- Our Inner Ecosystem – IBS, SIBO, Parasites & Allies
- Feeding Ourselves Right
- Absorption – Getting the Most of Our Nourishment
- Core Strength In & Out
Gnawing, aching, distended, pleasantly full or completely quiet, our digestive system is always working on something and can provide us with constant feedback on the state of our foundation of health. Increasing awareness of our core health will assist our connection to knowing what makes us challenged and what makes us thrive!
Our inner world is as complex and diverse as our outer world. When it comes to our microbial world, we have more micro-organisms in our bodies than our own human cells! For anyone who has examined micro-biology or the world even smaller still of nanobiology, we can see that there are countless organisms that facilitate nearly every aspect of our biological activity. We have lots of critters to thank for our ability to exist at all.
While microflora cover every surface of the body, there are high numbers of them in the digestive system and this is where they assist or harm our health the most. Bacteria in the mouth starts the journey into the body. Imbalances here are known to relate to cardiovascular disease. The esophagus has bacteria and yeast all throughout the mucosa and assists or impairs the transit down into the stomach. In the stomach, high levels of hydrochloric acid make this an inhospitable environment for critters. Yet, many people suffer from H. pylori infection and other stomach imbalances that result from inadequate acid in the body.
The small intestine should have very small populations of bacteria as it normally “cleans” itself out every day with dramatic peristaltic movements. Problems here are often due to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which impairs our nutrient absorption. The large intestine is the domain where organisms of all shapes and sizes thrive. They assist the final breakdown of our foods, manufacture our vitamins and when living in a symbiotic balance will protect us from disease. Imbalances here result in gas and bloating as well as the condition known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that can severely impair a person’s health.
Although not directly connected, the uterus and bladder are subject to the same microflora of the digestive tract. Overgrowth in these departments can result in infection, pain, discharge and frequent urination. When treating disorders in the urinary tract and reproductive organs, we must also look to the flora of the intestines to assure we’ve addressed the root of the issue.
The balance of the microbial world is a key to optimal health. Classical Chinese medicine utilizes the dynamics of the natural world to help understand the relationships within our bodies. For example, an area of the forest that has accumulated excess moisture without consistent circulation or movement will rapidly become a swamp. This climate is an ideal area for billions of microbes and other organisms to flourish. The increase in organisms can be considered nature’s way of bringing in movement as the organisms can make use of the moisture for their growth, continuing to transform the environment and maintain life. And in opposition, a region that is sun-baked, with minimal plant life or moisture will be a place that is not conducive to a broad array of beings and will only support few, well adapted creatures.
Many traditional systems of medicine consider the same micro-climates existing in the human body. Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, biological medicine, the old European eclectic physicians and the system of homeopathy all take into consideration what the internal “terrain” or ecosystem of the body looks like to understand how to help shift a person’s state of health.
While many organisms can exist with humans and serve us well, there are certainly others that only do us harm. So why is it that some individuals are susceptible to disease from organisms and others are not? The key here resides in the very notion of the internal ecosystem. We have 12 dominant organs in our bodies that each play their role in maintaining our health and each of these must be operating up to par in order for the balance to exist.
A thorough analysis of our inner environment is an important part of understanding the core of any digestive imbalances. When we exist in a state of balance with our inner flora, the outer world feels better too. Nourish your body with proper nutrition, get the most from your food by supporting optimal absorption and keep the core strong to support your optimal health.
Stay tuned for more information on digestive health with my articles every other week! For personal support through your health challenges whether acute or long-term, please contact me at Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic.