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The digestive system starts with the mouth and teeth, and includes the gastrointestinal tract, as well as accessory organs, all involved with the breakdown of food and nutrition into smaller components. The system continues working until food and nutrition can be broken down and absorbed and assimilated into the body. The four main functions of the digestive tract include mobility, ingestion, absorption and secretion. Parts of the digestive system include teeth, tongue, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, lower sphincter and rectum. When working appropriately, the digestive system leads to the absorption of proper nutrients, such as protein, fats carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. These nutrients are used primarily for energy, growth, and cell repair.

Signs of Optimal Health & Wellness

A thriving digestive system leads to overall health and wellness in the body’s functioning. Indicators of thriving include:

  • Regular bowel movements
  • Clean teeth and fresh breath
  • Feeling of high energy
  • Well functioning metabolism and consistent weight
  • Consistent healthy weight
  • Clarity of thought

Warning Signs

Malfunctioning in the digestive system can lead to improper nutrition. Warnings include:

  • Poor gut health
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Ulcers
  • Heartburn
  • Rapid, unintended weight loss or gain
  • Bloating and excessive gas
  • Inflammation
  • High or low blood sugar leading to altered states of awareness or behaviors
  • Puffy face, hands and extremities (often from too much salt)


Eat a daily dose of fruits, vegetables and fiber to maintain optimal digestive health, and ensure water intake meets the daily recommended amount. Introduce probiotics and vitamins as needed to ensure regular bowel movements and proper nutrition.

Paying special attention to teeth health is also important, including brushing and flossing at least twice per day. In addition, participating in at least 30-45 minutes of physical activity, and increasing water and healthy nutrients such as protein, fruits, vegetables and fiber, can assist in improving overall digestive health. 




  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and fiber
  • Use vitamins and probiotics
  • Exercise
  • Brush and floss teeth daily


It’s important to seek medical attention when experiencing severe teeth or mouth pains, have blood in the stool, or are experiencing chronic ulcers, abdominal pain, acid reflux or heartburn. In addition, intervention may be required when a person is over- or underweight, with symptoms often including mental, emotional and physical decline. 

Intervention services may include:




If you have blood in your stool or urine, or have severe abdominal pain:

  • Dial 911; or
  • Go the nearest hospital emergency room