Proper digestion is vital not only for your gastrointestinal function, but to regulate and optimize the health of our other bodily systems that function as a whole, including the endocrine system, integumentary system, immune system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and plenty others. When our body is thoroughly absorbing nutrients, energy, growth, and cellular repair is possible. If our digestive system is compromised, our body’s homeostasis can become unbalanced.The most common signs and symptoms indicating a gastrointestinal disorder are bloating, excess flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea/vomiting, and abdominal pain/cramping.
Taking supplements prescribed by your Naturopathic doctor and making changes to your diet can improve and completely eradicate gastrointestinal discomfort. Our top 5 favourite supplements for digestive health are:
Prebiotics, also known as fibre, are considered food for probiotics. A prebiotic alters the microflora of our gastrointestinal tract to maintain a healthy intestinal barrier, further decreasing the likelihood of harmful bacteria’s from colonizing in the intestines.
Probiotics consist of a variety of healthy bacteria that already live in our gastrointestinal lining. We sometimes need to compensate for depleted levels of probiotics in our bodies due to excess antibiotic use and consummation of unwholesome foods. Taking a probiotic supplement can improve your immune system up to 70% and can prevent overgrowth of harmful bacteria’s, yeast, or parasites.
3. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice:
DGL increases mucus production in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract which protects the stomach and esophagus from acidity. Taking a DGL supplement regulates the body’s inflammatory response to certain foods and medications.
4. Digestive Enzymes:
Digestive Enzymes assist with overall digestion by helping to break down food, which tends to decrease as we age. Pathogens can also affect our body’s natural ability to digest foods by damaging important enzymes that are located throughout our gastrointestinal tract. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement before we eat a meal will ensure proper breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, allowing for better digestion, less bloating, and regular bowel movements.
5. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in keeping our immune systems strong which ultimately strengthens the immune cells in our gut!
Prior to making changes to your daily diet and supplement routine, it is highly recommended that you speak to your Naturopathic Doctor to discuss testing options to rule out a diagnosis for your gastrointestinal concerns. Testing may include:
- Bloodwork: Used to detect illness and disease. Also used to determine the function of your organs.
- Stool Testing: Used to understand how your body breaks down and absorbs food. Also used to identify bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
- Diagnostic Imaging: Used to visually identify internal abnormalities within the body.
Have questions or concerns regarding your digestive health? We can help! Contact our clinic today to book a consultation with one of our Naturopathic Doctors!