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Digestion Affects Everything

Digestive imbalances co-occur with almost every major chronic disease. Digestive issues are linked to autoimmunity, allergies, hormone issues, cancer, and even mental health issues like autism and depression.

Digestive issues can also cause inflammation issues. Even if you have the healthiest diet, digestive issues can cause your body to process food to create inflammation. Addressing digestive issues are essential to reversing any health issue.

digestion effects everything

Upper Digestive Function

Upper digestive function includes everything that happens the moment you put food in your mouth, until it moves through your stomach. A number of crucial chemical processes happen as food sits in your stomach.

  • Stomach acid breaks the food down.
  • Enzymes from your pancreas and liver break down complex proteins and fats so they can be absorbed into your small intestine.
  • Bile from your liver carries away waste products, and breaks down fat.

Upper digestive issues can wreak havoc on the entire digestive process. It’s essential to optimize upper digestive function to make make sure you’re maintaining a proper gut biome, and absorbing nutrients properly. Upper digestive issues are often caused by:

  • Long history of medication use
  • Eating processed food
  • Stress
  • Improper eating habits (lack of chewing, eating too fast)

Small Intestinal Wall Integrity

The delicate wall of the small intestine is one of the most important parts of the human body as we absorb the majority of nutrients here. A healthy small intestinal wall helps break food into small nutrients that can be absorbed in the blood. It also serves as an important barrier to keeping bacteria, viruses, and toxins out of the bloodstream. When the walls of the small intestine become damaged, it can allow inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream, setting the stage for a variety of chronic health issues.

Digestive Motility

Motility refers to the process of food traveling through the digestive tract via a series of muscular contractions, or how long it takes for you to move food through your digestive tract. When these muscular contracts stop working properly, it can cause food to sit in parts of your digestive system for longer than intended. This can cause gut dysbiosis, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, all of which can cause inflammation.

Leaky Gut & Inflammation:

The Missing Link

Digestive issues are often the source of autoimmune issues and hormone issues, causing a variety of seemingly disjointed symptoms. How?

The inner-lining of the small intestinal gut wall is crucial for breaking down large food particles. When the gut becomes inflamed, the inner wall of the small intestine begins to develop ”tight junctions” or spaces in the walls. These spaces allow for larger, undigested food particules to enter the blood stream, which your immune system does not recognize.

This process if often referred to as “leaky gut” and is considered a central causation factor in many chronic diseases. Leaky gut has been linked to cancer, heart disease, autoimmunity, and many more chronic diseases.

Testing For Digestive Issues

Digestion is complex. Between your stomach, small, and large intestines, there are a lot of places things can go off. While testing can’t often give a complete picture of digestion, it can be very useful in pinpointing issues.

Conventional doctors typically use only a few tests to examine the gut like blood work and stool tests. There’s been a renaissance of gut testing in the last decade, giving us precise insight into each aspect of the digestive process.


Organic Acid Tests

The Organic Acid test captures the byproducts of these chemical reactions called Organic Acids that we excrete in our urine. By capturing the relative amounts of these organic acids, we are able to gather information on how these chemical reactions in our bodies are functioning. If a chemical reaction is going too slowly, for example, there can be a buildup of specific organic acids in the urine. The Organic Acid Test is a urine test that makes it exceptionally easy for patients to do at home.

Food Sensitivity Tests

Food sensitivity testing can help pinpoint the exact foods and spices that are affecting our patients’ health. Food sensitivities are estimated to affect up to 20 percent of the population in industrialized countries. Food allergies and food sensitivities are two different diagnoses. While food sensitivities are not life-threatening, they are even more common than food allergies. Food Sensitivities can cause inflammation and delayed symptoms hours to days after ingesting food that can mimic many other diagnoses. Conventional medicine doctors will rarely test for sensitivities because research and testing behind food sensitivities are not as advanced or widely accepted as those for allergies.

Comprehensive Stool Tests

The Comprehensive Stool Analysis assesses gut health, identifying the cause of common GI complaints. Both local GI and systemic health issues may begin as imbalances in GI function. Stool testing helps determine GI imbalances and supports the identification of targeted treatments. It’s best for people with:

  • IBS
  • IBD
  • Celiac disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Immune system imbalances
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Diarrhea, Constipation, Abdominal
  • Distension
  • Malnutrition
  • Leaky Gut

Intestinal Permeability Test

The Intestinal Permeability Assessment measures the ability of sugar molecules to permeate and absorb in the intestinal mucosa. It assesses small intestinal absorption and barrier function in the bowel to help diagnose malabsorption and intestinal permeability/leaky gut. This test is best for people with suspected:

  • Leaky Gut
  • IBD
  • Celiac disease
  • SIBO

Fixing Digestive Issues

There’s typically not a single fix for digestive issues. It involves understanding digestion in depth and gradually reducing irritations. We help educate our clients on the nuances of digestion, treating it as a subject of inquiry and gradual optimization.

Fixing Digestive Issues


1. Food Sensitivites

Some food allergies create immediate, intense bodily reactions such as a severe peanut allergy. However, most people live with food sensitivities that go unnoticed. These are lower-grade immune reactions that often don’t occur for hours or days after you eat, making them difficult to detect. These hidden food sensitivities can cause digestive inflammation and create issues like IBS/IBD, diarrhea, and constipation.

2. Eating Rituals

What you eat is crucial to proper digestion. But how you eat is equally important. Many digestive issues have their roots in improper eating rituals (eating to fast, poor food combining, etc). Poor eating rituals can deplete enzyme production, stomach acid, and bile production over time, making it difficult to digest anything properly.

3. Rebuilding the Gut Wall

The integrity of your gut wall, particularly in the small intestine, is essential to gut health. The small villi in your small intestine help break down food, turning it into small nutrients that can be easily absorbed into the blood. If you have a long history of medication use or eat processed food, there’s a good chance your gut wall has been compromised. Our doctors use a variety of protocols to rebuild the quality of the gut wall.

4. Rebalancing Your Biome

Everything you eat is processed by your microbiome; they eat what we eat. Different strains of gut bacteria produce different chemicals, which means the makeup of your biome is almost as important, if not equally important, as what you eat. When your gut biome is out of balance, it can transform food that is usually healthy, and process it into inflammatory chemicals that damage your digestive process.


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