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Our digestive system plays a pivotal role is all aspects of our overall maintenance of good health. A poorly functioning digestive system can not only be a difficulty in itself but can also lead to a whole host of other problems.
Millions of people live with an ongoing digestive problem, from problems such as bloating and abdominal discomfort to more pervasive problems like IBS and diverticulitis.
Getting the digestive system functioning effectively requires a truly holistic approach that focuses on both our mental/emotional state as well as our physical state. This is because our digestion is strongly influenced by the levels of stress in our lives. During times when our bodies our stressed the digestive system switches off. The body deems it to be unnecessary at that time. Many, if not most digestive problems have a connection to stress.
The next factor in our digestive health is the so called friendly bacteria which live in our gut. These bacteria are very important to ensuring that our digestion can break up the foods we eat and therefore extract the nutrients from them. Many people have low levels of these bacteria due to over use of anti-biotics.
Poor digestion can sometimes be the result of low levels of stomach acid rather than high levels. This often surprises people as the experience of heartburn and reflux tends to feel like too much acid. However, low levels of acid cause very similar symptoms.
Some digestive problems can also be the result of food intolerances. Most common are gluten and dairy products.
Cutting out these two food groups can provide great benefits for many people. Getting our digestion back into a state of optimal health requires that we look beyond the physical and think about our overall lifestyle – mental, physical and emotional.
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