Tag Archives: digestion

Lifestyle Nutrition

How To Keep Your Gut Happy On Your Summer Vacation

digestive issues - keeping your gut happy

Nothing ruins a vacation faster than having to spend all of your time in the bathroom. Severe digestive issues keep you stuck indoors and miserable for days after it’s ended. Then you spend the rest of the time wondering if it’s really over.

Keeping your gut happy is key, and it actually starts way before you even pack your suitcase.

  1. A healthy diet with plenty of dietary fiber and water will clear your digestive system and keep things regular. A few weeks before your vacation, you want to add some extra fiber to your diet. Oatmeal, chia seeds and celery are easy ways to naturally increase fiber, and as a bonus, they help lower cholesterol. Vacation often means fast food that’s high in fat and sugar, so keep that fiber in check to keep things moving.
  2. Probiotics will help to increase the amount of good bacteria to maintain healthy intestinal flora. We need a lot of good bacteria in the intestines to break down food. This ensures we absorb all the good stuff we’re eating. When there is a disruption in this system, things like fungus (candida) can flourish, causing bloating and other unpleasant symptoms. You can also add fermented foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, and miso to your diet daily to get the naturally occurring probiotics present in these foods.
  3. Eliminating dairy helps to reduce the body’s production of mucous. Mucous forms in your respiratory system and can cause infections, but it also forms in the gut. When it does, it prevents food from absorbing properly and can speed up the digestive system. Food is then eliminated before it is completely broken down, causing gas and bloating, as well as irritating the bowels.
  4. Drink bottled water and avoid iced drinks if possible. Ice is directly handled frequently and by numerous people where the weather is warm, and the tourists plentiful. Utensils and/or hands that are not clean frequently and can transfer food borne diseases easily. In countries where the water is not potable, ice should be avoided as there is no guarantee that the water is purified.
  5. Reducing stress is vital to gut health. Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing diarrhea and dreaded constipation. Balance getting enough sleep and being active to keep your digestive system moving.

If you end up getting sick, avoid over the counter anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhea medications. These only temporarily stop the symptoms, which is trying to physically purge the virus/bacteria out of your system. Resting and staying hydrated (even if it keeps coming up) will help your body fight off the illness.

Chronic digestive issues include frequent constipation, diarrhea, excess gas and bloating, acid reflux, and abdominal pain, especially after eating. There are many reasons for chronic digestive issues, like poor diet, frequent use of antibiotics and/or NSAIDS, inefficient waste removal or an imbalance in intestinal flora, just to name a few.

If you have chronic digestive or bowel issues, contact our Naturopath’s. They can help resolve these digestive issues.


Lifestyle Nutrition

8 Reasons to Change Your Diet Now!

chronic health issuesWith chronic health issues, the reasons might elude you because of how long they’ve been occurring. Many chronic issues stem from diet because food and beverages are a daily constant in our lives.

When you have chronic health issues, one of the first things our Naturopaths look at is the diet. The effects of unhealthy eating habits can literally weigh on you and be the result of years of nutritional neglect.

Changing your diet has immediate effects, and a long term lifestyle change with a commitment to healthy eating can have dramatic changes, even eliminating chronic health issues.

Here are 8 reasons to change your diet now:

  1. Whether you experience seasonal allergies or all year around, allergies are a sign that your body is hyper sensitive. Allergies can appear as respiratory issues, watery eyes and/or skin issues like eczema. Identifying allergens can help to ease and even eliminate allergy symptoms.
  2. Digestive Issues. Chronic constipation or diarrhea? Acid reflux or indigestion? Digestive issues are commonly relieved by a change in diet, and the changes can usually be felt quickly.
  3. Body Odour. Changes in body odour can be a result of an unhealthy diet. Fungus like candida, or yeast, thrives in diets with high sugar and gluten. So do the bacteria that cause body odour.
  4. Lack of Energy. Can you sleep for hours but still wake up feeling tired, sluggish or exhausted? Toxic build up from an unhealthy diet can keep you from being effectively using the energy in your body. Changes in diet can rev up your engine again.
  5. Sleep Issues. Without a balanced diet, your body might have issues managing your energy requirements properly. You might wake up at night due to hunger or late/difficult digestion.
  6. Depression/Mood Issues. Food acts as a fuel for your body, supplying it with the necessary items like vitamins, proteins and minerals to run efficiently. Without proper diet, your body could be missing key elements to keep your nervous system stabilized. Being deficient in certain vitamins can affect your hormones and even your mood.
  7. Chronic Pain. An unhealthy diet could be causing you pain. Certain foods can be deadly for joints. Frequent headaches are commonly associated with issues with diet.
  8. It isn’t just about calories! A balanced and healthy diet takes into account everything your body needs to run properly, including healthy fats. If you’re eating a healthy diet and you still aren’t losing weight, you might actually be missing something vital, or a seemingly healthy food might be disastrous for your unique needs.

To jumpstart a change in diet, a cleanse or detox might be beneficial.

Colon hydrotherapy can help to quickly ease some of the above chronic health issues, along with a change in diet.

Never attempt a cleanse or detox without advice from your physician.

Ready to feel better? Ask our Naturopath’s how you can change your diet now.

Lifestyle News & Events

The 15 Day Detox Program

The 15 day detox program involves physician supervised colon hydrotherapy treatments. You will feel healthier than ever and experience relief from weight gain, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and fatigue. The package price of $395* includes an initial screening with a Village Health Clinic physician and five colon hydrotherapy treatments.

*Covered by most extended insurance plans
Latest Research

Effective Dietary Treatments for IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. Fortunately for those seeking naturopathic care, there are effective dietary and nutritional treatments. One dietary treatment option utilized in IBS involves the avoidance of short chain carbohydrates, referred to as FODMAPs ((Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols). These short chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed leading to an overgrowth of gut bacteria and the symptoms of IBS .

In a recent randomized study, 30 patients with IBS received a typical diet or low FODMAP diet for three weeks then the opposite diet for three weeks. These were compared with 8 healthy individuals (without symptoms of IBS) who received the same dietary treatments. All participants were unaware of which diet they were receiving.

In the IBS patients, bowel symptoms significantly reduced during the FODMAP diet and increased during the typical diet phase. The healthy group did not experience any changes in bowel symptoms during either diet.

This high quality study should compel doctors to incorporate more dietary treatments to treat IBS. At the Village Health Clinic, we utilize a variety of evidence based therapeutic diets and nutritional supportive supplements to treat IBS, customizing the treatment plan to fit each individuals unique imbalance.

Allan S. Brett, MD and Douglas K. Rex, MD Reviewing Halmos EP et al., Gastroenterology 2014 Jan 146:67

Latest Research Nutrition

First Baby Foods: Meat and Fish?

A recent news story with a headline “Hold the pablum: Give that baby some meat, new Canadian guidelines advise” has some mom’s confused. Most have been told by health professionals that rice cereals should be the first solid food to introduce to babies. New guidelines recommend introducing meat, fish, poultry and other meat alternatives at six months of age. The reason for the previous and new recommendations hasn’t changed – all these foods contain iron. Iron is vital for infant growth and nervous system development. Initially, breastfed infants rely on their stores of iron but this lasts only about 6 to 9 months.  At that point, they will need dietary iron to build up these stores. Otherwise, iron deficiency may result leading to irreversible delays in brain development.

Meat products contain not only high amounts of iron but a form of iron that is much more absorbable than what is found in fortified foods such as rice cereal. The introduction of meat products in infancy is not a new practice.  Many traditional cultures – such as aboriginal groups – have used meat and fish as an infant’s first foods. When you consider an infants digestive physiology at six months, they are more capable of digesting meat products than grains such as rice. For example, their pancreas produces minimal amounts of starch digesting enzymes at 6 months and doesn’t produce mature levels until 18 months. At six months they are relying on the very limited starch digesting enzymes produced by their saliva. Protein digestion on the other hand is well developed at 6 weeks of age.

To learn more about solid introduction and other nutritional concerns during infancy, please ask Dr. Gluvic at your next well baby visit.

 A joint statement of Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. 2012