Your Gut Needs Lots of Blood
There is a higher-than-normal amount of blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract organs, with 25% of the cardiac (heart) output going to this region. The superior mesenteric artery feeds blood supply to the small intestine. There are control mechanisms in place in the body to ensure blood flow to the intestines. Blood flow includes metabolic control, where special sensors assess metabolites such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and others.
When nutrients like oxygen are low (or carbon dioxide is high), the local blood vessels dilate for improved blood flow. Also, the stretching of the intestinal muscles with food results in blood vessel relaxation and dilation. In addition, messages from the nervous system also increase or decrease blood flow.
Re-establish Nerve Flow
Intestinal cell health depends on blood and nerve flow to bring in oxygen and nutrients for healthy cell regeneration (intestinal stem cell activity is also essential). A holistic view of gut health would include any obstacle to small intestine blood flow. Examples that can impede blood flow and nervous system messaging include a poor diet, deficient digestive juices and enzymes, reduced beneficial flora, gut infections, musculoskeletal problems including neck and back disorders, any chronic pain, subluxations, and poor stress coping mechanisms can all negatively affect intestinal circulation.
Musculoskeletal treatments such as chiropractic, osteopathic manipulation, massage, acupuncture, and physical therapy can help digestive health by improving nerve and blood flow.
One of the most common disrupters of blood flow would be mental stress. The authors of an article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences state that extended periods of mental stress result in a reduction of blood flow to digestive organs and an increase in the production of toxic metabolites.
Dr. Mark Stengler NMD, MS, is a bestselling author in private practice in Encinitas, California, at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. His newsletter, Dr. Stengler’s Health Breakthroughs, is available at www.americasnaturaldoctor.com His clinic website is www.markstengler.com