Digestion: What Doctors Don't Tell You
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Essentials Of Life was officially established in 1994, but was actually founded in the mid 70's, unintentionally, by my wife June, as a result of health problems she had when we were living in Vermont. Despite one doctors' suggestion that she examine alternatives before electing to have surgery, a dairy product triggered an attack that left no choice but to have her gall bladder removed. After the operation, we assumed that her digestive problems would be history.


By the time we moved back to New Hampshire, in 1982, June's digestive problems had resumed. Doctors, even a referred specialist in gastroenterology (digestive system) didn't seem to have the answers. She was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), but even the recommended dietary changes made little difference. All too often, stomach pain became a normal interruption to her sleep pattern. She read all of the medical books and related articles she could find.

Frustrated and determined to get well, she began reading about natural alternatives. A whole new world opened up when she discovered digestive enzymes. Unlike harsh OTC drugs that interact with and deplete stomach acid, digestive enzymes work in the pancreas to properly break the food down. Foods were once rich with built-in enzymes but have become deficient. Less than two weeks after taking enzymes with meals, stomach cramps previously occurring within a half hour after eating, became a rarity instead of the norm. For under $20.00, years of pain and thousands of dollars in medical costs were virtually erased and Essentials Of Life was being born.

We know that digestive enzymes may not be the single remedy for every stomach disorder. But, we do know that it isn't normal to be sick. Behind every symptom there's a cause. June's dedication to learning about her illness ultimately led to the quality of life she can finally enjoy. More than twenty five years before Essentials Of Life was established, Dr. Jim Perry in Vermont unknowingly planted a seed as he implied that there may be other options to surgery.

Over 7 billion dollars a year is spent on over-the-counter and prescription digestive aids for symptoms including acid indigestion, digestive upsets, gas, bloat, poor elimination, and more. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body depends on the healthy digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food.

Unfortunately, cooking and processing methods destroy enzymes in our food that are so necessary for proper digestion. Our bodies can't manufacture enough of the right ones. As a result, our bodies attempt to compensate by withdrawing enzymes needed for digestion from its own "bank". Over time, these heavy withdrawals coupled with skimpy deposits lead to a bankrupt digestive system and ultimately, a lifetime of improper digestion, poor nutrient absorption, and less than ideal cell regeneration-degeneration. Tagamet, Pepcid, Tums, and other antacids, designed to reduce stomach acid, are merely masking the symptoms and may make a bad situation worse by disrupting the body's natural digestive process.

When there is insufficient hydrochloric/gastric acid, whether naturally or from taking antacids, nutrients cannot be absorbed. Antacids also reduce hydrochloric acid so that food isn't broken down completely, resulting in fermentation, allergic symptoms, and painful intestinal problems. Meat needs large amounts of acid to be broken down. Without adequate stomach acid it rots in the intestine, inviting bacteria that can cause painful gas, bloating, and if chronic, colon infections and eventually cancer. In masking the symptoms in the stomach, are we neglecting the real cause of the problems in the pancreas? The pancreas is a digestive organ in the abdomen, located just below the stomach. The primary job of the pancreas is to produce enzymes required for the digestion and absorption of food.

Each day the pancreas secretes about 1.5 quarts of pancreatic juice into the small intestine. The enzymes secreted by the pancreas break down food by breaking the chemical bonds that hold food molecules together. Enzymes secreted include lipases which digest fat, proteases which digest proteins, and amylases which digest starch molecules.

Do You Need Your Gallblatter?

The gall bladder stores bile, and releases it in optimum quantities when it is needed. Without your gall bladder, the liver will still produce bile, but the bile will leak inside you because it will not have a proper place to go.The spleen breaks down worn-out red blood cells into bile salts and other substances. (Even worn out blood cells get used). Bile salts are normal in the body when in normal amounts. The liver removes excess bile salts and wastes and sends them to the gall bladder for storage. The liver is the body's principal chemical plant. If a man built a plant to perform all the chemical functions someone's liver could perform, the plant would cover 500 acres.While the products are in the gall bladder, water is reabsorbed and so the waste products get more and more concentrated and form bile.

Bile is needed for 3 things:
• It neutralizes the acid from the stomach (because bile is very alkaline)
• It breaks down fats so that they can be digested
• It is a natural laxative for the colon

Roughly 20 million Americans suffer from gallstones, and 750,000 of them have their gallbladders removed each year. There are 800,000 hospitalizations and 2 billion dollars spent annually on gallbladder disease.

from Living Without A Gallbladder by Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP:

For most people the pain of a malfunctioning gallbladder eventually becomes unbearable. After several trips to the emergency room the mention of surgery is met with certain approval. Unfortunately this seemingly simple solution may or may not end the pain and discomfort of gallbladder disease. The probable after-effects of gallbladder surgery are never discussed with the patient which leaves the patient with the impression that all will be back-to-normal after surgery. But it doesn't take long to realize that all is "not well" and the patient soon begins to feel very betrayed by their surgeon and doctor who did not prepare them for "life without a gallbladder."

Contrary to medical opinion the gallbladder is of use to the body. The gallbladder is a small sac underneath your liver that stores and secretes bile, a digestive fluid that breaks down fats. Gallstones form when the chemical compounds in bile become unbalanced -- no one's sure exactly why this happens, but a diet high in fat often makes the problem worse. Since bile is actually produced by the liver, it's possible to survive without a gallbladder, but often not without unpleasant digestive tract complications.The gallbladder is like a pump. Without it, the liver can't secrete enough bile to properly digest a full meal. Many people experience symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, constipation, increased allergies, liver congestion, itchy skin and autoimmune diseases. Some patients suffer from dumping syndrome, in which food is "dumped" too quickly into the intestines from the stomach.

Suggestions for living without a gallbladder:

If your gallbladder is removed your Liver will still produce bile. It won't be the amount that the gallbladder was able to store, but enough. Eat lower fat foods and smaller portions at each meal.

• Diet is extremely important. Eat low-fat, high fiber, organic and healthy. Eliminate refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils.
• Every four months a liver cleanse or flush should be performed. People without gallbladders may develop stones in the liver which will lead to a sluggish liver. Remember that the liver is the main filter of the body.
Colon cleanse - Two times a year.
Digestive Enzymes with Ox Bile- You will need to take enzymes for the rest of your life in order to digest the good fats (Omega 3) which are essential for good health.

Ox Bile is a suitable supplement to the liver's production of bile. Bile is naturally produced by the body and is used in the process of digestion. Symptoms of constipation and a tan colored stool may indicate that the body's production of bile is less than optimal. Ox Bile supports the pancreas, gall bladder and liver in producing bile salts and helps digest fats. Binds with cholesterol which is then flushed out of the body. Reduces bloating, gas, nausea and pain after a high fat meal. Bile is essential in peristalsis - the wavy action that moves food through the intestines.

• Reduce chemical overload on the liver (pre-packaged food, personal care products, lawn products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc.)
• Drink only filtered water - Try to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
• Reduce animal intake (meat and dairy) - When consuming animal products make sure they are free-range, organic and hormone-free.
• Eliminate white sugar and white flour
• Exercise daily for 30 minutes. Walking is highly suggested.
• Get 30 minutes of sunshine on as much of your body as is legal, everyday, for adequate Vitamin D production.

An Easy Way to Evaluate Stomach Acid
published in the Townsend Letter For Doctors by Judy Kitchen (4/06)

There is a simple and practical way to test whether or not one needs stomach acid supplementation (betaine HCl with pepsin) and even estimate how much one needs. Dr. Mark-Charles Berquist, DC, ND ,gave me this method to share with the readers of the TLDP. It is so easy and almost instant, one can use the method during meal times to ensure the correct dose of betaine HCl with pepsin at each meal. Place your hand just underneath your sternum (in the center of-your chest) in-between your ribs. Move your finger an inch down (to the center of your diaphragm) and about one inch to the left, next to the left edge of the rib cage. Press in deeply, and if you feel pain or tenderness, you need more stomach acid (or betaine HCl with pepsin). The more tender it feels, the greater the problem. Return to the point one inch below your sternum, and then again move your finger about an inch, this time to the right. Press in firmly.1 If the spot is tender, you need to take pancreatic or combined enzymes about a half-hour before, or at least two hours after, meals.1,2

If the central point (one inch below your sternum) or pancreatic point are sensitive, but the HCl or stomach point is not, you probably should not be taking betaine HCl. You need to stop taking it and see if either of those points continue to be tender. Make sure that your diet is high in organic sodium and potassium, as in fresh vegetable juices (organically grown, if possible). If any of the reflex points are unmistakably tender, it would be wise to make an appointment with a physician who is skilled in natural medicine to have the tests and the guidance you need, For example, you may need to be tested for specific nutrient deficiencies, heavy metals, celiac disease, or infections such as H. Pylon. Simply by taking a gram of mastic gum daily for two weeks, 99% of H. Pylon can been eliminated. With positive changes, such as the avoidance of allergenic food, your tissue levels of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids can be restored. Enzyme systems, cells, tissues, and organs can then repair themselves, and you will in all likelihood no longer need betaine HCl. When none of the reflex points are even faintly tender, your digestion has been fully restored.

Do not rely on this test if you are not really sure that you are able to find or feel these reflex points. Some people have lost the ability to feel them. If you suspect that you have a digestive problem, without delay ask a nutritionally knowledgeable doctor to give you the Heidelberg capsule test (which shows the stomach's exact pH) or the Comprehensive Digestive and Stool Analysis (which shows how well food is being digested). Digestion is of foremost importance. No other therapy works when long-term low stomach acid has not been corrected. Remember not to take anti-inflammatory medicine when you take betaine HO. Cortieosteroids, aspirin, or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin or Advil) irritate, and can even further damage, the gastrointestinal tract.

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Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

Copyright © 2002-2013 • Ray Allard • All Rights Reserved

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