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Digestive system

The role of the digestive system is to ensure the absorption of vital nutrients and to excrete non-usable nutrient components as waste. Upon eating solids these are initially broken down and then liquefied. The chemical combination of sugar, protein and fat must be absorbed in the stomach and small intestine, before being reabsorbed as a water-air-mixture.
This process is supported by rhythmic, wave-like muscle movement in the oesophagus, stomach and rectum. Very important are also the secretions which assist in the breaking down of the solids (saliva, stomach acid, bile, etc.).
After being absorbed the nutrients are transformed into the body’s own substances using warmth. The complexity of the digestive system ensuring the  correct relation between liquids, solids and gases provides a smooth digestive process without complaints. Following are typical symptoms indicating that the digestive system has become disturbed:

Complaints:

  • Flatulence
  • Pressure in the upper abdomen, cramps
  • Frequent belching
  • Reflux
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Stool inconsistencies such as constipation or diarrhea

The above symptoms must be diagnosed specifically and treated accordingly. We offer a number of examinations and screening.

Causes

  • Swallowing of too much air (eating/drinking too hastily)
  • Stress
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Excess intake of coffee, alcohol, nicotine
  • Lack of exercise
  • Imbalance of intestinal flora (after illness or holidays abroad, for example)
  • Hormonal adjustment (menopause, pregnancy)

Prevention

In many cases an increase in physical exercise and a change of diet suffices. Other cases can be treated using over the counter or household remedies. Acute flatulence may be reduced with herbs such as aniseed, fennel, caraway, balm, etc. Warmth from  a hot water bottle can reduce cramps and relax, and abdominal massages can assist in the digestive process and help reduce flatulence and constipation.


For more information and appointments please contact our team.

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