Digestive & GI
At Naturally Nourished, we focus on thoroughly examining your case from a whole body approach. We will examine previous medical history, stress levels and previous stress patterns, energy levels, social history, dietary and symptom trends, and emotional support. We will work to improve digestive function to ensure you are able to tolerate a variety of foods and most importantly that you are able to absorb and use the nutrients consumed. Beyond food selection, anatomical (structural), and biochemical digestive function (eating in a stressful environment; at your desk, in your cars, or worse, skipping a meal) can tax our digestive system! We will address eating patterns, realistic meal planning, and coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety to ensure a sustainable holistic approach.
Mediator Release Test (MRT) to identify reactivity to foods leading to irritable bowel and “leaky gut”
Micronutrient Panel to assess vitalmin, mineral and antioxidant deficiency and identify malabsorbtion
GI Effects Stool Profile to assess cultures and strains in your bowels and identify parasites
Hydrogen Breath test to assess for bacterial balance and SIBO (small intestial bacerial overgrowth)
- Individualized Consultation
- Medical Assessment with Comprehensive Lifestyle Intake
- Coordination of care with specialists, primary care physician, and medical team
- Food-as-medicine education about:
- Mechanisms of digestive system
- Foods that lead to increased risk for reactions
- Foods that help to heal the gut and improve symptoms
- The role stress and psychological “self talk” plays in IBS symptoms
- Lifestyle changes to support wellness outcomes
- Customized Meal Plan emphasizing foods that improve digestive health, remove and replace irritants, and prevent the root cause of GI symptoms.
- Nutritional supplement recommendations: assess those currently taking, prescribe pharmaceutical-grade options to help balance system to promote wellness and decrease medications
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Flush
This acidic flush plays a role in activating your liver for metabolic function by encouraging bile production as well as preventing fatty liver. The acidic impact on the stomach along with the bile from the liver encourages an optimal digestive environment and can boost metabolism. I recommend Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar as it contains “The Mother” or probiotic cultures in the fermentation so you are getting multifunctional support!
Directions: Mix 2 Tbsp Braggs Raw Apple cider vinegar with 4-6 oz water and drink first thing in the morning.
“All too often, we may find ourselves coping with heartburn, bloating, constipation, loose stools, digestive pains, etc. rather than resolving them. These symptoms can limit quality of life and are a way for your body to tell you it is not functioning properly! Masking a digestive symptom with a drug can lead to nutritional deficiency which can lead to chronic illness. At Naturally Nourished we will use a personalized approach correcting rather than masking your digestive imbalances, ensuring optimal function, bowel regularity, and absorption of nutrients consumed.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Digestion starts in the mouth. Adequate chewing is essential to breakdown a solid into a liquid “sludge” form. Enzymes in your saliva mix with food to break them down into compounds that can be absorbed. Chewing your food in a relaxed mindful environment provides the best opportunity for optimal nutrition as our saliva is thinner and lower in enzymes when we are in a state of stress. Blending greens into a smoothie is a great way to get a boost to your day and pre-digest your foods.
After passing the esophagus and entering the stomach, enzymes, bile, and hydrochloric acid (HCl-) mix to churn food. The stomach functions in an acidic environment, in fact our stomach is supposed to be acidic enough to break down a copper penny at a pH of 1-2! This environment is necessary to absorb and activate nutrients. When a client with heart burn takes a medication such as a proton pump inhibitor (Nexium, Protonix, etc.) or antacids (Tums, Zantac, etc.), it decreases their acidity causing inability to breakdown and absorb nutrients leading to nutritional deficiency.
Once in the gut or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, nutrients can now be absorbed into our blood stream. It is important that the lining of the gut remains intact and in an anti-inflammatory state. Irritants to the gut such as food sensitivities and gluten can destroy the lining and cause the leaking of nutrients/food particles into the blood stream. It is important to assess for irritants or food allergies through Elimination Diet and MRT testing to ensure you are not wrecking havoc on your gut environment. Gluten has a protein, gliadin, that unlocks the lining of the gut which can lead to “Leaky gut”.
Once passed through the gut, food moves to the large intestine or colon where some additional nutrients are absorbed and bowels begin to form with the unabsorbed matter. Fiber and fluid are an important aspect of motility and excretion. Aim for 25-35g of fiber (focus on soluble and insoluble fiber) and 1/2 your body weight in fl oz of water daily to maintain regularity, excrete toxins, and prevent cancer.
The digestive process begins as soon as food enters the mouth where enzymes and bacteria in our saliva play a role. Once in the stomach, the microbes present in the GI tract have the potential to act in a favorable, deleterious, or neutral manner depending on the ratio of good to bad bacteria. If the beneficial bacteria dominates then we are in a state of symbiosis. If the harmful bacteria dominates then we are in a state of dysbiosis. For optimal health we should strive for a symbiotic GI tract. Microbes in small intestine and in the large intestine complete the digestion process. The metabolic end products in the presence of probiotics are organic acids (lactic and acetic acids) that tend to lower the pH of the intestinal contents, create conditions less desirable for harmful bacteria and cancer. Probiotic foods can help with breaking down nutrients and will line the gut keeping it healthy and free from viruses or pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. Try adding natural plain yogurt or sauerkraut (fermented vegetables) to your daily intake.
To identify your bacterial balance, Ali may recommend a Hydrogen Breath test to assess for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or a stool assessment to identify strains in your bowels, screen for parasites, and determine the most effective treatment to regulate.