You digestive system is one of the MOST important elements of your health to normalize. Without strong digestion, your body will deteriorate and you will suffer with various symptoms in various areas. This is why it is so important to understand digestion, how it works, and resolve any issues stemming from an incapacitated digestive tract.
It all starts with the chewing.
How the digestive system works
Digestion begins the moment food enters your mouth. As you begin chewing, alkaline enzymes secreted from the salivary and parotid glands start to break down food. As you swallow, the food is moved through the esophagus and into the stomach where it is then liquefied and processed by stomach acid.
Then food passes into the small intestine where there are digestive enzymes from the pancreas, as well as bile from the liver. The intestinal wall of the small intestine is essentially the front line of digestive defense as it safeguards against the absorption of toxic molecules. This task is carried out by microvilli, tiny hair-like fingers that sift through all the partially digested particles and selectively soak up proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals as they pass along.
Nutrients are assimilated within the next 6 hours or more as the food travels through the first 40 inches of the small intestine. The remaining 20 feet of intestines absorb the left-over water, electrolytes, bile salts, and vitamin B12.
What happens when harmful substances enter the digestive tract
A healthy intestinal wall is coated with primarily “friendly” bacteria that provides the protective lining that keeps damaging substances out of our body’s circulation, while allowing beneficial ones in. However, repeated exposure to harmful substances sends the white blood cells living alongside the microvilli into attack mode. This attack irritates the system because these white blood cells begin to explode shortly after absorbing abnormal particles, thus releasing a round of inflammatory hormones such as histamines.
At this point, the front line of digestive defense has fallen, and abnormal proteins and toxic particles begin passing through the intestinal membrane into the bloodstream, causing what is called “leaky gut syndrome”. To address the situation, the body calls upon the liver, and normally, this giant blood filter ensures that all useful elements of food undergo interchange, synthesis, oxidation, and storage, and all toxins are metabolized and processed into safe by-products that the kidneys can eliminate.
However, when the body is repeatedly exposed to pollutants and toxins, complete detoxification is no longer guaranteed. Problems such as leaky gut, bacterial imbalance, alcoholism, and drug abuse increase the load on the liver, causing oxidation reactions to produce free radicals faster than enzymatic reactions can process them. This allows free radicals to escape into the bloodstream, and eventually, the body goes into oxidative stress, which overloads the system and causes chronic illness such as autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, PMS, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.
The liver’s role in digestion
The liver also produces bile (stored in the gallbladder), another essential tool of digestive defense, which performs two important functions. First, bile helps to eliminate unfilterable breakdown products from the blood before they are passed to the kidneys. Bile then neutralizes stomach acid and eases the intestinal absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. If the liver becomes overloaded with toxins or too much glucose, the gallbladder’s canals become compressed, which decreases bile flow and hinders digestion.
An overtaxed, swollen liver causes a reduction of blood flow in the pelvic and abdominal regions. This blood pooling may putrefy, setting the stage for a host of problems including uterine/ovarian or prostate irritation, hemorrhoids, bowel irritation, neck pain and stiffness, and in some cases, heart palpitations.
Once the liver becomes unable to dilute toxins and keep the blood clear, the gastrointestinal system becomes exhausted.
And THAT, is how most chronic disease labels come to be (especially digestive and autoimmune concerns), and why I focus on digestive resolution in the THRIVE Lifestyle Academy as the #1 priority.
Are you going to commit to fixing it in 2020? If so, I’m happy to invite you to learn more about how I have generated so many positive reviews for those suffering with digestive and autoimmune diseases. You can see those reviews, and the plan that focuses on digestive and autoimmune healing, through the THRIVE Lifestyle Academy, here.