Once food leaves your stomach, it is no longer a solid mass. It is a liquified accumulation of nutrients waiting to be distributed throughout the body.
In order for nutrition to be assimilated, it has to go through the intestines. Nutrients are sent to cells to perform some function. If the body can’t utilize some or all of the nutrients, they are stored as fat in order to protect us from harm, or, they are sent to exit the body.
Let’s start with understanding the basic anatomy of the intestines:
- Anatomical Position: The intestines are inferior (below) the stomach and superior (above) the anus.
- Anatomical Structure: The intestines include the duodenum, small intestine, Peyer’s patches, appendix, cecum, large intestine, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus.
The intestines are responsible for digestion and assimilation as well as storage and elimination of fecal matter.
There’s just a slew of issues we can experience if our intestines are unhappy. Some examples include:
- Diverticuli / Pockets
- Spastic Conditions
- Toxic Conditions (such as parasites)
- Inflammations / Colitis
- Ileocecal Valve Problems
- Crohn’s Disease
Here’s the thing … when we have pain, we want it corrected and fast! We go to extremes to make our pain go away even to the point of having ourselves knocked out and then sliced open.
True enough, sometimes surgery is an only option. But consider that the body causes inflammation, diverticuli, constipation, diarrhea, polyps, etc. not because it is telling us something is wrong (though this is a benefit), but because it is attempting to correct that wrong.
Now that’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? The concept that God created the body to correct itself given the right environment in which to do so. Ponder this while we list some natural health techniques to address issues of the intestines:
- Drinking real water
- Avoiding foods and liquids that cause issues
- Adding bulk to our diets (as in good sources of fiber)
- Chewing our foods (even our liquids)
- Making certain our flora (bacteria) is balanced
Sounds like we may be moving into deeper territory. But before we go too far, let’s take a look at the liver and gallbladder.
Catherine Smith, ND LMT
Louisiana Massage License _____