Malabsorption is the root cause of many physical and mental deficiencies. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, this is a common occurrence that I see in my practice with a good majority of my clients.
Malabsorption takes place in the vital area of the small intestine, where most of the food and nutrients are absorbed. Hair like protuberances called villi absorb the nutrients from the liquifed food. When the transaction in this area is compromised, then vital nutrients will not be distributed to feed our tissue system (dhatus). This results in a plethora of tissue deficiencies and system imbalances. This phenomenon is the root cause of many diseases.
How absorption takes place:
The first portion of the small intestine, the duodenum, receives the liquified food from the stomach. While this happens, enzymes from the gallbladder and pancreas squirt into the common bile duct. The bile emulsifies the fat and the ferocious pancreatic juices break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into absorbable material. Most of the absorption happens in the small intestine. The villi in the intestines also excrete enzymes which further breaks down the nutrients and absorbs the material like a sponge. This is met by GALT, ( Gut Associated Lymph Tissue ), which fights off any toxic substances. There is a cascade of white blood cells that are activated to prevent toxic substances from damaging tissues every time we eat.
With GMO's, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals that are heavily present in our foods, our immune system has had to adapt. With time, poor eating habits and toxic foods like GMO's lead to a weakened immune system as the spleen and lymph tissue become overly taxed.
In Ayurveda, there is a unique way that post digestive nutrition is described. This is called dhatu (tissue) nutrition. There are seven dhatus in Ayurveda. They include in order of refinement (lymph, blood, muscle, fat, bones, nervous tissue, reproductive tissue). The reproductive tissue is the most refined tissue and it is where ojas is produced. Ojas is that substance that gives immunity, luster, intelligence, and vitality. Good digestion leads to quality ojas.
Once the liquid substance (rasa) goes into circulation, it goes through a fixed sequence of increasingly refined metabolic processes. The first dhatu to get nourished is the lymph and the last one is the reproductive tissue. This whole process takes around thirty five days. In other words what we eat today turns into the seven tissues in a period of a month. We literally are what we eat. When there is malabsorption, the tissues do not get proper nourishment and they will start developing weaknesses. A plethora of diseases can manifest.
Causes of malabsorption:
Finding out the cause is complex as there are many players involved. The liver, spleen, pancreas, and stomach can all affect assimilation. If any of these organs are weak, then Agni can weaken. Agni is fire . When there is a lack of fire (digestive enzymes), nutrients will not get absorbed.
How to detect malabsorption:
Ayurveda gives us a few clues to detect malabsorption.
Here are a few.
As you reset your digestive system, malabsorption will disappear and health will return. Give this system of eating some time and your body will thank you. Try the different remedies I suggested and make some of these eating habits into a lifestyle. Let thy food be your medicine and let thy green allies support you.