Are You Digesting Everything You Eat?

❒ Ever read an article whose symptoms indicate you should supplement your diet with more of this or that?

❒ Have you ever gone to a doctor or nutritionist and learned you are ‘low’ on a certain vitamin or mineral?

❒ Ever had an official blood test that has revealed you are deficient in vitamin D, B12, or iron, for example?

There are numerous ways to find out what we are lacking in our diet from doing your own research to seeking the help of a medical professional. Plus there are numerous signs and symptoms that may point the way. See: Poor Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat Digestion Symptoms below. While it’s useful to learn that certain symptoms connect to certain food groups, or that you have a deficiency, just knowing that is not the solution.

And here’s the reason why:

Just because you take a Vitamin D supplement doesn’t automatically mean the body is digesting the nutrients in the supplement. So just because we eat something doesn’t guarantee our bodies can process and digest the nutrients.

Screenshot 2016-12-12 16.12.42

Most of us do not eat a whole plate of carbohydrates, protein and fat only. We tend to eat from plates of food that combine these three major food groups. Thus, it is essential to be able to digest foods from each of these categories for nourishment. When we become intolerant to any one or more of these food groups, we may develop symptoms such as those above.

It might be helpful to think of nutrition as a 6-step process:

Screenshot 2016-12-12 16.12.08

These 6 steps are the processes by which the body grows, metabolizes, energizes and repairs itself. Each step is dependent upon the step before it. Not a single step can be missed for our bodies to be able to enjoy good health and prevent disease.

Why Step 2- Digestion - is the Most Important Step in the Process

The most essential step in this ‘nutrition tower’ is step 2, digestion, (besides eating of course)!  None of the other steps – absorption, transport, assimilation or excretion - happen if your body it not able to first digest what it ingests.

Nutrients in the digestive tract are ONLY accessible to the body via the digestion step. If your body cannot break down the nutrients through your digestive tract and move them into your bloodstream, then you’re not receiving the full cellular nourishment that the food could provide. Thus, no amount of supplements or high quality healthy food matters if you are not digesting your intake.

For most folks with digestive issues, the trouble begins with Step 2.

Screenshot 2016-12-12 16.21.00

And what’s the traditional nutritional treatment for a deficiency? - Supplement the deficiency. But what if the body can’t extract the nutrients? Supplementing the deficiency doesn’t get to the cause of the problem. That’s only answers that there is a deficiency. What’s lacking is an understanding about why certain nutrients are not being broken down enough to enter your bloodstream.

Let’s take Vitamin D, for example. Many people show a deficiency in Vitamin D based on a blood test. Their doctors often prescribe large doses of Vitamin D yet the patients may still be deficient on follow-up tests. Why? Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it has to be dissolved in fat in order to be absorbed. If your body cannot digest fats, guess what? No amount of Vitamin D is going to solve the problem because your body is not absorbing fat properly. You have to fix the fat digestion problem first for a Vitamin D supplement to work.

Another example - Iron deficiency/anemia. Iron is transported by protein molecules in the blood. If you are unable to digest your protein efficiently, then blood tests will continue to reveal iron deficiencies. So until your body’s ability to digest protein is improved, you will continue to be anemic or low in iron.

Screenshot 2016-12-12 16.21.54

Picture the 6 steps of digestion as building blocks: 1 - Ingestion, 2 - Digestion, 3 - Absorption, 4 - Transportation, 5 - Assimilation, 6 - Excretion. Each block is essential to support the next function in the nutritional process. The whole process tumbles however when step 2 - Digestion does not take place properly. Without proper digestion, all of the other steps become compromised, creating deficiencies, malnourishment and illness. 

Many people have mineral deficiencies from eating carbohydrates they cannot digest properly. This can result in bone loss, achy joints, headaches and fatigue. Again, improving the body’s ability to digest carbohydrates will address the deficiency, which in turn addresses the condition.

In each of these examples, the cause of the deficiency is not to continue to give the body a nutrient it can’t digest and absorb but to figure out what your body is or is not digesting. Remember nutrients have to be bio-available to the body, which can only happen if the body can digest the nutrients from the protein, fats and carbohydrates that you eat.

That’s work we do at the Digestion Relief Center that differs. Our approach looks at a deficiency as a function of digestion not as a function of a missing nutrient in the bloodstream.

If you have tried to make supplement and food changes and your digestive system is still not working right, the good news is we have helped thousands of patients figure it out since 1999. Our approach identifies what foods you are not digesting properly, what areas you may be deficient in, and what organs are not functioning well to enhance the digestive system’s ability to digest your food. We also identify food sensitivities and desensitize your body to those foods so that you can eat your favorite foods again without reaction.

To find out how you can get relief from stomach and bowel problems, call our Chico office at 530-899-8741 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patrick.

Since 1999, Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC has helped Chico and Sacramento Valley residents by using a whole-body systems approach to health. He specializes in providing natural relief for food and environmental sensitivities, intolerances and digestive problems. For more information contact Dr. Patrick at 530-899-8741 or visit

 Related Links

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Iron Deficiency

Are you digesting everything you eat?

© 2017. Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, IHS. All Rights Reserved

Digestion Relief Center 

2639 Forest Avenue, Suite 120 Chico, CA 95928


Color Stomach Logo-red