No, mastication. I’ve touched on this before but I believe we need regular reminders.
Or maybe that’s just me? I am a fan of chewing. I don’t profess to be good at it (I am a wolfer of food tbh) but I see the enormous therapeutic benefits it has to offer. Seriously. Think I’m taking the mickey? Here are some tasty brain bytes for you!
Ancient Mayans – Chicle
Ancient Greeks – Mastic Gum
Native Americans -Sugar pine and Spruce sap
Then there’s of course the Coca Leaves (South Americans) Betel Nut (Asians) etc
But putting aside those that come with a buzzy bonus🙄 …the tradition of chewing non-digestible substances between meals according to anthropologists and archaeological evidence dates back to the neolithic period. Nowadays, of course, we barely break from constant feasting…but perhaps when we do, we should maintain the mastication? There’s a lot to be said in favour of this. From brain benefits to dental deterrents against plaque but of course the main gain for many – is the potential for better digestion. For GORD it’s the oldest trick in the book, right? The increased saliva generated by the process neutralises any untoward excess acidity in both the oesphagus and also the pharynx. So naturally, not one to forget in Barrett’s oesophagus either and of course my beloved Silent reflux. While also producing greater amounts of salivary amylase to assist with CHO digestion and lingual lipase to kick off the first fat digesting process within the stomach. But could it help beyond this? Well, though the jury is out on this increasing the rate of actual gastric emptying (though still worth a crack in Gilbert’s Guts), it’s well regarded as being able to stimulate small and large bowel motility more generally. Some SIBO soothing in certain scenarios, perhaps? So much so, it has been recommended post almost all types of surgery (GIT, gyne, renal etc) to ‘get things going again’.
And while this doesn’t have the highest quality evidence to support efficacy…encouraging people to trial chewing a natural gum – no pretend sugars, no plastics & no PK for my patients (Sorry dad! ), is a recommendation that is accessible to just about everyone, easy to try and gives people a quick yes/no.
Yes I come from a long line of chewers. My dad chewed gum between meals and during them, he popped that piece behind his ear to ‘save for later’. I swore there and then, as an offended on-looker that I would never be so disgusting. Well… I’ve finally turned into him and I think he might have been onto something 😉 [except the behind the ear bit…ewwwwwwwwwwww]
Is Silent Reflux Still Sneaking Under Your Radar?
Chronic dry coughs, rhinitis, postnasal drip, the sensation of ‘a lump in their throat’ or even asthma? Have you ruled out silent reflux aka laryngopharyngeal reflux? This UU30 helps you to better recognise the myriad presentations of this condition, understand the latest about why it occurs and is on the increase & finally outlines my top & somewhat unusual interventions for management of these presentations that have proved highly successful in my own clients. Up-skill on this sinister ‘silent’ one, here!~