Bowel issues bother millions of Americans on a daily basis. We take for granted the importance and convenience of good bowel health until it becomes a problem. Once problems have started for the bowels and digestion, it can require multiple medications, surgeries, dietary changes and always knowing where the nearest restroom is.

The bowels are a key to optimal health. The bowels work to turn a turkey sandwich in to the nutrients needed to build and repair muscles, organs, skin and the rest of the body every day. Adequate digestion and absorption of food relies on many factors including enough digestive power from the stomach and pancreas, strong numbers of good bacteria in the bowel and healthy bowel walls. Unhealthy bowels can lead to fatigue, headaches, bloating and both a poor immune system and detoxification system. The bowels may need a series of steps to return to optimal functioning.

There are several aspects of treatment for the bowels. The basics, which are also covered in previous articles, include:

  1. Probiotics are the good bacteria needed to keep the bowel walls healthy, manufacture certain vitamins for us and block out any bad guys that may come into the bowels. Clinically, they can help with very loose bowels, especially those that follow antibiotics and may also help with bloating.
  2. Digestive Enzymes help the intestines break food down adequately so that the nutrients can be absorbed and used in the body. Heavy bloating after meals is a common clue that digestive power may be lacking. Digestive enzymes will often clear this problem up very quickly.

On the next page, learn about using diet to control gastrointestinal problems.