Can Digestive System Conditions Contribute to Other Health Conditions?

The answer is most definitely yes. It is my belief that digestive system conditions such as poor digestion and assimilation, and the resulting nutritional deficiencies are responsible for a vast majority of health conditions, even serious, seemingly unrelated symptoms and 'dis-ease' states.

How do we correlate digestive problems with other symptoms?

This is accomplished by tracking the nutritional profile and body chemistry changes measured in a 24-hour urine analysis. This analysis provides a direct window into how well or poorly your digestive process is operating. These can include readings on levels of bowel toxicity, pH, kidney and liver function, vitamin C, calcium/ magnesium, trace minerals, and other essential nutrients, fat storing or muscle building, and how the body is digesting and utilizing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. A standard blood test can often read "normal" even if a patient is becoming sick or already ill; it doesn't always reveal the true biochemical status. However, specific urine analysis tests can indicate
predispositions for diseases long before they manifest and show me why a person may have multiple, even confusing, symptoms, many founded on digestive problems.

The exciting thing is, even with the wide variety of body chemistry imbalances that can be measured in the urine analysis, there are specific enzyme/nutrient formulations that can correct any of the combined biochemical imbalances or patterns. With my clients the first thing I check is digestive competence because over 90% of the clients I treat either have digestion problems or digest less than optimally. If your digestion is not functioning well, it doesn't matter how good the food you eat is or how high the quality of supplements you take. If you can't assimilate the nutrients, the body becomes deficient, not to mention the putrefaction and toxins that result from this poor digestion.

Three Main Factors for Optimal Digestion

There are three main factors the body needs for optimal digestion: enzymes, restoring healthy bowel flora (acidophilus), and the correct pH. If you lack any of these, the foods you eat are prone to ferment and putrefy creating acid indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Even worse, the toxins from poorly digested food can migrate into your bloodstream, creating a body-wide state of toxicity.

To address digestive problems, it is important not to treat symptoms, but rather to focus on what is setting the person up for poor digestion and bowel toxicity. In my clinical practice I have been fortunate to assist thousands of people in balancing their body chemistry by recommending certain dietary changes and specific nutritional supplement protocols, unique for each clients imbalances. I've learned, by reviewing body chemistries, various common denominators between a person's body chemistry imbalances and nutritional deficiencies and the patterns of symptoms that often resemble diagnosed clinical conditions. I have had success in assisting people, regardless of their health conditions, by acting as a detective, working together with them, exploring the underlying root causes of their problems.

Nutrient Deficiencies, The Actual Underlying Cause

I tell every patient, "I don't treat symptoms or treat disease states, I look for underlying chemistry imbalances or nutritional deficiencies, the actual cause of so many conditions, symptoms, and diagnosed disease states." It can take years for chronic chemistry imbalances to manifest as symptoms of disease, and yet it can take as little as three to six months on a specific nutritional program to bring the chemistry back into or toward normal ranges. My programs address underlying nutritional and chemical causes. When these causes are removed, the body, in most cases, knows how to heal.

Our bodies have an enormous capacity for self-healing once given the essential nutrients required for maintenance, repair, regeneration, and balancing of the chemistry. However, you can eat the most nutritious food and take supplemental vitamins and minerals, but if you are not fully digesting and assimilating them, or your stress factors are using up all your reserves, your efforts are to no avail. It is for this main reason that I choose to specialize in enzyme therapy.

Why Are Enzymes So Important?

Enzymes unlock nutrients from food and supplements, and in most cases are a key to health, insuring complete and optimal digestion and maximum cellular absorption. At the root of all metabolic processes are enzymes. Not a single cellular reaction can occur without enzymes. Dr. Edward Howell, the renowned researcher, (1924-1980) describes enzymes as follows: "They are the manual workers that build our body from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, just as construction workers build our home.

You may have all the raw material with which to build, but without the workers (enzymes) you cannot even begin." Thus, the initial program that I offer is a comprehensive nutritional assessment and protocols for enzyme supplementation. After assessing a person's diet, history, and body chemistry, I use my clinical judgment to help prioritize the different levels of imbalance, and show how they are connected to a person's symptoms.

Key Principles to Address

My nutritional protocols, depending upon what I see and/or due to the chronicity of the person's imbalances, can be simple and involve only a few nutrients or can be complex and require numerous nutrients and more time to achieve the desired results. There are certain key principles I address with every patient, depending on their situation:

• Improving digestion with specific plant-based enzyme formulas to increase the amount of nutrients assimilated from food.
• Replenishing specific nutrients of which the person is deficient, such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, amino acids, trace minerals and/or electrolytes, or essential fatty acids.
• Re-balancing body chemistry, and pH (acid/base balance).
• Assisting in strengthening specific organ, glandular, or body systems using ‘targeted’ nutritional therapies.
• Assisting in detoxifying the colon, liver, lymphatics, and cellular systems.

After a person's chemistry is balanced, because this is the body's natural state, it should want to remain balanced. At this point in my program I usually only recommend 'maintenance' nutrients to address specific stresses or nutritional requirements unique to each person. A very important concept I teach each patient is that each person has a unique chemical makeup, chemical and nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, and daily requirements for the nutrients our bodies require for the expression of optimal health. These requirements depend upon a person’s age, sex, genetics, occupation, stress levels, lifestyle, diet, habits, addictions, and exposure to environmental toxins.

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by Gregory Pouls, D.C., F.I.C.N., & Maile Pouls, Ph.D.