In this health video you will learn about bad digestion and why we overeat.
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Raena Morgan: Hi, I’m Raena Morgan with iHealthTube visiting with Nena Dockery. What prevents good digestion? Nena Dockery: Oh, usually our habits. Most often [because] we in America, in the 21st century, we lead a fast life. And, our problems with digestion, many times, stem from our own habits. We eat too fast. We eat too much. We eat on the go. We’re preoccupied with a dozen different things—our lives in general—and those all can be very detrimental to the proper functioning of digestion. Raena Morgan: So, we wolf down our food. Nena Dockery: Oh yes. And, when we do that we cannot chew it appropriately, and chewing is one of those crucial steps in beginning the digestive process Raena Morgan: Well, that’s where—when you start to salivate— the enzymes come into play, right? Nena Dockery: Right. So, if that food hasn’t begun to be broken down through the process of chewing, then we end up swallowing a much larger and less pulverized—to use a kind of unusual term for it—food mass that goes down our throat. ….We have a valve between our esophagus, our throat, that goes into the esophagus in our stomach, and that allows the food to go into our stomach. Well, if that food isn’t properly chewed, then we’ve got a big mass that can sometimes get stuck right there. Raena Morgan: In the esophagus? Nena Dockery: In the esophagus, waiting to go into the stomach because that valve has to open and allow that food to go in. And, so then, our body wants to digest it. So when we finally do release gastric acid, that gastric acid wants to break down that food enough [to] where it can go into the stomach and be appropriately digested, so we end up with heartburn. That’s one of the many—there are several different causes of heartburn—but that definitely is one of them. Sometimes that valve does not work at all. And, sometimes through our poor habits the valve begins to not work appropriately, and we do get gastric reflux and heartburn as a result. Raena Morgan: So, that’s food that’s stuck in the esophagus? Nena Dockery: Yes. Raena Morgan: That’s the heartburn, one of the sources of heartburn. Nena Dockery: One of the sources of heartburn. Raena Morgan: And, this all stems from our eating too quickly? Nena Dockery: Too quickly. Not chewing. Raena Morgan: Not chewing. Eating on the go. So, we just have these bad habits that are normal anymore. Nena Dockery: Right. They are, and we don’t recognize, I think, the importance of the hormones that are involved in digestion that send signals to the rest of our body to do certain things at certain times. And, when we are under stress, when we are eating quickly, when we are eating on the go, when we are eating too much, our signals tend to get confused. And, so proper digestion, the process of digestion occurring appropriately, cannot occur. Raena Morgan: Why do we overeat? Nena Dockery: We overeat for many reasons, I think. I think one of them in our country is there’s so much variety, there’s so much food. And, there’s so much availability of that food, and it smells so good and it looks so good. And so, one of the reasons we overeat is because of that. Raena Morgan: Because we’re stimulated to overeat. Nena Dockery: We’re stimulated to overeat. Another [reason] will be just the stress of our lives; we’re stressed, we’re tired, we’re exhausted. And, we overeat because we think if we eat something it will keep us awake, it will keep us energetic. Very often it does not do that, but that is our thought; our brains say, “I need to eat because I’m tired.” So, I must not be getting the nutrients. And, a lot of times we overeat simply because we are not getting the appropriate nutrients into our systems, so our body is saying, “I need something.” And, so our brain is saying, “Well, I have to eat something—I’m not sure what.” Raena Morgan: To get the nutrients? Nena Dockery: To get the nutrients. We are simply trying to get the nutrients from our food. Raena Morgan: Because we are not absorbing the nutrients