Effective Strategies to Reverse Poor Digestion

Poor digestion can be the underlying cause to developing a number of common symptoms: burping after meals, heartburn, bloating, undigested food in the stool and changes in stool frequency, often seen with IBS.

When we are talking about poor digestion, this refers to a
number of potential issues, such as:

  • Low stomach acid
  • Reduced motility
  • Excess gas production
  • Poor digestive enzyme secretion
  • Food intolerances

Many of these digestive issues are what instigates and contributes to chronic digestive concerns, including IBS and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). The biggest improvements that you can make in your digestive health and to IBS are by addressing these underlying functional complaints.

The secrete to finding relief is by increasing bitters in the diet.

Bitters!? Yes, bitters, this refers to foods, herbs and medicinal remedies that innately have a bitter taste.

What are bitters?

The bitter taste comes from certain compounds within plants. These may include, alkaloids, terpenes, diterpenes and essential oils, which stimulate stomach acid secretion and the liver and gall bladder through the vagus nerve. This mechanism improves digestion of foods, bile release, motility and metabolic waste.

Rather than just mitigating symptoms, these compounds stimulate proper organ function to restore digestive health.

Bitters have been shown to be effective in the treatment of constipation, bad breath, nausea, heartburn, bloating, cramping, flatulence and abdominal discomfort. In addition, since these
compounds increase the elimination of metabolic wastes, skin conditions such as acne and rosacea improve.


The Best Bitters for Poor Digestion

Bitters are found in a wide range of sources, making it easy to includes on a daily basis. This list is definitely not exhaustive but definitely a good start!

Foods

  • Arugula
  • Coffee
  • Dandelion greens
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Kale

Culinary herbs

  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Peppermint
  • Turmeric

Medicinal Herbs

  • Burdock
  • Chamomile
  • Dandelion
  • Gentian
  • Yellow Dock

Usually the medicinal herbs are combined in a standardized herbal liquid extract, such as Canadian Bitters by St. Francis Herbs, and consumed 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Bitters are used in The IBS Academy's Restore Program to improve poor digestion seen in IBS.

As a cautionary, make sure to avoid bitters if loose stools are an issue. Talk to your healthcare provider regarding the use of medicinal herbs.


In best of health,

Dr. Robyn Murphy
The IBS Academy

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