How Important are Enzymes in Your Life?
Part 2: Digestion and Elimination

Most doctors and chiropractors often overlook digestion when treating patients because they are not trained to look for it. In my clinical experience as an Internal Health Specialist, compromised digestion is always a factor for my patients with chronic unresolved health issues. In my last article, I wrote about the important role played by nutrition and diet in helping you to heal, as well as some common symptoms to be aware of. In this article, I am going to focus on digestion and bowel elimination.

Most people mistakenly believe that when they chew and swallow food, it is automatically 100% digested, absorbed, and assimilated by their cells and organs. That can be true for most healthy people, but it may not be the case if you are sick or have a health problem.  Let’s take a closer look at the role digestion plays in the healing process.

What would you say your daily stress level is, low, average or high?  The average person that walks into my clinic with a health problem, their stress level is usually average to high. When a patient’s body is under stress, a few things occur. The body becomes nutritionally deficient, more waste is created, and it can become deficient in specific enzymes. Enzymes are the workers of the body; they simply get work done. Enzymes play a major role in proper digestion.

Digestion is the process that breaks down the food we eat into small enough pieces to be absorbed easily through the small intestine so that our organs and cells can use that nutrition for fuel. Then, our body has to be able to efficiently eliminate the waste that is not absorbed through the intestines. If you have a problem with either digestion or elimination, more often than not, you will have a problem with the other as well.

I consider proper digestion one of the top priorities in helping people regain their health and keeping them there. When excessive or chronic stress challenges normal body functions, one of the first affected organ systems is the digestive system. When your digestive system is compromised, your cells and organs don’t get the proper nutrients they need to perform their chosen tasks. When you are used to consuming three meals a day, your cells and organs are used to a certain expectation of nutrients consistently delivered for them to function normally. With a weak digestive system, this is like eating a meal once a week or even once a month. How do you think you would function with one meal a month? Another way of asking this question is: What are the possibilities of things that could go wrong in your body and health with this type of meal schedule? Poor digestion can set off a cascade of a leaky gut, poor absorption, dysbiosis (yeast overgrowth or bacterial imbalance in the small intestine), and bowel toxicity, which can lead to many other health problems. This is why it is paramount for you to have a strong digestive system for optimal health and healing.

Why is proper bowel elimination also an important aspect of our overall health? Imagine what the front of your house and driveway would look like if the city were six months behind in picking up your trash. The smell and germs from your trash eventually would make its way back to your house. Without proper bowel elimination, the large intestine becomes toxic. These toxins can be reabsorbed into the body, stimulating the immune system and possibly creating many other health conditions.

If you have bowel elimination problems, it is usually the compensation. What I mean by this is that the cause of the elimination problem is usually “upstream” and can be the result of poor digestion, dysbiosis in the small intestine, or a combination of both. The large intestine doesn’t have a choice; it has to respond (compensate) based on how well food was digested. So if you have a bowel elimination problem, it is most likely a result of what is occurring upstream.

Some common symptoms of poor digestion are:
• Bloating
• Gas
• Cramping
• Indigestion
• Heartburn
• Intolerance to dairy, gluten, grains, or spicy foods
• Loss of appetite for meat
• Excessive appetite

Some common symptoms for poor elimination are:
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Lower abdominal pain
• Always tired
• Restless sleep, grinding of teeth
• Loss of appetite or feeling better when they don’t eat
• Painful bowel movements

When you have digestion or bowel elimination problem, an underlying factor of enzyme deficiencies may be keeping you from getting the nutrition your cells and organs need to heal. There is a simple and easy screening process that I can perform on my patients to check for an underlying digestion problem. If the screening is positive, than there is a more comprehensive evaluation that can be done to find out the cause of the problem.  If you are interested, call me, this screening process is free.

This is article two in a six-part series. In the next article, I will address the immune system.