Don’t Just Survive: Thrive with Good Digestion!

Everything alive on our planet needs food for survival. When we eat yummy foods and digest them, life is good. When food doesn’t digest, indigestion can make life miserable. If you’ve ever suffered from indigestion, the following information may provide an incentive to start making healthy changes.

Food gives us both energy and the raw materials for rebuilding the body. Everyone should consume a wide variety of healthy foods every day for the most benefit. Carefully selected whole food supplements help fill nutritional gaps but shouldn’t be a replacement for food, and even the best supplements must be digested in order to be available for the body’s use.

Supplements that help rebuild the digestive system have been in existence since the mid-1900s. Other formulas based on the newest research contain many specific enzymes and heat stabilized probiotics to help ensure digestion and assimilation by the body. Drugs for indigestion can provide short-term relief but overall cause more harm.

Impaired digestion causes our energy levels to suffer while depriving us of the materials needed to stay healthy. This is because the body doesn’t actually run directly off carbohydrates, proteins or fats. The body runs off of what these foods are broken down into. Proteins are broken down to amino acids, carbohydrates into glucose, and fats into fatty acids. Only when food is properly digested can it be utilized at the cellular level. When digestion is impaired, consequences range from mild discomfort to virtual starvation despite consuming food.

Do you remember being told to chew your food at least 20 times? It’s true that the act of chewing our food causes the release of
enzymes in the mouth which signal the stomach to start digestion. Chewing gum is a poor idea because it uses the enzymes needed for digestion.

The next phase of digestion starts as food enters the stomach. This is when special cells in the stomach release hydrochloric acid to sterilize the food and aid in digestion. Many things can reduce the very important level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. One specific threat to maintaining the proper level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is alkaline water. Many people believe that drinking alkaline water is beneficial based on an assumption that alkalinity kills cancer cells. The pH system in the body and its relationship to cancer is way more complex than this. The biggest problem with this practice is that when the stomach becomes alkaline, the body is vulnerable to attack from bacteria, viruses and anything else trying to gain entrance to the body through the gut. Besides aiding digestion, a strongly acidic environment in the stomach destroys these invaders, such as E.coli bacteria, before they can cause harm.

Digestive disorders and pain are some of the most common reasons people go to the hospital. Common symptoms include heartburn, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. Many people attempt to alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms with drugs before understanding that they only create more problems. Chasing after symptoms instead of solving the problem is never the answer.

Proton pump inhibitor drugs create problems because they interfere with a series of eloquently timed events in the digestive system that are responsible for good digestion. To briefly summarize, the stomach must achieve a pH of 3.5 or less for the lower stomach valve to open. Next, the pancreas must be producing sodium bicarbonate to contain stomach acid and not burn the stomach muscle wall. If not, it cuts the acid production through a feedback loop with the stomach. In the second phase of stomach digestion, enzymes are released to actually break down the food and further rid the food of potentially harmful invaders.

Let’s look at some common causes of indigestion. The typical American diet consists primarily of processed and/or cooked foods which don’t have the enzymes which would ordinarily aid digestion. (Cooking food above 118 degrees destroys the naturally occurring enzymes in raw food.) Add in stress, lack of sleep and the long list of chemicals added to food and you have the perfect recipe for indigestion.

Processed foods made with artificial ingredients and chemicals create a whole host of problems. When the body doesn’t recognize artificial ingredients and chemicals, it responds to them as if they’re invaders. Employing the immune system to attack them is a huge use of energy which leaves a person feeling exhausted and/or sick. We now understand that undigested proteins damage organs and thus are the root cause of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, gout and Celiac disease. Undigested proteins also increase the arthritic buildups in the body.

Another reason that many of the foods available in stores, and even Farmer’s Markets, have become harder to digest is because of the changes in agriculture, new seed varieties, and GMOs. The food itself is different than what it was in the past. The biggest difference is that the bonds holding the molecules together in food are stronger and harder to break down. This means that we need more help digesting our food than ever before.

Eating clean natural fresh food should be the goal for everyone wanting to live a healthy life. Ensuring that these foods are completely digested is the next step. Adding enzymes back (supplementing with enzymes) whenever we consume processed or cooked foods is the best way to ensure complete digestion and obtain the most benefit from food. If you have indigestion or are wondering if one of our new enzyme formulas would be beneficial for you, call for information on muscle testing your digestive system and/or supplements you’re currently using in your digestive protocol.

An interesting example of how our incredible digestive system helps us stay healthy is how food gets marked and tracked when entering the body through the mouth. Each substance is scanned and marked by the parotid glands as either friend or foe before determining where it will be used in the body.

Good digestion along with a healthy digestive system can help you not only survive — but thrive!

About the writer: Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.

Dr. William H. Karl, D.C., is a Certified Wellness Doctor with over 30 years of experience helping people become well and achieve optimal health.  With an extensive knowledge of the human body and a keen interest in applying new and advanced techniques, he is able to provide the finest care possible for each and every one of his patients! Visit his website to sign up for a free monthly newsletter, or call (734) 425-8220 to find out how you can start getting healthier!

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