This is Part 2 of a 4-part series on Reversing Diabetes Naturally. Here’s a quick summary of the contents of this series:
Part 1 – It Starts With Food
- What to eat – the best way of eating for reversing diabetes and prediabetes
- Why this works so well
- How to begin to implement these lifechanging recommendations
Part 2 – Digestion and Diabetes
- What digestive issues often worsen diabetes
- Why improving your digestive functioning is one of the crucial keys to reversing diabetes
- How to begin to fix your digestion to help reverse diabetes
Part 3 – Improving Immunity
- What immune problems are often the root cause of diabetes
- Why fixing these problems is so necessary for reversing diabetes
- How to strengthen your immune system to help reverse diabetes
Part 4 – Taking Care of Toxins
- What are toxins?
- Why clearing toxins is often essential for reversing diabetes
- How to effectively boost your body’s natural detoxification processes
So now, let’s talk about digestion and diabetes.
Do you have digestive issues? These are unfortunately very common, and can cause all sorts of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- gas & bloating
- indigestion/stomach upset
- heartburn/acid reflux/GERD
- loose stools & diarrhea
- food sensitivities
- abdominal pain
All of these symptoms indicate that the digestion is not working optimally, and needs some attention. And less than optimal digestion affects everything else in our bodies – including blood sugar regulation.
Digestion and Diabetes
There’s a number of ways that impaired digestion can cause or exacerbate blood sugar regulation problems. And one of the main ways is impaired production of digestive juices, such as stomach acid (HCl), digestive enzymes, and bile.
Another important one is an imbalance in the gut microbiome – this is when the balance between all the different types of micro-organisms that live in our digestive systems is off-kilter, with either not enough good guys, or too many bad guys, or both.
These issues – insufficient digestive juices and an unbalanced gut microbiome – lead to three primary problems:
- Impaired digestive stimulation
- Impaired nutrient absorption
- Food sensitivities/reactivity
These problems then cause a whole cascade of other health issues, and addressing these is crucial not only for fixing blood sugar regulation problems, but for optimizing overall health.
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
Impaired Digestive Stimulation
Stomach acid has many important jobs, and having enough of it is essential for digestion to work properly. Stomach acid begins the process of breaking down foods, helping you absorb all the nutrients in your foods. And, sufficient stomachStomachStomach acid also kills pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and molds that enter your digestive tract (mostly via foods and beverages), that enter your digestive tract (mostly via foods and beverages), acting as a first line of defense in your body, saving your immune system a fair bit of work. AnAn adequate level of stomach acid also has the essential function of triggering the release of a host of digestive enzymes, which are essential for the breakdown of foods and absorption of nutrients. Without the proper breakdown of foods, your immune system is more likely to adversely react to more foods, since larger particles of foods (esp proteins) look a lot like pathogens to our immune systems. And, for regulating blood sugar, an adequate level of stomach acid is needed to trigger the proper release of insulin in response to carbohydrate-containing foods.
In other words, without adequate stomach acid – a condition known as hypochlorhydria – you are more likely to have:
- Infections from bacteria, viruses, fungi (including mold), and other pathogens
- Nutrient deficiencies due to impaired breakdown of foods
- Increased reactivity to more foods, more often
- Blood sugar regulation problems due to a lack of proper stimulation of the release of insulin
The good news is that hypochlorhydria can be quickly and easily identified with a simple, free test you can do in the comfort of your own home in just 10 minutes, and can be fixed naturally through a combination of:
- Digestion-boosting foods, herbs and supplements
- Reducing stress, and
- Avoiding things that reduce stomach acid, such as heartburn medications.
If you do the at-home test and discover that you likely have hypochlorhydria and want guidance on fixing it, come see me!
Impaired Nutrient Absorption
When foods don’t move through our digestive tract like they’re supposed to (either too fast or too slow), then the nutrients in foods are not fully absorbed by our bodies. And, when we do not have sufficient production of digestive juices such as enzymes
When foods are not broken down fully, this means that larger particles of food can get into the bloodstream, which often leads to the immune system mistaking them for enemy invaders and launching an attach on them. This reactivity tends to worsen over time if not treated, leading to more and more food reactivity and sensitivities.
Each of these issues can lead to and worsen blood sugar regulation problems.
- food limitations
- impaired nutrient absorption
Fixing Digestive Issues
- B vitamins – esp B1 (reg BG); boost mito fxn & energy
- balance neurotransmitters > reduce cravings