The gastrointestinal system is in charge of digestion, and plays a central role in health and wellbeing. It is often the focus of naturopathic treatment as it is how you provide your body the nutrients it needs to survive. It is important that each and every part of this system is functioning well, so that vitamins and minerals can be absorbed from your food, and toxins eliminated. Nutrients absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract are essential to providing your body nourishment, and giving it the building blocks it needs for life.
We require nutrients from food for growth and repair, synthesis of hormones & to build neurotransmitters such as serotonin – our feel good factor! Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phytonutrients (plant nutrients) are the foundation of life – they are required in every single cell of our body!
The quality of food we ingest and the lifestyle we lead all affects our digestive health. Alcohol consumption, antibiotic use, medications and stress can all alter the balance in our gastrointestinal tract, affecting digestion. Common symptoms of the digestive tract include bad breath, bloating, cramping, wind, pain, reflux and nausea. Common conditions of the lower gastrointestinal tract include functional disorders irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastrointestinal infections, dysbiosis, constipation, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis (UC) and crohns disease (CD)).