If you asked me to pick one system in your body that influences your overall health more than any other, the answer would be easy. It’s your digestive system!
If you have any digestive issues, it’s essential for you to address them asap.
Aren’t sure if you have digestive issues? Check out the TUMMY QUIZ below!
Your digestive system is literally the hub of your body’s health.
Over half of your nervous and immune systems live in your gut. Yes, that’s for real. Your digestion also helps you absorb all of the nutrients from your food, and is one of THE main exit routes for dumping out things your body doesn’t need – including damaging toxins and extra hormones.
If your digestion isn’t working well, you’re at risk for developing auto-immune conditions, inflammatory issues, mood disorders, nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.
So, why don’t we know about this?
First off, we don’t actually talk about our digestion. To anyone. Sometimes not even our medical doctors.
Even then, conventional medicine has missed the mark when it comes to your digestion. Sure, you might get a diagnosis of heartburn, constipation, IBS or inflammatory bowel disease, but has anyone been able to tell you WHY you have these issues?
To answer this critical question, we need to look at HOW your digestion is working. This includes assessing all the key foundations that make up the digestive process, so that we can uncover what’s missing for you.
For example, one really important part of your digestive system is your gut lining. If the sensitive lining of your digestive tract is inflamed or irritated, things that shouldn’t get absorbed do, and set off alarm bells in your immune system.
This problem is called “leaky gut”, and it causes a long list of issues including joint pain, fatigue, depression, brain fog and auto-immune conditions, among so many others.
Or, what if your body isn’t able to break down your food properly? This can happen if youdon’t chew your food, if you have low stomach acid or aren’t secreting enough digestive enzymes. In these cases food passes right on through, and you miss out on the vitamins and minerals in it.
Overall, a healthy digestive system maintains balanced immune and nervous systems, helps you soak up all of the nutrients in your food, and is one of your body’s most important exit routes for toxins and waste.
Knowing all this, let’s see how well your digestion scores.
As a quick heads up, when I work with clients we do a much more in-depth assessment to see what’s actually going on with their digestion, but this fun quiz will give you a good idea if yours is perfect, is a little off, or is WAY out of balance.
Note: this may seem like TMI for some of you, but your digestion is the same as any other system of your body, nothing to be embarrassed about.
Mark down a point for each of the following symptoms you have ONCE or more times/week:
- Missed days without a bowel movement
- Hard stool that is difficult to pass
- Unformed stools – it can be in pieces, pellets or completely soft and unformed
- Bloating – this is when your belly extends outwards. It can build gradually during the day, or show up after each meal
- Abdominal cramping or discomfort
- Undigested food in your stool – things like corn and nuts/seeds are normal since they’re hard to digest but if you notice things like kale or lettuce, this is a point
- Tendency towards hemorrhoids
- A history of chronic yeast infections (this usually points to an imbalance in your gut)
Now, add up your points:
- If you have 0 point or less congrats! Your digestion is in amazing shape,
- If you have 1 – 2 points your digestion is borderline, and
- If you have 3 or more points your digestion is having a lot of trouble.
If your digestion is borderline or having trouble, addressing this will be a key priority to healing any other issue you have going on, whether it’s PMS, acne, fatigue, insomnia, difficulty losing weight or foggy brain.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to dive deeper into this valuable topic. We’ll explore 3 key elements of your digestion: stomach acid, gut flora and enzymes in more detail.
As we move through these foundations, you’ll learn some great tools to incorporate into your daily life to support your digestion, and overall health.