Although your brain is the head honcho of your body, your digestive tract is the central processing unit. From beginning to end, a healthy digestive tract is critical to feeling good, functioning well and avoiding some pretty serious diseases. The digestive tract is designed to take in nutrients to feed every cell of your body; it also serves as a key support system for your immune system.
What's noteworthy is how often your symptoms appear, when (always after eating?) and to what degree. If you experience any of the following symptoms on more than an ate-and-drank-too-much-last-night basis, it's time to pay close attention:
When your GI tract is constantly off kilter, you run the risk of actually creating systemic (throughout your body) inflammation, which can lead to an overactive immune response, increased oxidative stress, insulin resistance and increased fat tissue deposits. Be aware of the following types of issues:
The cause of many digestive disruptions and GI diseases is often poor nutrition, which leads to an imbalance in the intestinal flora of the gut. The friendly bacteria living in our digestive tracts are almost like organs in our bodies, and critical ones at that. Yet our regular, high-carb American diet heavy on sugars and processed foods creates the perfect recipe for dysbiosis, a condition that results when bad bacteria and yeast have overgrown in the intestinal tract. Dysbiosis is often linked with yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. A round of antibiotics can cause dysbiosis because they kill the bad and the good bacteria. It's good practice to supplement with probiotics after a course of antibiotics to replace the good bugs.
Other ways to improve your digestive health include:
If your gut is chronically telling you something, learn to listen. Maintaining strong GI health is a critical pathway to overall well being and in many cases, disease prevention.
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