Your digestive system converts the food that you eat into the energy and nutrients that your body needs to function. But, beyond fueling your body, digestion impacts virtually every aspect of your health and wellbeing.
How The Digestive System Impacts The Entire Body
The digestion system supplies each of the cells in your body with energy and nutrients to perform their specific functions. Additionally, the digestive system manages cellular waste, ensuring that it gets flushed from the body.
When digestion is compromised, it can have a negative effect on the entire body. Symptoms including constipation, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, heartburn, reflux, and loose stools indicate digestive issues that may impact other aspects of your health.
Digestive problems can influence aspects of your health including:
Digestive problems can lead to inflammation. The digestive system absorbs a variety of nutrients that the body requires to keep inflammation in check.
Additionally, if the body can’t properly digest food, the digestive tract will become inflamed. Various digestive disorders can cause inflammation, including leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Remarkably, the bacteria within the gut and the immune system are closely linked. A large portion of the immune system is located within the gastrointestinal tract and helps protect the body against sickness.
Inflammation caused by poor digestion acts as a signal to the immune system. The immune system interprets this as a sign of an illness or toxin. As a result, the immune cells attack the digestive system, which worsens the inflammation.
The digestive system helps remove unneeded hormones from the body. However, an imbalance in the gut microbiome can cause these hormones to be sent throughout the body. This can lead to a hormonal imbalance, which may influence weight management, energy levels, menstrual cycles, and libido (among other aspects of your health).