Endless digestive problems! Embarrassing, inconvenient, upsetting - sound familiar?
Our digestion can be affected negatively and result in constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, pain and even inflammatory bowel disease. It is so important that digestion works well as it has a huge impact on a person's overall health from mood, immunity, fatigue and much more.
Have you visited your GP with constipation and been told to eat more fibre and drink more water? Did it work? Sometimes it doesn't.
Digestion is much more than this. It is like a fine manufacturing process and if one part is not working well, the final 'product' is not right! So apart from ensuring fibre (albeit caution is needed with IBD) and sufficient water, your bowel also needs an adequate supply of bile which is produced by the liver. This acts like the oil in a car engine to ensure all the moving parts work smoothly, and it is exactly the same in the bowel.
Bile has many functions, but one is to ensure a smooth ride in the bowel. Another important aspect is the condition and balance of your bowel good bacteria. If these are overridden, there will not be sufficient to absorb water into the bowel to form a good sized stool, so the nervous system within the walls of the bowel are stimulated to aid motion. So as you can see constipation has many routes of cause. Then diarrhoea, again - is it food intolerance with the body wanting to expel its contents as quickly as possible, or it could it be a lack of bile reabsorption, where too much bile is held in the large bowel creating diarrhoea.
As you can see the bowel's function involves a multitude of areas to ensure good, uninflamed transit. There are other areas too but this gives you an idea and hopefully the motivation to consult with a nutritionist expert in the field of bowel health.
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