Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is your digestion working?

How would you know?  It seems just fine, right?  I'm eating and pooping and all that digestive stuff, so it must be ok......it IS ok, isn't it?

Why should we be concerned that our digestive system is not just adequate, but is performing like a brand new Ferrari?  Because our bodies and our brains need a LOT of nutrients to not only survive, but to thrive.  If we are watching what we eat and making efforts to take in good, nutrient-dense foods, it is all going into the toilet if we can't break it down into a form that our body can use.  If that is the case, even "good" food can be very harmful to our health at the same time that it is nourishing us.

Our stomach is a very special organ.  It is designed to contain acid (hydrochloric acid, or HCl....that is a capital H and C and a lower case L) that is so strong it can burn through aluminum foil in seconds.  Imagine what that does to food!  No other area of our body can handle that acidity, or even half that.

It is estimated that up to 90% of the population of the US is hypochlorhydric, or has a stomach pH that is not sufficient to properly digest their food.  So chances are pretty good that you fall into this category.  I do.  In my work as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, everyone I evaluate has low HCl to some degree, and correcting this is one of the first steps to getting proper nutrition for vibrant health.

So, how do you know if you need more acidity in your stomach?  Here are some common symptoms (although some of these can have other causes, they are very commonly symptoms of incorrect acidity in the stomach):

Belching, gas, diarrhea, or bloating within an hour of eating, or a sense of fullness (not satisfied, but a bit uncomfortable) after eating.

Heartburn, gastric reflux, or GERD....or on meds for any of these, prescription or over-the-counter.

Smells.....bad breath or strong sweat.

No desire for eating meat.

Don't feel like eating breakfast.

Feel better if you don't eat at all, or excessive sleepiness after meals.

Can't take vitamins because they make your stomach hurt.  Or you take them anyways and bear it.

There are some pooping symptoms, but I'll spare you.  You get the idea.  Most people will identify with one or more of the above symptoms on occasion.....or most of the time.

If you don't have enough acid to break down your food, it starts to poison you to some degree.  Carbohydrates will ferment (and expand), fats will become rancid, and proteins will putrify....rot.  Imagine a piece of meat sitting in water on a sidewalk for 24-72 hours at 99 degrees Fahrenheit.  That could be happening inside your very warm body.  But not if there is enough acid to break it down within a very short time after eating it.

Since digestion is a north to south process.....brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, poo....low HCl leads to damage to everything south of the stomach, too.  It is very, very critical to identify and correct this problem.

Intrigued?  This will be the topic of one segment of my 12 week series, Foundations of Vibrant Health, beginning in 3 weeks via teleconference.  The course will take place on Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time (check a time zone map to see when the class will be for you) and each segment will be about an hour.  There will be lecture time and time for your questions.

The format is simple.  There will be a telephone number and access code to call into the class via conference call.  I will mute out all the students during the lecture portion, then I can change the mode so that individuals can unmute to ask questions.  Or students can email their questions to me and I'll read and answer them.  This will allow you to ask questions anonymously.

If you must miss a class or work during the time that the class is live, it will be recorded each week and there will be a different number to call in and listen to the recording.  The recording will be available until the next class.  You can still ask questions via email, and they will be answered during the next class.

You can certainly listen to the classes on speaker phone if you want your other half or family or a friend to listen in with you.  Only the person who registered can ask questions, and you must be off speaker phone to unmute and talk to me, otherwise the sound gets all funky for everyone else on the call.  You can get around this by emailing your questions.  I encourage you to pay for one person and then fill the room!

You can register for the class here.  Don't forget the coupon code!  It is "digestion" and will get you an additional fifty bucks off the already steeply discounted price.  More info on the class coming soon, but I promise it will be packed with useful stuff that will help you and your family on the path to wellness.  Including how my husband lost so much weight so quickly and some startling changes to my health and energy levels.

Me in teacher mode.

Hope to "see" you in class!

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