Anxious, fatigued, depressed or congested? Overeating - how it's actually affecting you and your organ health more than you give it credit for
Overeating, snacking, bingeing or whatever you may want to call it - I think its safe to say that in our modern western diet - its something we are all guilty of without perhaps even being aware of it. Anxious, fatigued, depressed or constipated? Read on to understand whats actually going on inside of you.
With our portion sizes getting bigger and bigger, more distractive eating environments and the "more is more" attitude that comes with dining, its really no wonder people around me are feeling more fatigued, anxious, depressed, reliant on caffeine and on top of that sleep deprived than I have ever noticed before. Only then, do we wake up to a brand new day and without even knowing it - start all over again! I think with anything, if its to do with our bodies and our health - maybe we all have the right to know? And for those, like me, who needed it simplified down to a language I understood, I decided to pass it on and simplify it down for you - the step by step of what consistently overeating does inside our bodies and how its actually affecting us so much more than meets the eye.
STEP 1: ORGAN EXHAUSTION?
Once foods are ingested - the digestive system kicks into play and goes under a series of events in the body. It starts to absorb valuable nutrients and minerals the body needs, but to put it simply, the amount of work required from of the body now depends on the amount of food ingested. So more food = more work.
One of the main signs that signals we've consumed too much food in a sitting, and one I'm sure many of us have experienced, is general body fatigue. The effects of this will first strike at the digestive glands and organs - our liver, kidneys, intestines etc then it will strike the heart, who has to work extra hard to keep blood circulating despite the sudden eruption/interruption. Then it hits the circulatory systems that has to work extra hard to transport all the excess food around the body. Our excretory organs will then receive the final blow - and now, confused, will have to work and run extra miles to expel wastes from the body and all the toxins that just arrived on its doorstep - and in quantities it wasn't built to manage alone.
STEP 2: ROTTING, FERMENTING & PUTREFACTION IN OUR INTESTINES
So if the amount of food eaten, or the number of different food types eaten in one sitting is too large and vast - the stages in our digestive system are suddenly overloaded with a confusing amount of different tasks and has bit off more than it can chew (quite literally) and finds itself spreading too thin and now cannot perform efficiently and performs poorly at each stage.
This results in left over food/wastes that could not be sufficiently digested which has no where to go but to stay stuck in the intestinal walls - left to ferment, rot and putrefy (a good signal to know foods are putrefying in the gut is the rotting or putrid smell of bodily gas excreted!). This is when your body starts to produce toxic substances and acids in which if they can be flushed out - it should be fine - but more often than not, by this point the digestive system is so fatigued, overrun and tired it gets lazy and the toxins release into the body and starts to poison you from the inside.
STEP 3: YOU START POISONING YOURSELF
Now depending on how much food the intestines were required to breakdown for you - the speed, functionality and overall transit of the intestines can be slowed down quite considerably. The result of this is the fecal matter, wastes and animal protein (which can rot in the stomach/intestines for up to four days) remains inside the intestines for days or even weeks at a time. This is what causes self poisoning. The intestinal walls and membranes become so irritated that instead of only letting nutritive substances into the bloodstream - it gets a little confused/lazy and larger toxic molecules are able to pass through the now damaged lesions in the intestinal walls. The liver can usually neutralize wastes but like the intestines, the liver can only handle so much. Once it's tolerance is exceeded by a mass amount of food and wastes - the liver can no longer protect you and little by little the body starts to overrun itself with these wastes.
STEP 4: FATIGUE, CONSTIPATION AND CONGESTION
So when we overeat - the body is forced to work harder than it was originally programmed and built too. If we date back to our creation, our organs were not built out by our creator to be eating the mass amount of food in its gigantic portions or a confusing mix of processed foods, sugars, animal protein and dairy that we consume in quantities today. So we overate, but what happens with the excess food that our body cant immediately process?
The body is programmed to store it away for future use - the fat & glucose etc. Our body has reserves but even these wonderful storage facilities have limits. All the excessive fat/food/waste will eventually cause a slowing down of the body's circulation and cell exchange, fatigue of the heart and organs as well as the clogging of them (where else would it go?). I mean yes the body is built to eliminate but before elimination can happen, the body has to break down all the wastes and food that entered the body - in which overeating overloads the body and causes the body to exhaust itself with all the work we gave it to do. Because the body is now extremely exhausted and organ exhaustion has taken place, the elimination process and system performs poorly and elimination of wastes may not take place as the whole body has slowed down. When its too much to handle - the toxins clog the filters and cause congestion and blockages in the organs - which then as you can guess, the toxins start collecting in the tissues and thats another story altogether.
I'M NO DOCTOR....
There are a lot of reasons as to why we overeat - its extremely difficult as most of our social lives revolve around eating, dining together and different festivities. There's also an array of emotional eating habits I know I can say a lot of us, mostly women, have adopted also - from stress, grievances, discomfort in the home or workplace, or general numbing of pain or a distraction from feeling whats uncomfortable in the present. I didn't write this in anyway to scold those of us who overeat or in any way isolate myself as someone who doesn't, but I believe this way of eating has now become an unconscious habit for everyone - and something thats viewed and accepted as rather normal than stopping when you feel full. For all of those people I have met and spoken to, who suffer from fatigue, thyroid disfunction, acne, anxiety, depression and loss of motivation - I thought it may help to understand the body and its mechanical function and how it works and then maybe we can make the connection as to how the failure to nourish and be mindful of our body can then result in the surfacing of these discomforts in our everyday lives. So how do we become more mindful of overeating? Thats the next post I will be working on sharing with you so stay tuned.
If in anyway this has been something that has interested you - I have written this from my study of the book written by N.D Christopher Vasey - The Naturopathic Way - How to Detox, Find Quality Nutrition and Restore Your Acid-Alkaline Balance. I would highly recommend this read to anyone who wants a simplified understanding of digestion, our organ health and how to heal your body by restoring it through the means of nutrition and natural healing.