Where Does Disease Begin?
Throughout history people pondered the source of illness and disease. It wasn’t until Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian obstetrician working in Vienna, and Louis Pasteur discovered and provided scientific evidence of pathogenic microorganisms as a cause of acute (or sudden) disease.
However, when it comes to chronic disease (problems that tend to develop over long periods of time), there are many factors that can influence their development, in addition to pathogens. Many of these influences can be categorized into environment/exposure, diet/nutrition, lifestyle and emotions. Everything you eat, do, use & think has an impact on your health, whether harmful or beneficial.
Chronic health problems don’t just happen; they tend to accumulate, typically taking years to develop, for as long as we neglect bodily messages and choose to consume foods not ideal for our unique body.
The Digestive System
Nutritionists like myself consider imbalances in the digestive system to be a major contributor to the development of all health conditions.
If your body does not absorb or assimilate nutrients well, your health may eventually become compromised, especially if neglected for many years.
Our digestive system provides us with the ability to take in, digest and absorb nutrients and fluids, which are then used by the every cell, gland, organ and body system for energy production, protein synthesis, growth and repair, hormone production, nerve transmission and so on.
Our bodies are very much like houses, and if we want to build a strong and durable house, we need to deliver good materials, our nutrients & fluids, to the location of development. Consider the digestive tract as the means for delivery of vital nutrients to the body to carry out its processes. If the transport system breaks down, delivery of our materials may be delayed and so our ability to properly and adequately digest and absorb nutrients may become compromised.
If our digestive system is not working properly, then all functions and body systems will suffer; from our skin, muscles and internal organs to brain, nervous system and metabolic processes. We start opening the doors to illness and imbalance by slowly allowing our body to break down, as our cells continue to divide.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from digestive system imbalance, with or without complaints, and it’s easy to ignore until there is something more serious to catch our attention.
Below is a list of some common possible imbalances and symptoms associated with the digestive system:
- Low/high stomach acid
- Acid reflux / GERD
- Hiatal hernia
- Inappropriate stomach emptying
- Hyper-permeability of the digestive tract (“leaky gut”)
- Undigested food in stool
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Fewer bowel movements than meals per day
- Gas, bloating, feeling of fullness or pressure
Disease may be considered an imbalance in one’s life, where the body is presenting an opportunity for change by manifesting as symptoms.
Health is really a combination of good nutrition, diet, healthy lifestyle & exercise, and knowing when your body is trying to tell you something. It is certainly not merely the absence of disease.
What is your body trying to tell you?