• Digestion and Nutrition

    Digestion and Nutrition

    I treat a lot of patients that have digestive disorders. On a recent blog I spoke about digestion and the Gallbladder. When we look at digestion we look at a number on organs. Those are the Stomach, Liver. Gallbladder, Pancreas, Small Intestine and the Large Intestine. Giving nutritional support to these organs can make a huge difference in symptoms that a patient could be having because of the digestive system. It is always advisable to evaluate the entire digestive system in these patients.

    Many patients may have symptoms but don’t always realize that they are related to digestion. Some of those symptoms can be acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, gas and belching. Each symptom can be a result of the different organs of the digestive system so have to be evaluated.

    Protein digestion for example begins in the stomach. The stomach releases hydrochloric acid from the parietal cells at a PH of about .8 which is extremely acidic.  Once mixed with the stomach contents the PH of the stomach should be about 1-3. This is essential for proper digestion. As the PH increases digestion gets compromised. At a PH of 5 or more there is no protein digestion at all. The protein molecule is surrounded by collagen. It cannot be broken down at a PH at 5 or over so the enzymes cannot break it down to the amino acids which are what the body needs. The results can be gas, bloating and acid reflux to name a few.

    In a patient with bloating we have to consider the Liver and Gallbladder. Again proper nutritional support can help with bloating as well as other symptoms. . Refer to my blog on Gallbladder for information.

    On a daily basis I see many patients that are on what are referred to as proton pump inhibitors or PPIs to help with digestion. These drugs will irritate and destroy a portion of the lining of the stomach. This affects the parietal cells which will not only hydrochloric acid but decreases intrinsic factor  which carries B12 to the small intestine so it can be absorbed for our use. These drugs will help with digestion and eliminate symptoms but greatly decrease HCL production which is what is needed for proper digestion.  These drugs should only be taken for 14 days as stated on the package. By changing the digestive system most patients can be taken off these drugs by their healthcare providers.

    Proper digestion is essential for health. We need to break the food down so we can get the nutrients. Those nutrients travel through the intestine to get to the blood stream. Not to do so compromises our health. By using clinical nutrition we can help the digestive system to correct itself because we are giving the body what it needs to heal itself.

    Nutritional support is simply giving support to the body with clinical nutritional supplements enabling the body to heal itself.  If you are having any of the symptoms mentioned above please call me at 314-843-9355. I will be happy to discuss any aspects of your health with you.

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