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Bad Digestion

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Long Term Digestion Problems

Many people have long term digestion problems. Digestion problems are inconvenient and can be painful. Long-term digestion problems begin with common physical symptoms like bloating and heartburn. If these symptoms persist without treatment, it may lead to more serious long term digestion difficulties.

Poor Digestion Equals Serious Illness

Typical symptoms of poor digestion are gas, fullness and nausea. Sluggish digestive function reduces the number of enzymes in the stomach available to break food down.  Since the number of enzymes is lower than needed to metabolize food, the body sends enzymes from the immune system to the stomach, leaving the immune system more vulnerable to germs. Over time, without treatment, symptoms of poor digestion can turn into diseases like arthritis and cancer.

Unknown food allergens can affect digestion. One particular illness that is caused by food allergens is called leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the lining of the intestine loses its ability to block out large molecules. This causes fluid from the intestines to spread throughout the body. Once the fluid is in the blood, it becomes toxic to the body, causing the immune system to attack. Luckily, leaky gut syndrome is a long-term digestion problem that can be avoided.

There are many possible causes to poor digestion. Sleeping below the recommended number of hours each night is a potential reason for a slow metabolism. Adequate rest and relaxation is required for the body to heal itself. Without the time to heal itself, the body's immune system becomes weak and vulnerable.

Eating habits contribute to digestive health as well. Eating healthy is one of the main habits that help people with sluggish digestion. Healthy eating includes consuming mostly water-rich vegetables, fruits and protein from lean meat or vegetarian sources. Replacing processed, sugar-filled foods with whole grain complex carbohydrates promotes good digestive health as well.

Food combining is a concept based on the type of digestive enzymes that digest each food item. These enzymes are acidic or alkaline and they affect the pH balance of the stomach. Eating foods that are acidic with those that are alkaline neutralizes the digestive enzymes in the stomach. This stops digestive function. Food combining has basic rules. The main rule is that food which requires an alkaline environment to be digested should not be combined with food that requires an acidic environment to be digested. In general, acidic foods are animal proteins and alkaline foods are starches, sugars, and fats. Neutral foods are most water-rich vegetables and vegetarian proteins. After learning which foods are acidic, alkaline, or neutral, the process of food combining is pretty simple.  Acidic foods and neutral foods can be eaten together.  Alkaline foods and neutral foods can be eaten together. Fruit is considered a different type of food and should not be combined with any other foods.

Long term digestive problems are prevalent throughout the United States. Even though advertisements of high fat, processed foods propagate society, keeping simple and healthy eating habits can be the deciding factor between temporary bloating and heartburn and a long term digestive disorder.

Samantha Johnston

Samantha
Johnston

About the author

My name is Samantha Johnston and I live in Littleton, CO with my boyfriend and two dogs.  Other than writing, I enjoy reading, crocheting animals and have a seriously unusual interest in entrepreneurship and self-development books.  I am passionate about community service and believe people should be community minded, while still taking care of self.

As for my professional life, I am in the process of reorganizing Ghost Ink, LLC, a writing and planning services business. Here, I am changing roles to focus more on creating the foundational documentation and plans (business, marketing and strategic plans) for nonprofit organizations and independent authors/writers. Writing for Womensforum is allowing me to fine tune my skills in SEO article writing as well as inspire readers. Happy reading!