Gut Health – Gut Disorders, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis

February 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Gut Health

You need guts to do this, to do that…you would have often heard of this phrase ‘guts to do’. Today you will know how this phrase came about. Gut health gives you holistic health and as such making you capable of meeting any challenge thrown by life, physical or mental. And that is how the phrase came into being.

The gut or the technically known gastrointestinal tract starts right from our mouth and extends all the way up to our anus. Digestion and assimilation of food and absorption of essential nutrients from the food takes place in the gut.

Food is broken down into smaller portions and salivated in the mouth. Esophagus helps the food reach the stomach from the mouth. In the stomach the acids and enzymes secreted assimilate the food. Pancreas secretes alkaline juices into the stomach to neutralize acids and enzymes. Some portion of food gets absorbed by the stomach.

Further breakdown and absorption takes place in small intestine and large intestine. Gall bladder releases bile into the small intestine to enable it to break down fats. Liver receives the nutrients absorbed by stomach and intestines, through blood.

The gut is lined with mucus with trillions of both good and bad bacteria of some 400 species. The numbers in the colon are double that elsewhere. There are many parameters affecting these numbers like, age, gender, diet, medications being used, surgical procedure undergone, etc. They, among other functions, help resist infection, diseases and also promote immune system of the body. Ideally the number of good bacteria should exceed the number of bad bacteria to maintain good gut health.

The most likely disorders which are going to visit you if your gut health is not healthy are constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, gallstones, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, bowel cancer, diverticulitis , colonic diseases, etc.

The most likely causes which would have played truant with your gut health are inadequate digestive enzyme production, inadequate acid production, lack of good bacteria, bacterial infection, food allergens, sugary low fiber diet, sickness, antibiotics, aging and stress.

The symptoms which should set you running to the doctor are, marked change in bowels, blood in bowels, painful bowel movement, incomplete bowel movement, feeling of incomplete bowel movement, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, difficulty in swallowing, stomach ache just before or soon after meals, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weariness along with these other symptoms.

The tests likely to be performed to diagnose gut health problems:

1. ELISA food allergy test to find out the allergens which cause adverse reaction in an individual.
2. Stool analysis test for excess of parasites, bacteria, fungi in the gut.
3. Test to confirm the presence or otherwise of leaky gut. Sometimes a portion of the small intestinal wall becomes permeable (leaky gut) allowing harmful bacteria to seep through to other parts of the body and cause infection. This also leads to mal-absorption, disruption of blood sugar and insulin levels, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain and moodiness.
4. Test for poisonous gas in the gut is performed. Sometimes poisonous gases get released in the gut and absorbed by the body. Certain disorders ensue. The condition can also deplete the body of some minerals.

If your gut health is in disarray, take corrective gut healing steps to restore your gut health. Because you need guts to take on challenges other than maintaining gut health.