March is National Nutrition Month!

We all know that good nutrition is essential to health. The basics of "eat your vegetables and fruits!" has been familiar to all of us since our parents threatened us all those years ago with our worst nightmares if we didn't comply. But it really goes much deeper than that. Did you know that in Functional Medicine, nutrition is considered epigenetic? (Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work).


Nutrition gives the body information to turn on and off genes, how awesome is that?! However, that can be a double edged sword because with the right food it can heal you, but with the wrong food it can harm you. The cliche garbage-in-garbage-out applies here where the quality of health is determined by the quality of nutrient intake. This illustrates the importance of consuming a variety of veggies, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, good fat, minerals, and fermented foods etc. However, equally important is the ability to absorb what you eat.


A few roadblocks to proper nutrient absorption:

  1. Not having the time to slow down to really chew our food and allow the body the time to digest. If we eat quickly and move on to the next project or dead line digestion is hindered and thus absorption suffers.
  2. If we are under a high level of stress digestion can be hampered because stress decreases production of hydrochloric acid for digestion. The body innately knows under stress its job is fighting for survival and not rest or digestion. Unfortunately it cant tell the difference between being chased by a saber touch tiger vs. worrying about someone might not like your post in social media for example.
  3. A healthy gut with a diverse and balanced microbiome is required for optimal absorption. The chronic use of antibiotics can negatively affect this balance of good and bad bacteria and can lead to dysbiosis and SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and of course it will affect absorption.
  4. The chronic use of PPIs, Proton Pump Inhibitors. HCl, hydrochloric acid, is necessary for digestion, and when it is neutralized by PPIs digestion suffers and pathogens can enter the digestive tract and cause harm to the body. The acidity of the stomach helps break down food and also sterilize it if a critter happens to hitch a ride on your food. (Disclaimer: Antibiotics and PPIs are necessary at times. The literature does show a negative impact in long term/chronic use. This is what the current literature shows. We are not advocating for or against the use of medicine because its not within our scope of practice. This is a conversation between you and your prescribing doctor.)
  5. Poor nutrition and leaky gut can definitely cause problems with absorption. Leaky gut can be caused by allergens, pathogens, toxins, poor nutrition, inflammation, stress and alcohol to name a few. Of course the list isnt exhaustive but does represent the major players.

Gut health plays a critical role in digestion, immunity, Vit. K, dopamine, serotonin, and GABA productions and so much more.

Signs and symptoms of poor gut health:

Bloating, indigestion, GERD, ACNE, feeling anxious, brain fog, ( there are other causes for anxiety and brain fog besides poor gut health), copious and foul gasses, constipation, diarrhea, and food intolerance, food sensitivity, and food reactions.


Our Functional Medicine practice can test and evaluate to determine if you have good gut health, and in the event that your gut needs help we know exactly what to do! Oftentimes proper nutrition, and some supportive nutritional supplements and or medicine, a few lifestyle modifications and you'll be well on your way to greater gut health! Here is the last caveat, have you heard of the Brain-Gut connection? One will affect the other. Our goal is a positive, synergistic effect for both.

Follow the link below to learn about Functional Medicine at Curry Chiropractic! 


Dr. Curry and Dr. Nguyen are Chiropractors that practice in Petersburg, IL and Springfield IL. They practice chiropractic, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, functional medicine, and utilize many different techniques to achieve optimal health.