off the bad organisms or detoxify the body? Is your brain stuck in unhealthy stress patterns causing the gut to shut down (when you have the fight or flight response your digestive system shuts down and if you have it enough you will have digestive problems).

Do you need to change your brain stress patterns? Do you need to do something to change your bowel?

We are here to help you-just ask.

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