How can I find out how well I absorb nutrients from my food?Most of us can form a mental picture of what happens to the food we eat on its journey through the gastrointestinal tract. We know for certain that some of what goes in comes out the other end and that some of the food we eat is absorbed through the gut wall to provide us with the nutrients we need to support the processes of life.
But how would you know if you’re not absorbing enough nutrients?There may be symptoms or signs that could be very obvious or very subtle. Obvious signs may include undigested food in the stool, dry skin, falling hair or brittle nails. Symptoms such as low-energy, depression, poor concentration, disturbed sleep, poor night vision, are some of many possible symptoms that may result from malabsorption of nutrients.
Causes of malabsorption may include the following:
- Poor digestion of food, either because you're not chewing it properly, or because of deficiencies in the digestive enzymes needed to break the food down to particles small enough to be absorbed through the gut wall
- Or the problem may lie at the level of the gut wall that may be microscopically damaged preventing the absorption of nutrients