If you ask any doctor, digestive and stomach complaints are the most widespread symptoms patients report on their initial visits. As a matter of fact, gastrointestinal complaints are so common, that many medical professionals consider them to be “normal.” But just because something is considered ordinary doesn’t mean you should learn to live with it.
Whether or not your biggest complaint is with your stomach, I believe the foundation of great health starts with the gut and the liver. These two organs are where we absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. If they aren’t working properly, then your body can’t function at its best.
For this reason, when a patient comes to me with acne or hormonal imbalances, I always start with a look at her gut and liver to make sure that her body is detoxing properly. Both skin and hormone health – like many other of the body’s processes – are intricately related to the proper functioning of these two organs.
So, whether you have specific health problems you need to address or you are just striving for even better health, your focus should first turn to cleansing and healing the organs at the heart of your digestive system.
The Role of the Gut and the Liver
When the gut and the liver are at their best, they make sure that the good stuff is absorbed by your body and the bad stuff is removed. When you eat, the stomach and small intestines help the nutrients coming in to be absorbed by your bloodstream, which then transports them to the areas of the body where they are used to create the essential components of life – hormones, enzymes, and the energy you need to thrive throughout the day.
On the other side of the equation are the things your body needs to get rid of, like the toxins you ingest from food, air, and water or the hormones that have been broken down and are no longer needed. The liver removes toxins from the blood, breaks them down into a water-soluble form, and then dumps them into the gut, where the large intestine filters them out of the body.
When the liver and gut are not working properly, this whole process becomes more inefficient. Your blood absorbs fewer nutrients, and toxins are now able to make their way into the bloodstream, where they can then be transported around the body. Toxins on the move can lead to cellular problems, which can lead to organ problems, which can then lead to disease.
Because of this, the first goal of good health should be to make sure the liver and gut are working properly so that nutrients are coming in and toxins are moving out.