Digestive Health Services in McKinney, TX
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM FOR OBTAINING HEALTH ?
Having a proper digestive function creates a solid foundation for good health. Improper digestion and nutrient absorption can destabilize all other health factors. To ensure optimal health, the body has to assimilate vitamins, proteins, essential fatty acids and minerals from the foods and supplements you take. Without a good digestive function, there will be limitations in any therapeutic program you may use.
Digestive function Lab Testing
Carrying out an at-home stool test for pathogens and parasites is the first step to assess how your digestive system is functioning. There are various tests performed in the lab to check how healthy your digestive system is. We will go over a few of the items tested in the following topics.
A deficit in stomach acid and digestive enzymes may be responsible for the body’s inability to digest protein. The body requires sufficient enzymes to break down food for easy assimilation. A poor diet and high-stress levels could result in shortages of stomach acids and digestive enzymes. Raw fruits and vegetable contain enzymes that help food to digest more easily. Nevertheless, these enzymes are easily destroyed by heat when we cook. Eating lots of cooked food may reduce your body’s production of digestive enzymes. A decrease of enzymes in the digestive system will pull back other enzymes that are vital for proper immune function and systemic cellular processes back into the digestive system from the bloodstream. Because of this, there are shortages in enzyme levels of other systems that are not directly related to digestion. Every process in the body relies on the actions of enzymes to function properly, thus, enzyme depletion will result in depletion of health.
Effect of Low Enzymes
The food you eat will be under-utilized if your level of digestive enzymes is low. Foods that were unable to digest due to insufficient enzymes becomes toxic to the body. Harmful organisms in the body like yeast, bacteria, and parasite in the digestive tract will use partially digested foods as substrate or fuel source. Raw and lightly cooked vegetables and fruits contain a high amount of health sustaining enzymes, these foods should be included as part of your everyday diet.
Dysbiosis and Hidden Digestive Problems
Dysbiosis, which is an imbalance of healthy organisms or impaired microbiota in the intestinal tract can cause poor digestion. Dysbiosis can occur as a result of bacterial overgrowth, a parasitic infection, or invasive yeast which is also known as Candida. Digestive problems could occur as a result of hidden or subclinical inflammatory conditions, this can also cause dysbiosis. Problems that cannot be detected easily due to the absence of obvious symptoms is referred to as ‘subclinical’. Pathogenic and parasitic infection can be assessed using the digestive test kit.
You can build your digestive enzyme reserve back up if it has been depleted as a result of poor eating habits by supporting your digestion with digestive enzymes. Using the right dietary supplements can help maintain a rebuilding state. With supplemental enzymes, the body can properly digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats which are vital in maintaining stable blood glucose and overall health.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Digestive stress can also result in “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” This is a condition where the intestinal lining is compromised and loses sensitivity to detect what should not be absorbed into the bloodstream and what should be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, the immune system attacks molecules that leak into the bloodstream causing inflammation and tissue damage. The immune system sees food antigens that leak into the bloodstream as foreign agents and mounts an immune response against it; this causes hypersensitivity or allergic reaction. The immune response can also be triggered when microorganisms leak into the bloodstream.
Gluten and Dairy Foods
Subclinical inflammation of the digestive tract can be caused by gluten and dairy food sensitivities. For instance, some people are sensitive to grains such as barley, wheat, and rye that contains gluten. Others are lactose or Casein, intolerant (i.e. sensitive to proteins present in dairy products). These type of food allergies are common in patients with chronic health problems. You can determine if food-related problems can affect your overall health function through food sensitivity test or GI/Gluten food profile. Parasitic infections are also examples of commonly undiagnosed digestive problems.
Many individuals see parasites as a problem that occurs when one travels outside the country. However, recent improvements in diagnostic testing methods have revealed high levels of parasitic infections in the United States. You can acquire parasites by self-inoculation. This can occur when you patronize restaurants with poor hygiene or eat in joints where foods are left sitting out. Other ways one can get exposed to parasitic infections is from coming into contact with infected feces through food (as mentioned above), water, money, non disinfected surfaces or shaking hands.
Protecting Against Infections
Some may have the ability to fight off pathogens when exposed to them, others may become infected when exposed to the same pathogens. You can see this in press reports with various bacterial organisms, most notably the toxic E. coli outbreaks. The bacteria E. coli is mostly found in beef products can cause severe digestive diseases and on rare occasions, death. Despite the fact many individuals are exposed to the same tainted meat, their reactions differ …. Some react more than others and some don’t have a reaction at all. The first line of mucosal defense or SigA is responsible for the difference in susceptibility to intestinal pathogens like E. coli. The lining of your gastrointestinal tract can prevent the effects of invading pathogens if you have a strong mucosal community (normal SIgA production). According to research, your ability to fight pathogens successfully is dependent on your mucosal immunity (people with low mucosal immunity are more susceptible to pathogenic infections). New technologies have emerged to detect infectious organisms; this provides solutions to weak immunity and infections caused by parasites. The stool antigen test is an example of such, this test is effective in determining acute and chronic parasitic infections that were previously undetected with older testing methods. Digestive stress may occur as a result of parasitic infection, bacterial and/or fungal overgrowth. Additional testing is required to assess these also.
At Optum Health Center, we evaluate all of the three main body systems…. hormonal, gastrointestinal, and detoxification. As we see all too often in practice, each one of these body systems , if not functioning properly, affects the others. These systems do not function independently of each other. If you would like help with testing and correcting all three of the main body systems to bring about the optimal health you desire, call our office today and schedule an appointment.