I want to talk about poop. I know ew, gross, yuck, no – whatever your response is.
Here’s the thing, it is one of the only things that we all have in common.
We all do it, and 60 – 70 million of us don’t do it well.
In 2004 it cost 300 BILLION dollars to help Americans care for their digestive systems. Yep - 300 BILLION dollars all so we can digest and poop regularly. That means that on average, each year EVERY American spends or donates to healthcare through taxes or insurance premiums $1,000 each so that all Americans can have normal healthy poop and that much money doesn’t solve the problem.
Normal poop means you are free from gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, heartburn…You eat food, and you feel full (not bloated), and you have a bowel movement once or twice a day, and the movement is formed like a banana and medium brown color. It does not contain any food particles.
Can you describe your bowel movement that way? If not, you likely have digestive issues.
So why don’t we have normal poop? Why are the terms Diarrhea, constipation, IBD, IBS, GERD, Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis, heartburn, gas, bloating, pain, lactose intolerance, etc. – why are those terms used so frequently in our society. This is NOT normal. It is not normal for a society to have such poor digestion – it’s just simply not.
Why the poor digestion? In my experience, it is almost always diet. Some people claim genetics, but what I’ve seen in my practice, the “genetics” won’t express themselves if the diet is right.
I could go on and on about this topic. As a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, much of our training and education is focused on the gastrointestinal tract because literally, our bodies are made up of the nutrition we consume - 100%. We can’t live on air – although some breatharians would say we can – we can’t live without food and water. So if we’re not consuming, digesting, and absorbing the proper nutrients, we cannot expect our body to function optimally.
We are what we eat, literally – but more importantly, we are what we digest and absorb. If you’re not digesting and absorbing properly, your machine plain and simply will not work well.
The use of omeprazole and other drugs to treat heartburn and indigestion is at an all-time high in our society. The use of these drugs has been implicated in thousands of lawsuits claiming injury from the drugs (for more read the article here).
The courts will rule on those cases, but regardless of the ruling, one has to ask the question, why are there over 15,000 lawsuits winding their way through the system naming the pharmaceutical manufacturers as the defendants? 15,000 lawsuits! Not one or two individuals are trying to pull one over on big pharma – 15,000 people. You cannot convince me that 15,000 people are all suing for a windfall. Most people sue for justice, not money.
So why – why all the pills and lawsuits? In my experience, the pills are there because people struggle to figure out what and how to eat. I work with client after client to help them make the dietary choices that work for them.
If you do not remove the foods your body does not appreciate and consume the foods it does appreciate, your digestive symptoms and issues will not heal. You can’t put sugar in a gas tank and expect a car to function - you have to feed it gas – those are the rules.
Your body has rules too. I know – I don’t like it either. Who wants to follow the rules? Not me – but I’ve learned I want to be healthy, and I’ve learned that if I follow my body’s rules, I feel better.
If you want help figuring out your rules so you can be healthy, or if you’re on one of those medications that people are suing the manufacturer due to the side effects, see your Naturopath or book in with me here.
Dr. Kenton Anderson