Sunday, September 23, 2012

Digestion, Part 2, Constipation, Probiotics and Detoxification

Happy second day of fall!  Let’s start with finishing my second part of digestive system. Today I would like to address constipation which is probably one of the most common ailment in our modern society.  

I always ask my patients on the first visit, about their bowel movements(BM), many will tell me “I am doing good, I go once a day”. It is probably very good to move our bowel once a day in our current days,  but not optimal.  The babies usually have BM after each nursing due to “Oral-gastric reflex” to make room for the new foods. If we observe native people today, they still go into the woods after each meal also.  So if we eat three times day, we should eliminate three times a day.

The other definition of constipation is the consistency of the BM.  The healthy BM should be soft and floating, break into small pieces when they drop into the toilet.  This consistency is due to the abundance of fibers from vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  The Fibers in our bowel help not just BM, but lowering our sugar, balancing our cholesterol, facilitating weight loss and decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

The treatments of constipation should not include laxatives, since they never solve the root of the problem.  I use a herbal product, that works 99% of the time by stimulating the bowel to be more active, and to facilitate the movement. The majority of patients will not need it after few months of treatment.  But to fix the fundamental root cause of constipation, is to change the diet.  To include more water and real salt to hydrate our BM. Natural vegetables, fruits and whole grains to increase fibers. Eliminate sensitive foods which will preserve and increase good bacterias. Also maintaining an optimal thyroid function and Iodine level are critical for healthy BM.

A healthy digestive system is the foundation for both your physical and emotional health. When  balanced you will function more effectively. Your immune system becomes stronger making you less prone to flu’s, colds and food poisoning. Your digestive tract absorbs essential nutrients from your diet and vitamin supplements more effectively.

There are still many functions of our Bowels that we do not fully understand.  It was suggested to be responsible for up to 75% of our immune system.  Good bacterias play a major part of this function, these bacteria also make most of Vitamin B and prevent overgrowth of the bad bacterias and fungus. So avoid antibiotics to preserve our good baterias and take high quality probiotics taken on empty stomach (so it goes right down to our large intestine where good baterias live) are important.

Our intestine also produces the majority of our neurotransmitters for our mental health.  I do notice most people suffer from constipation also suffer from mental conditions.  A patient’s mental health seems to improve once the constipation resolved. From my experience, our physical health can not really improve without the improvement of our mental health.  Both need to be addressed at the same time.

Detoxification should be a major part of our health program and detoxification should always start from our bowels.  People start to detox their blood or liver without cleaning their guts first tend to become sicker because the toxin removed from Blood or liver still need to be eliminated from Guts or kidneys.  Resolving constipation will be Detoxification 101. I use natural products with activated charcoal or clay to absorb the toxins out of our bodies.

Please keep on working for your health and enjoy the beautiful fall season God gives us as a reward of the year’s hard work.

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