These days it’s really common to be diagnosed with IBS, IBD, GERD, or simply suffer from digestive symptoms like pain, bloating, gas, burping, feeling bloated, irregular bowl  movements, diarrhea or constipation. Although these symptoms are common, they certainly aren’t normal. 

It can be very frustrating, trying to narrow down food culprits. Sometimes it’s possible to make a direct correlation, but other times the symptoms seem to have no rhyme or reason for appearing. This isn’t surprising once you understand the complexity to the GI system and how many factors affect it.

Besides the obvious discomfort that these symptoms and illnesses carry, they also pose threats to all other aspects of our health. If your GI tract isn’t working properly it can affect your body in the following ways:

  • Promote nutrient deficiencies
  • Decrease immune system capability
  • Skin issues like acne, psoriasis and acne
  • Fatigue and lack of endurance
  • Increase in systemic inflammation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Foggy thinking
  • Infertility
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Migrains
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ulcers, chrons, gastritis, IBD and IBS
  • Arthitis
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Autoimmunity
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • PCOS and endometriosis
  • Joint pain

Digestive tract (GI) symptoms can be caused by many different underlying issues, such as:

  • Inadequate HCL production
  • Inadequate digestive enzyme production
  • Effects of the removal of gallbladder or poorly functioning gallbladder and/or liver
  • Bacterial infections in the stomach
  • Bacterial imbalances in the colon
  • Fungal overgrowth
  • SIBO
  • Leaky gut
  • Food sensitivities
  • Lifestyle factors, like stress
  • Parasites
  • Viruses

There are a number of different lifestyle and dietary changes that can improve GI symptoms, but the underlying issue needs to be corrected for full resolution. Some of the most common changes may include:

  • Changing the diet to a low- inflammatory diet
  • Going gluten and dairy free
  • Trying a low FODMAP or SCD diet
  • Eliminating or reducing grains
  • Adjusting fiber content up or down
  • Changing your eating environment  or mindset
  • Adding supplements (examples-  stomach acid, digestive enzymes, antimicrobials, probiotics, L-glutamine)

As mentioned, the above changes, or combination of changes, are often helpful, but sometimes further testing is needed to fully resolve GI symptoms and those that are related to poor GI health.

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