Some of you know him as the guy who played the arch-rival wrestler, Brian Shute, in the 80’s film, Vision Quest. I knew him then as the guy in my class at Eastern Washington University. I mentioned in the book how we re-connected, but the gist is, I believe in signs and I think that was one of the better ones I’ve received over the past few years and with excellent timing. He is still the same sweet, soft spoken soul, but has replaced barbells and bulk with Acupuncture needles, a degree in Oriental Medicine, a black belt in Aikido and a completely revamped vision of healthy. I asked for an inch of insight and advice on digestive/colon health and (in his true fashion) he offered up a mile and then some. This guy isn’t afraid one bit to talk about poo, so why should you?
Enjoy and take heart…
When Ali asked me to write an article regarding colon health and recovery I remembered this funny story that really helps put things in perspective:
In the human body, which organ is in charge?
All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was in charge.
The brain said: “I should be in charge, because I run all the body’s systems, so without me nothing would happen.”
“I should be in charge,” said the heart, “because I pump the blood and circulate oxygen all over the body, so without me you’d all waste away.”
“I should be in charge,” said the stomach, “because I process food and give all of you energy.”
“I should be in charge,” said the rectum, “because I’m responsible for waste removal.”
All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight. Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, and the blood was toxic. Eventually the other organs gave in. They all agreed that the rectum should be the boss.
The moral of the story?
You don’t have to be smart or important to be in charge…just an a$$hole.
Humor aside, there are some powerful implications here regarding the importance of having a healthy functioning colon. So lets review some facts about the Gastro Intestinal tract’s many functions:
- 60-80 percent of your immune system resides here
- responsible for digestion
- nutrient absorption
- hormone metabolism
- energy production
- 99 percent of neurotransmitters are created here
There are more neurotransmitters (the molecules to allow information signals to be sent to other parts of your body) found here than in your brain.
- It is the barrier/gate keeper between the outside world and inside terrain
When this barrier is compromised, then all sorts of health issues can develop. Loss of gut integrity (Dysbiosis) can lead to overactive autoimmune responses related to health issues like Hashimoto’s, arthritis, lupus, allergies, IBS, and psoriasis to name a few.
Let’s identify several possible contributing factors which can cause GI imbalance and even possible gut Dysbiosis:
- A low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, which causes all the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut and damages the delicate ecosystem in your intestines
- Overuse of medications can damage the gut and block normal digestive function — acid blockers like Prilosec, Nexium, anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, Advil, and Aleve, and overuse of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones
- Cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation
- Over consumption of coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and junk food
- Undetected gluten intolerance, celiac disease or low grade food allergies to foods such as dairy, eggs, or corn.
- Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth bacteria in the small intestine, yeast overgrowth, parasites, or even more serious gut infections
- Toxins like mercury and mold toxins, which damage the gut
- Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function, which can come from acid-blocking medication use, or zinc deficiency
- Stress, which can alter the gut nervous system, shut down or reduce HCL production, cause a leaky gut, and change the normal bacteria in the gut
What happens then is obvious. You get sick.
Our goal then is to always support and maintain a healthy GI tract by:
1. Eating whole (organic – whenever possible) unprocessed foods. Make sure to include plenty of fiber from foods like vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables), beans, raw nuts and seeds, and whole grains (preferably gluten free).
2. Eliminating food allergies. If you think you have food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Cut out gluten, dairy, yeast, corn, and soy for a week or two and see how your gut feels and see what happens to your other symptoms.
3. Increasing key or missing digestive enzymes. When you don’t have enough hydrochloric acid and/or digestive enzymes in your gut, you can’t properly covert the foods you eat into the raw materials necessary to run your body and brain. Find out which digestive enzymes you are deficient in and take them with your food to solve the problem.
4. Ingesting good fat along with Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients. Take extra omega-3’s, anti-inflammatory herbs, and supplements which help cool inflammation in the gut.
5. Rebuilding your terrain of friendly bacteria. Take pro-biotic and pre-biotic supplements. They will help you rebuild and support your healthy bacteria, which is essential for gut health. Eat fermented foods like refrigerated, non-pasteurized, high-quality sauerkraut
7. Treating any infections or overgrowth of bugs — Parasites, small bowel bacteria, and yeasts can all inhibit proper gut function. You must treat these infections if you want to heal. The only way to know for sure is to have a comprehensive stool test done.
Fixing your digestion may take some time, but you can do it. It is absolutely essential if you want to achieve optimum health.
If you are having digestive problems, there is a good chance that it is affecting other functions. Bloating after meals, gas, cramping, loose stools, constipation, burping, heartburn, and inconsistent stool formation can all be signs of a digestive problem.
Along with a proper transit time (18-24 hours), a healthy stool should exhibit a few key qualities; it should be formed, brown in color, absent of undigested food, not have a particularly strong smell, and be good size in circumference, and at least 12 inches passed per day in total length.
If you are not having this experience then refer back to the possible reasons this might be happening and remove any causes, meanwhile including as many helpful ways to support and maintain a healthy GI tract as possible.
Always remember that optimal health can only be maintained with a happy, healthy GI tract!
Movement is the key to life!
– Frank had ended his talk with “and that aint no” then something that rhymes with “brit”, but Sanda, his wife and business partner (a woman of poise and grace) nixed it ;).
Frank and Sanda Jasper founded Osani Holistic Healthcare. in Pacific Palisades, Ca. back in 1995 and have developed a strong, local and distant following. They provide a wide range of holistic healing services, including: Acupuncture, Nutrition, Meridian Stress Assessment, Craniosacral Therapy, and Reflexology. By Incorporating these modalities with Acupuncture, Frank creates unique individual treatment programs for his patients, which includes a program for detoxification from chemo and radiation. Sanda is a Reiki master, has facilitated panel discussions on complementary medicine at Pepperdine University and specializes in spiritual counseling, life coaching and stress management.