Digestion Suggestion

We are a being that exists around a hollow tube, a bit like a stretched out doughnut!  It is through the lining of this hollow tube (known as the lumen) that we process our food, so that we can extract nutrients that then become the fuel for our system, and through which we then eliminate waste.

Digestion is therefore the action of processing foods so that we can absorb nutrients from them. Absorption is the process by which these nutrients cross the wall of the digestive tract and are then utilised by the body for primarily fuel and repair. If any aspect of digestion is not working so well then this will have an effect on our ability to absorb nutrients and our ability to function effectively. The tube environment (microbiome) is dependent on what comes in from the outside so our health can be very much influenced by this process, as the delicate microbial and pH balances are subject to the tide of what we consume.

This can then have a wider impact on how our immune system functions, how energised we feel and even our mood. This is why so much emphasis is placed on the digestive tract as it is so fundamental to our health and well-being.

You are most likely reading this because you have one or more symptoms suggesting that your digestive tract is not functioning as well as it could. Symptoms such as bloating, constipation, loose bowel movements, abdominal pain or discomfort are very commonly understood as being classic symptoms, but imbalances in the digestive tract can also contribute to other symptoms such as poor energy, brain fog and muscle/ joint pain. Optimising gut health therefore can have far-reaching implications and this is why at Louise Carder Nutrition and Health we are so passionate about it.

So our suggestion in this blog-piece is to consider what’s normal and what isn’t. For this we introduce you to the Bristol Stool Chart. The chart was devised at Bristol Royal Infirmary by Lewis and Heaton and suggested as a clinical tool in 1997 to help us understand our poop in new way. Essentially the type of stool you see reflects the transit time through the digestive system.  It does mean looking in the loo but we can learn a lot by doing so!

Step 1 therefore is to consider your stools as a way of accessing a little window into how your digestive system might be functioning.  Why not check your stools and let us know what you see:

Type 1-2 can mean your digestion is a little sluggish and types 6-7 can mean things are moving a little fast.  If you have to do quite a bit of pan wiping then this can mean stools are a little greasy and you’re not absorbing fats from your meals very well. Any blood or mucus are also not ideal and you should always speak with your GP if blood or visible mucus are seen.

When things are just a little out of kilter we recommend stool testing. You can undertake a private laboratory stool test in the comfort of your own home and send it off to the lab directly.  If we have ordered the kit for you then we receive the results from the lab and discuss them with you during a follow up appointment.  Results can tell us what your bacterial balance is, how well you are absorbing your food, whether you have any uninvited bugs and whether there is any inflammation present.

At Louise Carder Nutrition and Health we are well aware of the impact a disordered digestive tract can have on our lives, and this is why we developed a 6 step approach to optimising digestive health.

Our 6 step approach literally covers the entire digestive tract from top to bottom!  Considering symptoms in each section we work with you to understand what the triggers for these symptoms might be and how we can support the optimisation of your digestive process.

Author: Louise Carder

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