Digestion

Symptoms

We can all identify with that heavy bloated feeling after a meal or when we have, unwittingly, overindulged. For some though, it requires very little food to trigger these symptoms. For others it is specific foods and then there are those that it happens to when certain combinations of foods and drinks are consumed.

Problems of constipation and diarrhoea are also an indication that something is not functioning properly with our digestive system. You can read more about those issues in the Bowel Cleansing section.

Understanding

So, why all the fuss? An antacid will solve the problem, right? Well, we need to revert back to the way in which our bodies work. Our digestive system has been intricately designed so that all foods can be digested, broken down into easily absorbed particles which move into our blood stream and finally into the cells where they are needed.

These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of our whole body, for cellulae equilibrium. So it stands to reason that if foods are not efficiently broken down then these valuable nutrients will not reach their much needy destination. Our stomachs have actually been designed to handle high levels of acid and in fact, the digestive enzymes that work in the stomach are extremely acidic – very much like the HCl (Hydrochloric Acid for our swimming pools).

The bloated feeling and/or the reflux gives us a good understanding that certain factors in our digestive process are amiss.

This can be easily rectified.

Examples of Healthy Bowel Bacteria:
  • The manufacture of B-vitamins (biotin, niacin, pyridoxine and folic acid)
  • In providing lactase (the enzyme that enhances the digestion of milk based foods)
  • They act as an anti-carcinogenic factor
  • Assist in the control of undesirable organisms (eg Candida Albicans)
  • Ensure shortened bowel transit time (ie regular and healthy bowel function)
  • Assist in controlling high cholesterol levels
  • Assist in controlling facial acne (especially in adolescents)
  • Assist in protection against the effects of radiation and toxic pollutants, enhancing immune function.
  • A good gut microbial count is known to be useful in the treatment of thrush, eczema, allergies and food intolerances, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches/migraines, cystitis.

In many instances even if there is regular bowel function (2-3 times/day) but the diet consists of overly processed foods, excess sugar and fats, low amounts of fibre and bulking foods, it is extremely difficult to have optimum colonic functioning.

Solutions

Sally T. Psyllium Husks

To assist in normal bowel function, Psyllium Husks provide healthy fibre for the colon and with sufficient water, swell to provide the bulk necessary to pass fecal matter.

Sally T. Magnesium Oxide

If the peristalsis of the colon is sluggish, Sally T. Magnesium Oxide helps to increase this movement of the fecal matter through the colon. For best results these products must be adjusted to produce the Type 4 picture. Transit time of food in the gut should be 12 to 24 hours maximum

Sally T. ProFlora Forte

Essential for healthy colon ecology and in all bowel irregularities, friendly colonic bacteria must be added to our daily programmes. Dosages need to be adjusted for personal needs.

Water

Pure, still water is essential for the healthy functioning of our entire digestive system and is especially important in alleviating constipation. All other caffeinated or sugary carbonated drinks must be eliminated.

Exercise

This is a very important tool in getting the gut to work. A sedentary life style causes our gut to ‘go to sleep’. Exercise wakes it up and gets it moving. This assists in the expelling of toxins through the faeces.

Dietary Suggestions

A regular bowel function habit should be instilled by training the colon to produce a healthy stool after breakfast. A minimum of one stool should be passed per day. Certain food types generally assist in healthy bowel evacuation. It is suggested that foods with roughage, like legumes (lentils, baked beans, chickpeas), fruits (especially pawpaw) and vegetables (beetroot in particular) , whole grains (including brown, red or black rice) and even some natural oils (obtained from fresh sunflower seeds) be included on a daily basis. Overuse of refined, processed foods is discouraged as well as an excess of meats and saturated fats. For some people wheat products and even rye can be constipating.

People who have committed to a high protein, high saturated fat diet often have issues with constipation. Excess saturated fats can sometimes produce a ’soap’ like compound in the gut that is difficult to pass. Increasing the variety of dietary fibre in the form of leafy vegetables and legumes can be of assistance together with a good 2 litres of water and exercise, every day.