Our digestive system under the magnifying glass

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Our digestive system under the magnifying glass

Our digestive system under the magnifying glass

Author Meopin - 18 April 2017

The importance of our digestive system becomes conscious, only after the appearance of symptoms that indicate an malfunction of the digestive system. Pain, cramps, nausea, discomfort, diarrhea and constipation are obvious symptoms for problems with the digestive system.

In addition, fatigue, nervousness, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, unexplained weight loss or gain, and susceptibility to illnesses often have their origin in the digestive system.

But what exactly is our digestive system?

Basically, the (pre-)digestion of food starts already before taking the first bite. If we look at food or smell it, saliva (digestive juices) is produced. Our saliva already contains digestive enzymes that cleave especially the carbohydrates. During chewing, the teeth and tongue transform food into a mash which is then transported through the esophagus into the stomach using saliva.

In the stomach, the actual digestion begins. Gastric juice is added to the chyme, which in turn consists of saliva, enzymes and hydrochloric acid. These enzymes trigger protein cleavage and hydrochloric acid kills germs and bacteria.

From the stomach, the digested food is transported into the small intestine; the first important stop is the duodenal: here other digestive juices, originating from the liver, gall bladder and pancreas, are used. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are decomposed, as well as vitamins and minerals, until they are small enough to be absorbed by the intestinal wall cells. Via the blood vessels or in the lymphatic system the nutrients are finally metabolized.

The last stop of food in our body is the colon. Here the last remaining minerals are absorbed. Water is withdrawn from the pulp, because our body needs water for various functions. Subsequently, the indigestible elements of our food are excreted in the form of bowel movement by the rectum and anus.

As you can see, our digestive system is highly complex and there are many resorts where there may be problems and complaints. Local diseases often have an impact on the entire digestive system and the causes should be clarified as soon as possible and be treated competently.

Stress and emotional tension often have a negative impact on our digestive system. In the stomach, the compilation of the gastric juice can be modified. Heartburn, gastritis and peptic ulcers are the results.

In addition, our intestine reacts strongly to negative psychological effects: acute diarrhea and constipation are relatively harmless consequences. The negative impact of stress can trigger chronic intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which has been proven a long time ago. Acute or chronic intestinal disease has an impact on our entire immune system. The resulting immune deficit easily leads to secondary diseases and infections.

Similarly, an unbalanced intestinal flora weakens our defenses too. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to a healthy and balanced diet: our intestine needs enough fiber and enzymes from the digestive juices to function properly. Antibiotics, pesticide residues, excessive consumption of alcohol and sugar damage the intestinal flora permanently. In addition, we must move enough to stimulate intestinal activity, because if our intestine is lazy, we are too!

Digestive problems, whose causes cannot be clearly diagnosed, often require a holistic approach. For some patients medications are needed, for others they are part of the problem. On the one hand, the root of all evils is physical. On the other hand, complaints can be based on a psychological issue. For some patients the active ingredients of natural medicine help effectively, compared to conventional medicines, which have no longer any influence.

Can you imagine how many health professionals you need to treat digestive problems? From general practitioners through dentists, internists, gastroenterologists, physiotherapists, naturopaths, pharmacists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, to laboratory technicians, pretty much everything is mentioned.

In order to keep an overview and to find a competent healthcare provider in the future, not only near your home or workplace but also abroad. Meopin will offer an online information and evaluation platform. It covers all health professionals and an evaluation system is integrated and controlled so that you can benefit from the experience of other patients.

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