Why is My Digestive System Not Working Optimally?

gut - health

Digestive health problems are afflicting an increasing number of people, manifesting in different symptoms. Since good health begins in the gut we see the results of digestive tract problems reflecting in many areas of the body.  Often people do not see the connection.  If we are going to enjoy optimum health then we have to address the gut problem. In doing so we will help every other body system. Fortunately we are in an age where there is a better understanding of the causes of digestive tract health issues, and we have solutions to restore the body to the level of health that is optimal.


Many people’s problems stem right back to their childhood. Sadly there appears to be a connection with the use or overuse of antibiotics which has resulted in a disruption in the health of the microbiome which has never been corrected. This along with diets, low in fibre, high in sugars and processed foods has significantly worsened the problem.   Because of malfunctions in the gut an ever increasing number of people are suffering from problems which are making day to day living challenging.


The bowel has got many functions and all the microbes that live there have got a key role in our health. The gut houses much of our immune system, it is important for nutrient absorption and for carrying wastes and toxins out of the body.  It is staggering to realise that the number of microbial cells living in our bodies outnumber human cells. We function better when we have the right type of microbes living happily in a symbiotic relationship with our bodies. That is frequently not the case resulting in problems with diverse labels but frequently a common cause.


Many Labels of Bowel Dysfunction

Whatever the label that has been given to your gut problem, the secret to reclaiming your health is to restore balance. Whether you are suffering from bloating, IBS, constipation, colitis, leaky gut, candida, SIBO or allergies the secret is to address the imbalance, and in doing so you will put your body back onto the road to wellness.


Over the last couple of decades there has been extensive research carried out as to the role of the microbiome in health with recommendations as to the microbial strains that should be used. This offers considerable hope to sufferers, but frequently leaves many disappointed.


There are 3 things that are vitally important if we are to restore bowel health, using a probiotic regime. When we get it right, we see huge benefit. When we get it wrong, it can lead to money down the drain.


The No1 Environmental Problem that Needs Addressing.

The first thing that must be addressed is the gut environment. The type of microbes that belong in the gut are very sensitive to their environment. If the environment is not right they will not proliferate. The environment depends on many factors including hydration, body temperature, pH balance, mineral balance, vitamin d levels, oxygen flow, nutrient flow etc. If these are not optimal good bacteria will not grow happily there. As a consequence the first thing to pay attention to is to improve the environment by creating conditions where good bacteria will feel at home and colonise.


Secondly, we need to use microbial strains that intuitively belong in the human body; the type of microbes that would be present in a healthy new born baby.  Many probiotic products available are bovine and the environment in the gut of a cow is very different from the human body. They may give some benefit but they are unlikely to happily proliferate there, resulting in people having to take them on a continuous basis to get a result.


Introduce the Type of Microbes that Feel At Home.

There is estimated to be over 100 trillion microbes living in the human gut. We can see that a high strength probiotic of 40 billion will be a small fraction of 1% of the total. If we are going to really get benefit we need to introduce microbes in sufficient numbers to be able to compete.


When we combine an improved bowel environment with the right strains of microbes introduced in high concentrations we can begin to see results as the body restores balance. As that happens symptoms of dysfunction begin to disappear and we begin to enjoy better health and an improved immune system.


If You Want Improved Brain Health – Deal With Gut Dysfunction.

Of particular note is the connection between gut health and brain health. Many problems such as depression and anxiety have their roots in the gut, which is not surprising since serotonin is predominantly produced there. Improving gut health can have a significant impact on mood. There is considerable evidence that poor gut health also contributes to brain degenerative diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s and dementia. Improving gut health has also proven to be helpful for children suffering from autism and ADHD.


In addition to implementing an improved environment and good probiotic focused regime, there are a number of dietary changes that will also be helpful. Firstly we should start drinking plenty of good water – that is water that will be properly absorbed in the body. We should reduce or ideally eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates from our diets, because they are feeding all the wrong type of microbes. We should eat plenty of fibre, particularly if regularity is a problem. Foods such as chia seeds and flax seed powder can be particularly helpful for this.  If possible eat organic, as chemicals such as glyphosate (Round Up) are prevalent in the food chain and are particularly unhelpful for gut health.


In conclusion I would stress the importance of good gut health for our overall wellbeing.  There are natural approaches that are immensely powerful in helping to restore bowel health.  Working in harmony with nature always brings the best results.


Roddy-MacDonald-gut-healthThis article was written by Roddy MacDonald, founder of Water for Health Ltd. Water for Health distribute several unique ranges of products to help people maintain or regain health through hydration and nutrition. In particular Water for Health are UK distributors for Progurt an Australian company who have developed their unique approach to gut health by giving the body what it needs. Their product range includes products to improve the gut environment and concentrated human derived microbes that intuitively regard the human body as home. 




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