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Effingham Magazine



By Kerri Dodson, MNT, MCHWC, Master Nutrition Therapist


Digestion is the gateway when dealing with all aspects of health. The gastrointestinal tract is connected to every system in the body. Without proper digestion, health cannot be optimized and thus, digestion is the most important healing priority for overall optimal health.

Why do so many of us have stomach/gastrointestinal issues?

Unfortunately, the majority of people are fueling themselves with processed food (this includes restaurant dining) and fast food. Eating this way exposes us to chemicals and pesticides.

Also, our soil is depleted of minerals and we are now eating GMO foods, which damage the gastrointestinal lining.

Without the integrity of the digestive system, the body cannot support other foundations of health. It is important to remember that every aspect of what we eat literally becomes part of us in our cells. So proper nutrition AND proper digestion and absorption are vital.

Proper digestion begins in the mouth and then to the stomach. Most people think heartburn is a sign of too much hydrochloric acid (HCl) when in reality, most of the time it is because of too little HCl. HCl is vital to the proper break down of proteins in the stomach.

 Next, food is passed to the intestines. Here, there are different types of bacteria (pathogens, normal bacterial flora, phyla microbiota, opportunistic bacteria, H. pylori, fungi/yeast, parasites and worms). Your bacteria need to be in the appropriate ratios and there should not be the presence of fungi/yeast, parasites or worms. We coexist with our bacteria. They play a role in the extraction of nutrients and energy from the food we eat, help maintain gut barrier function, produce vitamins like biotin and Vitamin K, and protect against the colonization of potential pathogens. Our microbiota interacts with our immune system and it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Also, digestive markers should be in the appropriate range.

What can we do?

As a Nutrition Therapist, I can help you test and not guess. Testing is the only true way to know if there is an imbalance or infection—be it parasitic, fungal or bacterial. It is also the best way to determine if there is a functional issue, meaning digestive capacity and ability to repair itself is impaired. Testing can also provide insight on inflammation and immune responses.

As a Nutrition Therapist, I can analyze this comprehensive panel and assist you in a proper protocol to balance/repair and alleviate any issues you may be having. We couple this with food sensitivity testing to ensure that while we are healing the gut, foods aren’t still doing damage. This one two punch is the best way to deal with issues such as IBS, autoimmune disease, heartburn, constipation, gallbladder issues and inflammatory issues. |  770-722-9580

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