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North Adams Chiropractor | North Adams chiropractic care | MA | Good Health Depends on a "Happy Gut"

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Chiropractic and Nutrition               413-663-5500


Good Health Depends on a "Happy Gut"

Digestion and GI (Gut) Health

Good Health Depends on a "Happy Gut"

It may surprise you to learn that many health problems and diseases begin in the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract.

A vigorous digestive system is needed in order to assimilate many nutrients --- especially minerals --- from food. Good digestive function also helps prevent bacteria (including H. pylorii, the "ulcer bacteria") and intestinal parasites from getting a "foot-hold" in the body. The biggest surprise of all may be that low digestive function, not excess stomach acid, is the most common cause of GERD, heartburn and acid indigestion.

Poor digestion is associated with abnormal bowel function (constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome), allergies (both seasonal AND food allergies), autoimmune conditions, GERD and heartburn, Candida, cancer and a number of other conditions.

Getting your digestive tract into good shape is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Low (NOT High) Stomach Acid Causes GERD and a Surprising Number of Health Problems

The stomach's primary job is to digest protein and emulsify fats, and it does this by making an extremely powerful acid called hydrochloric acid (HCL) and a protein-digesting enzyme called pepsin. The hydrochloric acid made by a healthy stomach is one million times stronger than the mild acidity of urine or saliva. A leather-like strip of jerky can be quickly turned into "beef soup" by the action of hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach. That's how normal digestion is supposed to work.

But just like the rest of an aging body, the stomach's hydrochloric acid and pepsin production decreases over time. As a result, we do not digest food as well. Many older studies conducted on several thousand people in the 1930's and 1940's showed that half of all people by age 60 were functioning at only 50% gastric acid output. Numerous contemporary studies verify that that stomach acid production often declines with age.

Jonathan Wright, M.D., well-known and respected holistic physician, states:

“Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, its been my clinical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other micro-trace elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as they are in those whose acid levels are normal. When we test plasma amino acid levels for those with poor stomach function, we frequently find lower than usual levels of one or more of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Often there are functional insufficiencies of folic acid and/or vitamin B12.”

Remember, these are essential nutrients. Deficiencies of any single one of them can cause serious health problems over time. Weak bones, diminish immune function, failing memory, loss of eyesight and many other “diseases of aging” are often the result of decreased stomach function.


Digestion and IBS


North Adams Chiropractor | Good Health Depends on a "Happy Gut". Dr. Francine Lajoie is a North Adams Chiropractor.