Lets Talk Digestion
Let’s talk about the system of digestion. There are three main organs involved are the stomach, pancreas, and gallbladder. The three accessory organs are the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Digestion is a north to south process, starting in the brain and ending in the colon. To have optimal health, the north to south process of digestion needs to be a well oiled machine. Lets talk more on how digestion works friends!
How Digestion is Supposed to Work
How is digestion supposed to work n a day to day basis? It begins in the brain where sights and smells trigger the brain to get into a parasympathetic state to start eating. The mouth then starts to salivate, which then works hand in hand with chewing the correct amount of times of breaking down food into a bolus. The bolus then travels down to the stomach where hydrochloric acid (HCl) breaks down the bolus. The bolus then is mechanically and chemically broken down by stomach muscles. This broken down substance then moves into the duodenum, where the bolus turns into a very acidic substance called chyme and then is passed on through to the small intestine.
With the chyme in the small intestine, the gallbladder is then told to release it’s storage of bile to break down fats within the chyme. When fats are detected in chyme, hormones are then released from the liver. While in the small intestine, the pancreas is also triggered with the job to release sodium carbonate to neutralize the chyme. After being neutralized, pancreatic enzymes can now work optimally by sending off nutrients though the small intestines where about 90% of our nutrients are absorbed. After passing through the small intestine, the remains of what was left of not being absorbed goes through to the large intestine where vitamins, minerals, and water is recycled and absorbed. The large intestine also makes vitamins, which aids in feeding the colon properly to aid in proper release of feces through the colon. This is how digestion is supposed to work. Lets chat what causes digestion to not work as it’s supposed to!
When Digestion Goes Bad
Bad digestion starts at the grocery store. A trip to the grocery store that is not filled with nutrient-dense/organic fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy wreck havoc on the body. The body is not made to break down inorganic substances. Foods filled with sugar, preservatives, and chemicals destroy the digestion system in so many ways. They deplete hydrochloric acid in the stomach that leads to food not breaking down properly and food not becoming acidic as it should to pass to the upper part of the small intestine. These inorganic man-made substances can mess with gallbladder bile which leads to fats not breaking down properly. They can cause digestive juices and hormones to not be released. Holes can occur in the small intestine, letting food cross through into the bloodstream to make its way around the body. They can congest the liver, not allowing it to perform the 500 functions it has. The list can go on and on. All processed and packaged foods overtime cause bad digestion and steer the body away from it’s natural ability to how digestion works optimally.
How Digestion Leads to a Game of Dominos
The Western diet has allowed a lot of American bodies to be stuck in a vicious game of dominos, leaving our digestion to not work properly. The foods that our grocery stores are offering and we are buying is taking down our first domino, setting a huge crash of other systems in our body to crash down along with it. American’s are in an emergency state of poorly working immune systems, allergies, hormone imbalance, infertility, depression, bone loss, heart disease, cancer…this list can go on and on as well. Let’s change our society’s game the domino affect of bad digestion. Let’s heal and support our digestion so that our dominos can stand tall, with strength, and great steadiness!
Interested more about how digestion works and digestion’s connection to sickness?T ake a look at my post on Poor Digestion Leads to Sickness. You’ll learn all the things on why poor digestion leads to an immune system that can’t fight off sickness!
And, as always- please contact me if you would like to know more about Functional Nutritional Therapy or would like to start the journey of healing your digestion!
For other great articles on digestion, check out one of my favorite fellow Nutritional Therapists!