In naturopathic medicine, we believe that a healthy
digestion is a cornerstone for good health.
Conversely, if one's digestion is less than optimal, it
can contribute to causing many ailments such as
allergies, acne,mood disorders, PMS and other
hormonal imbalances, eczema, arthritis, asthma,
fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue to name just a few. This
is one of the key areas in which we differ from other
alternative medicine providers. Many are looking to
merely substitute pharmaceuticals with green herbal
medicines while we are looking at each patient as a
whole organism which more often than not includes
the functioning of the digestive system.
Here are just a few tips on improving your
1. Identify and eliminate any food
allergens or sensitivities. This can be done through
an elimination/ challenge, or through testing from my
office. One caveat - an allergist will often only test
immediate hypersensitivities ( e.g. the skin prick test).
We naturopaths find better clinical results by using
specialized labs such as Genova who also test for
delayed hypersensitivity, which is the category that
most food allergens fall under. Identifying and
eliminating food allergens from the diet has been
invaluable in numerous cases for a wide variety of
ailments, including ones you may not immediately
associate with this such as sinusitis, hypertension,
2. Proper portion control and limited snacking.
For many folks, much of their digestive difficulties stem
from simple overeating. Remember, a normal portion
of fruits or veggies is 1 cup and for meats is the size of
a deck of cards. Also be mindful of overeating
carbohydrates. Carbs in some folks can trigger an
insulin response that triggers appetite and does
nothing to curb hunger, in fact it only increases your
hunger. Eating only 3 times per day also helps a
3. Chew your food. Simple, right? Most folks
in America eat too fast and don't chew their food
enough, contributing to maldigestion.
more water. Here in Colorado an adult needs about
64 oz of good pure water to stay adequately hydrated.
To be chronically dehydrated can contribute to joint
pain, sinusitis, constipation, acne, headaches, mental
fogginess, depression, to name a few.
5. Take a
good probiotic. Not only does it improve skin and
digestion, but through a very complex mechanism it
also improves the immune system's functioning. Just
a good thing overall!
6. If your gut is already
inflamed, consult with your naturopath as there are
many good products out there that reduce
inflammation. My favorites are Ultra GI and Robert's
Formula, but only take under the guidance of a health
7. Adequate exercise.
Exercise oxygenates the tissues allowing for quicker
healing and also helps improve and regulate
peristalsis. Exercise also helps to regulate the
appetite and boosts mood.
management. Very important to stimulate the
parasympathetic nervous system to ease and regulate
digestion. My favorites are yoga and meditation.
Massage and adequate sleep also are very helpful.
9. Fiber. Eat plenty of plant based fiber in your
diet. That will help keep you regular and also help
prevent diverticulosis while bulking up your stools.
Find out more....