Digestion & Intestinal Health

Digestive Health

Health begins with optimal digestion and a balanced flora

The digestive system is also known as the gastrointestinal tract, GI tract or gut. This system includes a 30 foot long tube-like structure that incorporates everything from the mouth to the anus, and includes the supporting organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas) that aid in digestion by producing digestive enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid, bicarbonate and regulatory hormones.

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Important Functions of the Digestive System

  • Food Breakdown and absorption to nourish your cells, tissues and organs
  • Absorption of water – vital to life
  • Defense – It is the first line of defense for pathogens – e.g. bacteria, viruses and parasites.
  • Healthy Flora  – It serves as hospitable breeding ground for trillions of beneficial bacteria.
  • Immune – 60% of immune function comes from gut  flora
  • Neurotransmitters – 80-90% Serotonin production occurs here, which is important mood and calming.
  • Waste Removal of metabolic waste, heavy metals, and drug residues.

Factors That Effect Digestion 

  • Diet – “Food is Fuel!”  – Eat a healthy balanced diet of real food, not fake food. Link to What is a Healthy Diet?
  • Chewing – helps digestion, slows eating so less food is consumed
  • Digestive enzymes  –  decrease with age and may be low with liver stress
  • pH  –  important for activating enzymes so they can do their jobs
  • Fiber – insoluble (bulk) / soluble  (prebiotic)
  • Bile production – helps to breakdown fat
  • Liver congestion and toxic overload  impairs digestion
  • Flora – can be healthy or unhealthy “dysbiosis”
  • Pathogens  and biofilms  – interfere with absorption, vitamin production and immune function

Digestion from the Inside

Poor Digestion

Heartburn? Bloating? Burping, Gas? Irritable Bowel? Food Sensitivities?

Digestive distress is so common that almost everyone experiences it at one time or another but many people experience symptoms daily. High levels of stress, poor eating habits, lack of healthy bacteria in the GI tract can all contribute. At Crossing Back to Health, we focus on functional medicine that can help treat ailments generally ignored by traditional medicine.


Loose watery stools more than 3 times a day.

People of all ages get diarrhea. Most people get diarrhea occasionally and get over it quickly and without any intervention. Other times it is more chronic and is a reflection of an underlying unresolved stress.

Some of the root causes of diarrhea include:

  • Infections – bacterial, fungal/yeast or viral
  • Parasites
  • Poor digestion
  • Abnormal gut flora
  • Food sensitivities – e.g. gluten, dairy
  • Liver stress – toxic burden
  • Emotional stress
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease
  • Reactions to medications – e.g. antibiotics

We help people with diarrhea every day because we address the underlying causes and correct them.  We can help you too.


This is a pain in the buttocks!

Bowel habits vary for each person but when you have trouble passing stool, or have infrequent stools (less than 3 per week), or pain with bowel movements, you are likely constipated.  People tend to feel bloated, sluggish and lack optimal energy when they are constipated.  Children who get constipated tend to have worse behavior during these times. Think about the toxic waste that your body is trying to get rid of – the longer this waste stays in the GI tract the more likely you are to be affected by them.

There are a variety of correctable factors that can create constipation.

  • Diets full of processed food
  • Lack of dietary fiber – too few veggies
  • Too many carbohydrates and sweets
  • Lack of healthy intestinal flora
  • Poor digestion/deficient digestive enzymes
  • Not enough water intake
  • Stress
  • Sedentary lifestyle – not enough exercise
  • Medications for inflammation, pain, blood pressure, sleep, depression

By utilizing functional medicine, there are lots of options to help with constipation naturally.  Identifying what is creating the constipation helps us to help you.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux

The Chinese call it “rebellious qi”

Heartburn or Acid Reflux is that burning you feel in your chest when stomach acid goes up instead of down as it should – that’s the rebellious part. It can be intermittent or can become chronic. It can even lead to changes in the esophagus that predispose people to cancer of the esophagus.

Symptoms may include:

  • Burning pain in the chest
  • Pain that is worse when lying down or bending over
  • Sour or bitter taste in the back of the throat
  • Burning worse after eating too much – especially fatty or spicy foods
  • Pain worse after drinking alcohol
  • Aggravated pain when taking medications
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Unexplained cough especially at night
  • Wheezing and Asthma
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Difficulty swallowing

There are effective natural solutions for heartburn.  You can start feeling better today.

Irritable Bowel

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or “IBS” is recurrent diarrhea lasting more than 3 months that tends to have a sudden onset with lower abdomen cramping and bloating followed by sudden watery diarrhea.  It can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable.  The cause is unknown but there are aggravating factors that can be identified. When corrected with functional medicine, the result is resolution of the IBS without the use of medications.

Factors that can influence IBS include:

  • Diet
  • Digestion
  • Flora
  • Stress
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol and caffeine
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

When you worry about where you can find a bathroom no matter where you go, it is time to get help.  At Crossing Back to Health, we use the most up to date research and functional medicine in order to help you. We won’t let you down.

Cross Back to Health Today!

Contact us to schedule an appointment