FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP - OR THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM?
What comes out from the bottom may well be one of the most important signs in our overall health status.
Nobody likes to talk about poop but trust me we should all be talking about it.
In some countries toilets are made with an inspection platform so that they can assess their poop before it gets washed away. Now that’s all very well and good but how many people can actually say that they know what they are looking for?
Does your poop smell? Is it too dark or too light? Is it runny or hard to pass? All these things can tell us a story about the state of our gut health that plays a role in wellness.
Did you know that if you suffer from gas and bloating it could be that you are eating while stressed or consuming your food too quickly thus not breaking down proteins, fibre and fats in food? This can lead to an inflammatory reaction from the immune system and food intolerances. On the other hand suffering from gas and bloating can mean that the bacteria in your small intestine are out of control. This is also known as dysbiosis and often presents as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The bacteria are literally having a party when you eat certain types of foods. They ferment these foods creating smelly and uncomfortable symptoms. We must take a step back and start from the top to bottom.
Lets go back to the top where digestion really starts with the cephalic phase. This phase begins in the brain when we think about or smell our imminent meal. Our brain sends signals to release digestive juices and enzymes to break down the food. This helps prevent the bacteria from consuming it before we have a chance to absorb the nutrients that we need. Some people lack digestive enzymes and these need replacing with a good enzyme support product.
Once the food has been really well chewed and then swallowed it enters the stomach through a valve that is tightly regulated. This valve is known as the lower oesophageal sphincter and is kept, on the most part, firmly closed to prevent the stomach acid from reaching and burning the oesophagus. When the Ph of the stomach rises too high it can allow this sphincter to relax and open. This can also happen in pregnancy and when proteins putrify in the stomach causing pressure. Another reason that the valve can open is when stomach acid production is low due to bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori. This particular bacteria, can burrow into the stomach lining and cause painful gastric ulcers. If the pyloric sphincter stays open this can be the cause of acid reflux.
If the food is digested as it should be and the proteins are broken down then the nutrients get absorbed in the small intestines and we ultimately get good digestion. Constipation and diarrhoea are signs that all is not well as are floating or greasy stools.
So ultimately how do we achieve the well-formed poop to have optimal health? Be relaxed when eating, chew food really well, eat plenty of fibre, have good digestive enzymes, stomach acid and release of bile acids, from the gall bladder, to support the process and excretion of waste products also known as poop!