“You are what you eat. More importantly you are what you digest.”
–Dr. Bernard Jensen
Most of us do not realize or know that long-term digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body leading to exacerbating health problems such as allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, acne, chronic fatigue, and many other health issues. This is because your gut is responsible for not only digesting foods but for helping regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and body healthy. The gut actually contains more neurotransmitters than your brain, is responsible for removing toxins from your body, and is directly related to your immune system. If the digestive system becomes impaired, your health will suffer.
Chinese medicine believes that having a healthy gut is linked to having a healthy, long lasting, life. Digestion is connected to EVERYTHING ELSE that happens in your body, which is why more than 100 million Americans complain of digestive problems and why visits for intestinal disorders are amongst the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians.
What are the causes of an unhealthy digestive system?
Long-term stress, poor diet, processed foods; a history of taking prescription medications for many years can be factors leading to an unhealthy gut. You may feel “I used to be able to eat anything, and now I am bloated all the time!” One of the factors to maintaining healthy digestion is diet. The typical American diet is heavily processed as it contains many chemicals and preservatives that might get in the way of the bodies ability to repair itself. As a result of this more and more people complain of bloating, belching, gas, constipation and weight gain developing around the abdominal area. These are just symptoms of a digestive system in distress and needling help. The use of standard medications sometimes may or may not resolve these symptoms. If used long term, some medications can even cause bleeding in stools, and potentially impair liver and kidney functioning.
How to know if your Digestion is Out of Balance:
Low fiber, high sugar, nutrient poor diet causes the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut, damaging the intestinal ecosystem.
Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or low grade food allergies to soy, corn, dairy, etc.
Chronic low-grade infections caused by parasites, yeast overgrowth or other infections.
Long-term stress can alter digestion and gut permeability and can change the normal vs. bad bacterial levels in the gut.
Don’t wait and let your long-term health problems damage your body further. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can get to the root of the issue, especially if western lab work does not find a reason for the digestive distress. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine enhance digestive health by establishing more effective communication between internal organ patterns that are believed to be the true cause of the problem. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine also help enhance spleen, pancreas, stomach, and liver gallbladder meridian energetics, which, in turn help correct digestive imbalances on a much deeper level.
Acupuncture can be a stand-alone treatment to treat digestive disorder symptom relief and can also be combined with Chinese herbal medicine and or Western pharmaceutical treatment to further correct the underlying root causes. More studies are being conducted to further investigate Acupuncture alone on gastrointestinal disorder relief and care throughout China and Taiwan.
Sources and Resources:
Hyman, Mark Dr. “Is Your Digestive System Making You Sick, and Fat?” Dr. Mark Hyman. www.drhyman.com 25 March 2013. Web 16 Jan 2014.