The complexity of the digestive function is extensive. There is a multitude of physiological processes which must work in perfect harmony to achieve proper digestion.
Many individuals with digestive disorders or related chronic diseases do not realize they have a problem with their digestion simply because they do not experience the obvious symptoms associated with poor gut health. While many causes of digestive disorders are specific to the individual, there are still some very common triggers including underlying food allergies, sensitivities and toxic environmental exposures.
The digestive system integrates with many other physiological processes of the body including immune function, mental health, and cognitive function. Therefore, digestive disorders are typically at the root of most chronic illnesses such as thyroid disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, neuromuscular disorders, autoimmune diseases, and many others.
Aside from the immune system, a healthy digestive system is crucial for proper brain function. It is expected that approximately 90% of neurotransmitters are manufactured in the digestive system. One of the most common symptoms associated with poor digestive function is depression and anxiety.
In the current age of excessive pharmaceutical medications, an abundance of processed foods and hybridized grains, we have never seen such a high prevalence of digestive disorders and disease like leaky gut, IBS, SIBO, dybiosis, ulcerative colitis and others. As a result of medication overuse, poor diet, food sensitivities, stress and other environmental and lifestyle factors, the intestinal barrier becomes breached, causing increased inflammatory responses in the intestines and other parts of the body.
This systemic inflammation increases a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases. In fact, some people with intestinal permeability compromise do not develop intestinal symptoms. Instead, they present with inflammatory symptoms like chronic joint pains, muscle aches, bone loss, eczema, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and other degenerative diseases.
Functional medicine provides a method for re-balancing the body’s underlying physiological systems and addressing lifestyle issues that are contributing to your gastrointestinal health.
If you think you are suffering from a digestive disorder and are looking for information on how to improve your gut health, please contact us to learn more!
Hi, I’m Dr. Eric Balcavage, owner and founder of Rejuvagen. If you’re struggling with health issues or have questions, let’s chat. You can schedule a 15-minute call with me to get started.