In association with the National Post, we are pleased to present the fifth of several Patient Diaries where our customers have shared their stories in an interview with the National Post.
Jocelyn Black, 33, is a happy, vibrant woman, but it wasn’t always that way. Digestive issues have shadowed her for her entire life. She has a host of food sensitivities including dairy, grains and soy, and she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It started when she was a baby, she says, and the difficulties became progressively worse as life became more stressful.
Jocelyn is not alone. Each year, more than 20 million Canadians suffer from some form of digestive disorder. Canada also has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world, costing the economy some $8-billion a year in lost productivity.
The digestive system breaks down food, absorbs nutrients and fluids and discards unwanted material to prevent the build-up of toxins. It begins working the minute that food enters the body and ends after a bowel movement. Without the final step in the process the digestive tract becomes congested with fecal matter that can cause painful cramps, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. A dysfunctional digestive system can also affect overall well-being, sleep patterns, energy levels, concentration and the ability to fend off illness.
Our bodies are constantly bombarded with stress, toxins and unhealthy diets. Tasty foods are easily available and inexpensive, and social functions often present more food than is needed, which leads to overeating, says Michael Ho, doctor of chiropractic and acupuncture and founder of DrHoNow.com in Markham, Ont.
“All this refined food, which contains little to no fibre and too many additives, gets stuck in the gut along with excess salt and sugar,” he says. “These toxins are being held in the body instead of being eliminated on a daily basis.”
Stress is an additional contributor to digestion issues. During stress heart rate increases, muscles contract and the body diverts energy away from the digestive system. To help promote a healthy digestive system and overall good health Ho recommends:
- Consuming a daily diet rich in fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables and fibre
- Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day
- Reducing or eliminating stress inducing activities
- Detoxifying the digestive system
For Black, changing her eating habits and reducing stress made the world of difference. She stopped eating meat, reduced her coffee intake and left a very stressful career in advertising.
She has also been using Dr. Ho’s 30 Day Digestive Detox system regularly for more than three years. Unlike many other detox products, Dr. Ho’s 30 Day Digestive Detox is not a bowel irritant, nor does it contain laxatives. It is a three-part program to cleanse, relax and stimulate the system with natural herbs and supplements.
“Because I have suffered the side-effects of prescription medicines I prefer to use natural products, so I knew it was the right choice for me,” says Black. “Dr. Ho’s Digestive Detox helps with my IBS and relaxes me so that I can sleep better. I have more energy, my skin cleared up, I feel better and I know that when something goes into my body, the toxins are going to come out.”