Welcome to the podcast Fibromyalgia Real Solutions with Amanda Love. You are listening to episode 11 where I talk about digestion.  

By the way,  you can listen to this podcast wherever you are in the world and at any time that you wish. I always include show notes for those with “ brain fog” so you don’t have to take notes.

   I do believe that there is a lot of information both good and bad out there about fibromyalgia. As an educator who specializes in this area, I think it is my job to point out to you that beneficial information can be organized in a fashion that will reduce the symptoms of this malady. 

    My name is Amanda Elise Love and  I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 9 years ago which influenced my decision to enter the field of nutrition and now I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who works with those who are suffering from fibromyalgia. 

Click here to listen to the episode – http://bit.ly/2L349AO

I know this subject may not interest or excite you but we need to discuss it because the workings of the GI tract play a major role in your health. This is especially true when it comes to autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia. So let’s get going …. 

The process of digestion is an extremely complex process so let’s start the discussion with some simple basics. First, there are two types of digestion. These are mechanical and chemical. Mechanical digestion begins with the physical action of the mouth when you begin to chew your food which breaks it down into smaller pieces. This is followed by the action of the esophagus which is called ( peristalsis) which moves the food into the stomach. 

   The chemical process of digestion begins when you start to chew during which time three pairs of salivary glands activate producing water, mucus, and enzymes. Amylase is the first enzyme to be released which breaks down carbohydrates into sugar.  An enzyme is a substance produced by the body that acts as a catalyst for sparking a specific biochemical reaction. 

   As the food enters the stomach, muscles begin to grind the food around like a meat grinder to reduce the size of the food particles. As the stomach expands it sends a message to the brain telling it that  (HCL) (hydroChloric acid ) needs to be released by the parietal glands which are in the stomach. The HCL is released in order to lower the ph level and to kill off any harmful bacteria or pathogens that are there. 

    As the ph levels go down cells in the stomach trigger the release of a combo of enzymes that produce pepsin.  This is a digestive enzyme that attaches to unfolded proteins. Proteins are made up of hundreds of linked amino acids and when broken down, we can use these to build muscle and tissue. Cool, huh?

   The stomach also produces an alkaline mucus that’s filled with sodium bicarbonate to buffer the low acid in the stomach and prevent the stomach from digesting its own muscle lining! Thank goodness! 

    As we move into the next phase, the stomach slows down, the pH rises back up, and pepsin becomes ineffective. 

Entering the next phase, the food – now mostly liquid – is released by peristalsis into the first chamber of the small intestine, the duodenum, through the pyloric sphincter at the other end of the stomach. Here in the duodenum, we begin the third phase of the digestive process: The intestinal phase. 

The job of the duodenum is to first neutralize the acid with more bicarbonate from the pancreas. When the pH is higher and the small intestine expands with food, the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder know they can start to deliver their own set of digestive enzymes. These enzymes that like a higher pH continue the digestion of carbs, fats, and protein.

 Here are the three main digestive enzymes and their functions. 

Amylase – which breaks down carbs to sugars 

Protease – which breaks down proteins to amino acids 

And, lipase which breaks down fat into fatty acids and glycerol.

  These enzymes are mostly released by the pancreas but some come from the walls of the small intestine. The pancreas,  in releasing these enzymes, is helped by the liver and the gallbladder. The liver produces a green colored enzyme called bile which breaks down fats. The bile is stored in the gallbladder unital it is needed to be released into the small intestine where it assists in breaking down fat. 

    When the digested food reaches the large intestine there is a whole community of bacteria that transform our leftovers into vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Pretty astonishing!

Click here to listen to the episode – http://bit.ly/2L349AO

    Up to this point, we have had a lot of technical information and there is one thing that is important to remember.  That is, THAT THE MAJORITY OF DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION HAPPENS IN THE SMALL INTESTINE.   

 To recap, the process of digestion breaks down food into fuel or tiny particles that are water-soluble and can be absorbed, mostly in the small intestine. 

Our body needs to break down fat, proteins, and carbs into sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids. 

At the end of this process, we’re left with nutrients that our cells can absorb and use to fulfill our highest potential! While the topic of digestion may seem dry and boring it is the beginning of understanding the connection between gut health and autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, “thyroid disease ’’, and fibromyalgia to start. 

   Therefore, to improve our gut health we are going to talk a little about fiber helps lower blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels it helps prevent colon cancer, constipation, obesity, and many other disorders. It is also good for removing toxic material from the body here is a recommendation for foods that support a healthy GI Tract and in particular a healthy colon. 

Whole grain Brown rice,

 Whole grain Cereals and flours 

All kinds of bran 

Fresh Fruit


If you feel that you are not getting enough fiber you may use supplements. These supplements should contain two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Women need 25 grams to 30 grams of fiber a day. Men need 38 grams of fiber a day. Fiber content is on food labels.

   If you have an acute episode of diarrhea do not take any extra fiber as it may irritate the GI Tract further. 

Click here to listen to the episode – http://bit.ly/2L349AO

Hang in there friends because we are going to investigate this further to see where it is going. I love sharing these episodes with you and I have been SO excited about all the listeners and feedback you’re sending me. Subscribe (which is free on Itunes),https://apple.co/2TgYURysharehttp://bit.ly/2L349AO and get all of the people you know who need this support to listen! Did ANYONE thing resonate with you today? If so leave it in the comments – that helps us create even more amazing shows for you! See you next week and thanks for being here. Like, share, and comment. If you want to learn more about my services you go to my website www.amandaeliselove.com. To schedule a free 20-minute call to discuss your health issues and my services.https://amandaeliselove.com/schedule/  Looking forward to talking with you soon for the  12th full episode where I am going to talk about food allergies and food intolerances.  


  1. Marcos Girod on January 26, 2020 at 2:08 PM

    You are so interesting! I don’t suppose I’ve read a single thing like this before. So nice to find another person with some unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    • Amanda Love on January 31, 2020 at 5:14 AM

      thank you

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