Of all the body systems, disturbances in the digestive system are among the hardest to understand and address. That’s largely because your GI tract is constantly exposed to substances from the external environment: Every time you eat or drink something, it impacts the cells and tissues of your GI tract — which can make it especially hard to pin down the cause of problems like chronic constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. These symptoms may be caused solely by what you’re eating, or there may be an underlying contributor, like a microbial infection or chronic inflammation. There’s also a chance that it’s a combination of both your diet and an internal disruption to the normal functioning of your digestive system.
If you feel like you’ve explored every avenue and haven’t been able to determine the source of your gastrointestinal issues, you may want to consider a broad-spectrum approach. Often, chronic GI issues are underpinned by a multiplicity of factors, so a targeted intervention — like cutting out a certain food, or taking a specific antifungal medication — may be insufficient to fully resolve your symptoms. Read on to find out more about three broad-spectrum approaches that may be able to provide relief by combatting gastrointestinal problems from multiple angles.
Option 1: A Broad-Spectrum Supplement to Remove Harmful Pathogens
More than every, researchers are acknowledging the connection between a healthy gut microbiome and a well-functioning GI tract. However, it can be hard to distinguish between the different types of disruptions to the gut microbiome. For instance, an overgrowth of yeast (Candida albicans) can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome, which may manifest as chronic constipation, diarrhea, or bloating. A yeast infection is fungal, but bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine — or simply an imbalance between “bad” bacteria and “good” bacteria in your gut — can produce many of the same symptoms. Alternatively, you might find yourself struggling with chronic GI trouble after being infected with an intestinal parasite like giardia — for months or even years after the initial symptoms subside.
If you haven’t been able to figure out which one (or more) of these factors may be at play in your GI tract, a supplement that addresses all three is a great option. A broad-spectrum formula that has antimicrobial, anti-yeast, and anti-parasitic properties enables you to address all of these concerns at the same time. With this kind of supplement, you can directly target multiple aspects of your GI environment at the same time — an ideal approach when single-focus alternatives haven’t worked for you.
Option 2: An Enzyme Blend That Aids in the Digestion of Multiple Nutrients
You may also find yourself struggling with gastrointestinal issues if your body is having trouble breaking down certain types of nutrients. There are lots of things that can make it harder for your body to properly process the food you eat, including many common gene variants. Depending on which types of nutrients your body struggles to process and your normal dietary habits, you may end up facing ongoing gastrointestinal distress.
It can be particularly challenging to identify which nutrient (or nutrients) are the source of your gastrointestinal problems, because the possibilities vary so widely. For instance, if you suspect that your body is having trouble digesting carbohydrates, you may go on a low-carb diet, which often results in a slightly higher intake of fats. However, if the digestion of fats is another contributor to your gastrointestinal problems, you may find yourself feeling frustrated — not to mention missing out on the high-quality nutrition of whole grains.
In cases like these, a multi-enzyme blend may be the best way to go. Today, the top supplements on the market contain multiple enzymes for different purposes, including:
- Protease to aid in protein digestion
- Lipase to aid in fat digestion
- Amylase, alpha-galactosidase, cellulase, lactase, malt diastase, and/or other types of enzymes that aid in carbohydrate digestion
When choosing between multi-enzyme blends, it’s best to choose a product that contains enzymes derived from bacterial sources, like Aspergillus. These supplements are more effective than those that contain plant- or animal-derived enzymes, which are easily denatured by stomach acid. In contrast, Aspergillus enzymes remain effective across a broad spectrum of pH levels.
Option 3: A Well-Planned Elimination Diet
For inexplicable gastrointestinal issues, a well-planned elimination diet can also make it possible to identify trigger foods that may be causing or exacerbating symptoms. Some approaches, like the FODMAPs diet for IBS, begin with the elimination of a wide range of foods, followed by the gradual re-integration of different categories of foods to determine whether they are tolerable. Other approaches call for eliminating foods one at a time and observing the effects. Regardless of which route you choose, it is best to plan an elimination diet with the help of a professional like a chiropractor or nutritionist. These professionals can offer specifics on how certain diets work, how to plan your meals when eliminating a good you eat every day, and how to make sure that your elimination diet is still giving you all the nutrients you need to support every aspect of your health.
Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness offers ParaComplete, a broad spectrum formula to promote a healthy gastrointestinal environment, and Digestazyme, a multi-enzyme blend. Our professionals also offer nutritional counseling that can help you end your chronic GI issues for good. Contact us today for more information!Share