Learn about the causes of Digestive Problems & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Digestive Problems within New Zealand.
occur in the gastrointestinal tract and each part of the tract is susceptible to its own disorders. Digestive problems can be the result of the failure to break down foods, stress, poor tract function, excess acid or infection.
Causes of digestive problems
There are a number of internal and external factors which can cause
problems with the digestive system. The main problems are listed below.
Physical, emotional and psychological stresses are some of the main causes of digestion problems. Unconscious activity in the body such as digestion is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. When stressed, the body reroutes blood, enzymes and oxygen from the digestive organs to other areas of the body as a survival mechanism (often referred to as 'fight or flight'). While this energy is being diverted away from the digestive system, problems can occur with the efficiency of digestion.
Other mental and emotional stresses such as anger, fear and worry or physical stresses from injury, infection, toxins or surgery can all have an impact on digestive efficiency.
Processed foods are refined removing essential nutrients and fibre and if consumed regularly the body is starved of essential minerals such as chromium, copper, magnesium and zinc. Without these minerals the body has difficulty digesting carbohydrates leading to undigested food that becomes fuel for yeast and bacteria which then cause indigestion, gas and bloating.
Diets that are low in fibre result in a slowing down of the transit time of food through the digestive tract causing constipation. A slow transit time also increases the risk of food waste toxins entering the bloodstream.
Food enzymes within raw food help with digestion. By not eating enough raw food or cooking food at a temperature over 116 degrees (which destroys the enzymes), the body lacks enough enzymes in the system and digestion problems occur.
Food allergies (e.g. dairy, wheat, fruit) can also cause digestion problems.
Not chewing food properly makes it harder for the digestive system to break down food particles resulting in indigestion, gas and bloating.
Eating fruit with other foods means the enzymes within fruit are not absorbed as quickly. A slower transit time causes the fruit to ferment in the system resulting in gastric problems. Fruit should ideally be eaten on its own to allow for the enzymes to properly enter the system.
A combination of high starch foods in one meal such as pasta and potatoes can place stress on the digestive system resulting in gastric distress.
Drugs contain toxins which can impair digestive function. The digestive organs can be affected by drugs such as:
Due to the large number of digestion problems that can occur, your GP will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms.
Your GP will ask if symptoms have been persistent over at least a few months and they may perform a physical examination of your abdomen to check for any abnormalities or pain. The GP will ask about your eating habits and how often you need to pass stools.
If further investigation is required, you may be referred for diagnostic tests. These may include:
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