It was just a couple of weekends ago when I found myself caught up in the summer fun of the Just For Her expo, in Kansas City. There was a huge turnout, and I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to introduce myself and my functional medicine services to hundreds of women. In addition to offering all who stopped by a complimentary massage, I also raffled off a free Kindle, which was won by Debbie Ficken. Congrats, Debbie!
As I think back to all of the wonderful products, services, and food on display that day, I got to thinking. With summer upon us, there’s no better time than the present to pass along a lesson in digestive health.
Why Food-Borne Illnesses Increase in the Summer
Whether it be a picnic at the park, a weekend camping trip, or a long-awaited vacation in a tropical paradise, where there’s summer fun, there’s usually food. And if you’re not careful, those summertime temperatures can put you at increased risk for food-borne illnesses.
Toxins produced from microorganisms (bacteria) are the nasty culprits behind food-borne diseases. Microorganisms grow best in temperatures above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. From that sandwich with mayo you packed in your picnic basket, to the pasta salad at your neighborhood block party, summer temperatures can quickly turn food into a breeding ground for bacteria and illness.
The Long-Term Effects of Hidden Digestive Problems
Many food-borne illnesses are identified and treated within a matter of days from eating the contaminated food. However, when left untreated, some people go on to develop hidden digestive disorders.
The problem with hidden digestive disorders is that they can cause symptoms that you’d never guess are related to your digestive tract, such as headaches, skin irritations, and even joint pain. These symptoms are due to the body’s inability to properly absorb the important nutrients it needs to maintain good health.
Common symptoms of a hidden digestive disorder include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Malaise or fatigue
- Malaise and mood swings
- Weight loss
- Joint pain
- Chronic skin rashes and irritations
How to Reduce the Risk of Food-Borne Illnesses
Education is the key to decreasing your risk of contracting a food-borne illness, not only over the summer, but all year round. For more information on how to keep you and your family safe from food contamination, read up on the food safety tips posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at: http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/prevention.html#consumers.
The Role of Functional Medicine and Digestive Health
As a certified Functional Medicine Specialist, I look closely at the three of the body’s most vital systems—the hormonal system, the detoxification system, and the gastrointestinal system (digestive tract). Taking the time to evaluate each of these body systems is extremely important, as they are often a common source of the host of symptoms that affect our general health.
If you’ve been experiencing recurring symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, it’s important to rule out a hidden digestive disorder. Through Vibrant’s comprehensive series of digestive system testing, I can help you identify a potential hidden source of your symptoms and help reverse the effects they’re having on your life.
To get your body and your health back on track, contact Dr. Heather today.