Most of us are familiar with colic, a digestive problem associated with babies. Babies cry because they are experiencing gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Adults also experience these symptoms but instead of crying and asking to be burped, we usually buy an over-the-counter remedy for the symptoms.
What we usually don’t realize is that there is increased muscle tension associated with these symptoms. Each digestive organ shares a common nerve supply with specific muscles. This means that when the organ is stressed, the muscles contract. For example, if the problem is in the stomach, then increased muscle tension can be felt below the breastbone. If the problem is in the small intestine, typical of colic, the muscle tension can be felt around the bellybutton. If the problem is associated with the biliary system, then the increased muscle tension can be palpated under the front of the right rib cage.
Health care practitioners use this phenomenon to correlate their knowledge of neurology and biochemistry with a physical examination for increased muscle contraction. The Homeostatic Challenge Test was first used in 1986 and is now employed daily by hundreds of health care practitioners trained in clinically applying natural-occurring food enzymes in their practices.
Findings from a fasting exam are compared to an exam done about 45 minutes after eating. The findings, often used in conjunction with interpretation of a 24-hour urinalysis, can usually pinpoint the true cause of your digestive symptoms and improve the benefits you derive from your diet.
In order for enzyme supplements to be most beneficial, they have to be specific to the individual. Compare this method with the over-the-counter method of relieving the symptoms without addressing the cause of the problem.
A surprising number of people have problems digesting their food. The annual sales of antacids are now in the billions of dollars. Watch television for an evening and you’ll notice just how many drugs are advertised to help relieve symptoms. These products do a good job of relieving symptoms, but do nothing to improve digestion or eliminate the cause.
By palpating, or “feeling”, your abdomen before and after a meal, your health care practitioner will be able to determine what happens to your organs when they are presented with food. Can these organs do what nature designed them to do? Which ones are being stressed?
What dietary changes can be made to alleviate the stress and what enzyme supplements can be used to normalize digestion? The Homeostatic Challenge Test is a useful technique that can answer these questions and many more, such as:
- If you can digest fatty foods and are therefore able to use fat soluble vitamins like A, E, and D.
- If your liver and gallbladder is functioning properly so you can have a bowel movement every day.
- If your pancreas can digest all the sugars in your diet so you do not have bouts with diarrhea.
- If you can break down carbohydrates and use the sugar for energy.
- If you can digest protein so you are building up body tissues, not tearing them down.
- If you can digest protein so your body can carry calcium to its tissues.
- If you can digest vegetables and fruits without excessive bloating and gas.
You must be able to digest your food, break it down into the appropriate components, utilize those nutrients, and then be able to eliminate the waste so your immune system is not overworked.
Many conditions that seem to be making the news lately are actually related to the kind of food we eat. Have you ever looked at those conditions in relation to how your body might handle the food you are putting into it?
The body is one large system with all of its parts doing their job to maintain the whole. The bones support your body; the muscles flex to allow you to move around; the nerves carry electrical signals; and your digestive organs break down food into nutrients that are useable to the body. If one of these parts is having trouble doing its job, you will experience symptoms, whether those symptoms are acute or just a general feeling, such as fatigue.
How you feel is in direct relation to what you eat and, more importantly, how your body handles the food and drink that you put into it. Digestion is key! Here’s an important point: just because you eat a certain food, like a vitamin-enriched cereal, does not mean that your body can digest and further utilize those vitamins. Digestion does not just happen. If a key digestive organ cannot do its job properly, digestion will not occur.
Vitamin deficiencies are acute and quite obvious whereas enzyme deficiencies tend to sneak up on you over a period of time. The terrific news about enzyme deficiency is that diet modification along with enzyme therapy will get you back to a state of health and well-being.