Part 1 of 3: Dr. Turner’s Seven Keys To Great Digestive Health
The digestive system is a set of organs responsible for food breakdown, nutrient absorption and elimination of waste. This intricate system is critical for hormonal balance because it controls its own functions via hormonal signals. Amazingly, over 30 hormone genes are currently known to be expressed in the stomach and the intestines, making your gut the largest endocrine organ in your body! The digestive system is also interesting because it involves both the nervous system and the cells and activities of the endocrine system.
Your nervous system, especially the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) and sympathetic (fight-or-flight), influences digestion. However, your digestive system has its own nervous system too. It’s huge, with just as many nerves as your spinal cord! So when you get a gut instinct, go with it.
The foods you choose and the function of your digestive tract both strongly influence your nervous system and your endocrine system. Their effects can in turn alter your hormones, inflammatory response and – you guessed it – affect your ability to lose weight by influencing your ability to burn fat, appetite or cravings.
Good digestion offers many benefits for your overall health and well being:
o Optimal nutrient absorption
o Effective elimination of waste
o Healthy immunity
o Healthy mind, mood and memory
o Glowing skin
o Appetite control
o Protection from the harmful effects of stress
In order to function at its healthy best, your digestive system needs Dr. T’s Seven Keys:
1. Relief from inflammation, food allergies or poor food choices
2. Relief from the negative effects of stress and tension
3. The right bacterial balance for immunity and for ridding the body of excess estrogen
4. Proper enzymes and acid levels for nutrient absorption
5. Freedom from harmful bacterial imbalance
6. The ability to “keep moving” so it can rid the body of hormonal waste, fat and toxins – and a optimal relationship with the liver
7. A lasting fix and long-term repair of “leaky gut”
The first step of your wellness plan should centre on optimizing your sleep, stress reduction, conquering inflammation and improving digestion all at once. This is the essence of our Clear Medicine Wellness Program, and it’s good news considering the astounding number of people who are plagued by lack of sleep, excessive stress, weakened immunity and poor digestion. Beyond improvements in sleep, stress and digestion, many other positive benefits are a sure bet, including more energy, glowing skin, stronger mental focus, less joint pain and stiffness and, of course, fat loss.
We hope this information can help you rid bloating, brain fog and sugar cravings for good.
KEY 1: Reduce Inflammation by Removing Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities or intolerances usually involve a different set of immune system antibodies than IgE, those invovled in anaphylatic allergic reactions, and they are called IgG antibodies. Symptoms are less intense than a true allergic reaction and typically do not appear immediately but rather within 12–48 hours after eating the offending foodstuff. Heartburn, headaches, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, looking tired even after sufficient sleep, an inability to lose weight, bloating and relentless water retention can all be related to food sensitivities or intolerances. Because the connection between the symptom and a specific food can be difficult to pinpoint, those who suffer these discomforts often go on feeling worse and worse as their immune system takes a constant beating.
Many of us with food sensitivities don’t even realize how bad we feel until the problematic foods are removed from our diet. Then suddenly getting out of bed becomes easier, our energy, mood and concentration improve and joint pain, headaches and sinus congestion disappear. During our Supercharged Hormone Diet anti-inflammatory detox, you will take these foods out of your diet for a specific period of time to give your body a break and a chance to calm down and detoxify. Slowly re-introducing each food after a 10 to 14 day break will allow you to connect particular symptoms with your food choices.
With the proper guidance, you can identify your food sensitivities in just three weeks. You can make an appointment with a holistic nutritionist and get started on a nutrition plan or you can work with both a nutritionist and naturopathic doctor over five weeks by signing up for our groundbreaking Clear Medicine Wellness Program.
Key 2: Reduce Bloating And Aid Nutrient Absorption By Replacing Enzymes or Acid Levels
Commonly known as stomach acid, hydrochloric acid (HCL) is essential for proper functioning of your digestive system because it activates digestive enzymes that break down your food for absorption. Many vitamins and minerals need stomach acid for optimal absorption, including magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid. Proper absorption of vitamins and minerals indirectly influences your hormonal balance because these nutrients are necessary for the manufacture of your hormones and for the elimination of hormonal waste with the help of the liver. Normal stomach acid also works to keep your digestive system free of bacteria, yeasts and parasites.
An estimated 30% of North Americans have low stomach acidity. Natural aging, a poor diet and chronic use of certain medications such as corticosteroids, antibiotics and antacids can impair your stomach’s ability to produce acid. Certain medical conditions are also commonly associated with low stomach acid, including hypothyroidism, asthma, eczema, allergies, acne rosacea, adrenal dysfunction, osteoporosis, autoimmune disease, psoriasis and chronic hives.
The signs and symptoms of low acidity in the stomach include:
Bloating, belching and gas, especially after meals
Heartburn or reflux
Multiple food allergies
Feeling nauseous after taking supplements
Weak, peeling and cracked fingernails
Redness or dilated blood vessels in the cheeks and nose
Hair loss in women
Undigested food in the stools
Chronic yeast infections
Is your HCL Low?
One simple way to check for low HCL is to look at your fingernails. If you see length-wise (not sideways) ridges, chance are your stomach acid levels are low. However, we recommend a more specific test that’s easy to use at home: the HCL challenge using Betaine HCL. The great thing about this test is that it identifies and also fixes the problem. Another option is to take two capsules of a digestive enzyme that includes pancreatic enzymes and betaine with meals. For more information on low stomach acid read here.