Your digestive system is one of the most important systems in your entire body. The old saying goes “You are what you eat”. Naturopathic doctors take it one step further and recognize that “You are what you absorb.”
Healthy digestion is key to overall health, vitality and the proper functioning of every aspect of the body. Your body needs to properly digest and absorb nutrients and efficiently eliminate waste products in order to achieve and maintain optimal health. It is not enough to eat a “clean diet”. It is important for each person to figure out what an “ideal diet” is for them, based on their specific health needs, food sensitivities, lifestyle and age.
Factors that affect the function of the digestive system include:
Food sensitivities. There is a difference between a “good food” and a food that is “good” for you. Eating foods that are difficult to digest is irritating to the lining of your digestive tract and results in inflammation and decreased nutrient absorption.
Food quality. Genetically modified foods, toxins on food, foods additives and preservatives impact the quality of the food and the overall health benefits and nutrients that the food contains.
Unresolved gastric infections. Many people under-estimate the healing time that the digestive system requires after an infection or food poisoning. Learning the art of giving the digestive system a break can speed recovery and ensure digestive health.
Improper gut flora. Overuse of antibiotics and poor diet disrupts the levels of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
Mental/emotional stress. Stress and anxiety impact the body’s ability to digest food. Proper digestion requires time and is done best when the body is relaxed.
Medication side-effects. Use of certain drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and ant-acids commonly have side-effects in the digestive tract.
Naturopathic doctors receive extensive training in understanding the complexities and interrelations of digestive wellness and overall health. Dr. Ann-Marie takes a special interest in ensuring Healthy Digestion and she will work closely with you to facilitate this goal. Specific tests include:
IgG/IgA food sensitivity testing
Comprehensive stool analysis
Candida antigen testing
H. pylori testing
Hair and urine analysis of nutritional status
Metabolic testing for diabetes, thyroid concerns and other conditions