You may eat a healthy diet. You may take all the right nutritional supplements. But if you can’t digest all those nutrients and transport them to your cells, they’re not doing you much good. Robust digestion is crucial to bone health.

We tend to think that unless we have a bowel-related disease, a few digestive symptoms are “normal.” But even mild digestive issues can harm our nutrient absorption, and when these problems are chronic, real nutritional deficiencies can develop. Of the 20 bone-building nutrients you need every day, calcium is particularly vulnerable to poor absorption.

Digestive problems can have many causes, but the most common causes are:

  • Unidentified food allergies or sensitivities. Many women have a low-grade allergy or sensitivity to certain foods. Because the allergic response in these cases is more mild or delayed compared to an acute allergic reaction, they can go unidentified for years. You may have occasional gas, bloating, diarrhea, intestinal cramping, headaches or irritability without connecting your symptoms to a specific food or ingredient. Some of the most common culprits are sugar, wheat (gluten), coffee, eggs, milk, corn, nuts, and shellfish.
  • Intestinal flora imbalance. Healthy digestion depends on millions of microbes that reside in your intestines. These tiny bacteria help break down nutrients for digestion, as well as manufacture certain vitamins, support your immune system and metabolize hormones. But these “friendly flora” are in competition with harmful bacteria that also seek to colonize your GI tract. If your diet is low in fiber and high in sugar and fat, or if you frequently take antibiotics, harmful bacteria can get the upper hand while the good guys die off by the millions.

If you have frequent or occasional digestive symptoms, it’s time to figure out why. Not only can you solve your symptoms, but you’ll also ensure that the nutrients you eat are reaching your cells, including those in your bones.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to heal your GI tract. We’ve had great success helping women heal their digestion and get the most from their nutrition.

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