Digestive Organs That People Often Forget

Digestive Organs That People Often Forget

There are a lot more organs associated with your digestion than just your stomach and intestines. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas must function normally so that complete digestion can occur. These organs deal with the enzymatic and chemical side of digestion whereas the stomach and mouth are mixtures of enzymatic, mechanical, and chemical digestion.

The Liver

The liver produces bile and releases the bile either directly into the small intestine or into the gallbladder. When the bile is released into the gallbladder, the bile is then stored in the gallbladder until it is needed. Bile helps digest fat and breaks down the fat into individual fatty acids for assimilation. It further breaks down the food chyme so that the other digestive enzymes can fully digest and assimilate the food that you eat.

Poor liver function can be hard to identify in the early stages, because the liver itself is one of the few organs that can regenerate easily. Early stages of poor liver function are diagnosed through random metabolic panel blood tests. Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes, is usually the only major physical manifestation of poor liver function. However, when it comes to digestive issues, signs of poor liver function include unrelenting GERD in combination with a very light-colored stool. These symptoms together can be a powerful indicator of potential liver disease. 1 2

General Liver Health Protocol

A glass of warm water, cayenne, salt, and lemon in the morning stimulates bile production and eliminates toxins. R-lipoic acid and milk thistle are hepatoprotective, and both supplements help regenerate liver cells. The fish oil supplementation increases the overall health of the person, and the body to reduce overall inflammation uses extra omega-3 fatty acids.

The Pancreas

The pancreas produces cells that release most of these digestive enzymes into the intestines. The pancreas also releases sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the stomach acid mixed with chime, which has been released from the stomach into the duodenum for further digestion. The cells the pancreas produces to help with digestion are the ductal cells, which produce bicarbonate and the acinar cells, which in turn produce digestive enzymes.

The digestive signs of poor pancreatic function are similar to indicators of disease in the gallbladder. Diarrhea can also occur when foods high in fat are eaten. Signs of poor pancreatic function outside of the digestive tract include development of insulin resistance, elevated pancreatic enzyme blood levels, and diabetes. 6 7

Pancreas Health Protocol

This protocol should be used if you are suffering from mild pancreatic insufficiency.

  • R Lipoic acid (Stabilized) – Take 300 mg daily. Must take supplement with meals, lipoic acid may lower blood glucose levels. 8
  • Enzymedica Digestive Enzyme Gold – One to two capsules with every meal. (Take unless your amylase level from a blood test is elevated, if so discontinue the enzymes.)9
  • Magnesium glycinate – take 400 mg daily, before bed
  • Limit or eliminate tobacco use. 10
  • Follow the Bulletproof® Diet.
  • Exercise at least three times a week for at least thirty minutes at a time.

The digestive enzymes and R-lipoic acid give the pancreas a break by decreasing insulin resistance and the need for digestive enzymes. Tobacco puts excess stress on the pancreas. Medical issues with these organs can cause GERD, diarrhea, constipation, gastritis, SIBO, or even IBS. Occasionally, the health of these different organs can be determined by the color and quality of one’s stool.

  1. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  2. Smith, Margaret, Morton, Dion. The Digestive System: Systems of the Body Series, Churchill Livingstone, November 18, 2011
  3. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  4. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  5. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  6. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  7. Smith, Margaret, Morton, Dion. The Digestive System: Systems of the Body Series, Churchill Livingstone, November 18, 2011
  8. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  9. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16405548

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