When a horse is unable to assimilate the nutrients from food, there are a number of ways the resulting deficiencies become evident. Horses with Malabsorption Syndrome rarely display all of the signs and symptoms listed below, but a profile of several of these may point to this dysfunction. One horse may appear obese due to generalized edema (water swelling) whereas another horse may be profoundly undernourished to the point of “wasting away”. The degree to which a horse may have “water swelling”, malnutrition, muscle wasting, anemia [by severity and type], or immune deficiency, will vary from horse to horse.
Indicative Signs & Symptoms:
- Heavy, bloated "hay belly”
- Edema (water swelling) of the legs, chest, rump – more pronounced in hot and/or humid weather
- Weight loss, chronic muscle “wasting”
- Loose stools
- Dull, depressed appearance
- Fatigue, lack of desire to move
- Intermittent abdominal pain
- Generalized skin issues
- History of EMS, Cushing's Syndrome, IR, or Laminitis
Nourish Digestion Solution is formulated to take care of the root issue which is to restore the digestive system’s ability to assimilate food into essential nutrients and return healthy intestinal absorption. Because Nourish Digestion treats the Malabsorption Syndrome, and not the symptoms, your horse’s weight will regulate naturally.
Herbal groups are included to assist with associated problems such as edema, and loose stools while your horse’s digestive function is returning to health. As this Solution was formulated to nourish the digestive system and steadily assist in the recovery of organic function, results will take time to become evident.
- Restores digestive system’s ability to assimilate food
- Nourishes healthy digestion
- Stops loose stools/diarrhea caused by poor digestion
- Ends edema caused by poor digestion
- Restores muscle tone
- Naturally regulates horse’s weight through improved digestion
The hematology, immune, and electrolyte aspects of the Malabsorption Syndrome can only be assessed through a precise analysis and interpretation of a complete and thorough blood work profile of your horse.
Some years ago, I noticed a pattern emerging in horse’s blood work; specifically dealing with a problem in protein metabolism. In the Horse Health Questionnaires submitted on these horses, their guardians reported that their horses couldn’t gain weight no matter what or how much they fed their horse. Some were so severe that the horses were emaciated, in extreme cases to the point of muscle wasting; and some were ribby, had loose stools or watery diarrhea. Other horses had what guardians were calling “potbellied” as they had lower abdominal bloating, edema (water swelling) of the chest, lower abdomen, and/or lower legs. As I immersed myself in these horses’ blood chemistry reports each of these seemingly different paradigms had a similar breakdown in protein metabolism.
As is my nature, I considered this problem from both the Chinese and Western medical perspectives and found both informative in comprehending the issue. Here is a brief description of both conceptual understandings:
Chinese Medical Theory places this digestive problem within spleen functioning, specifically as deficiency of Spleen Yang/Qi which represents a continuum of severity; i.e. qi deficiency being the early phase continuing to severe with yang deficiency. The spleen phase is akin to the earth in that it organizes and nurtures sustenance. As such the spleen governs the transformation of food into what the body can use e.g. nutrients, vitamins, minerals and the transportation of these essential substances to where the body needs them. When this digestive process becomes deficient, the stools become less formed and there is a progression of loose stools to diarrhea. At this point the horse can not absorb the nutrients in food and becomes emaciated. Another manifestation of spleen yang/qi deficiency is edema [water swelling]. In the metaphorical language of the Five Phase Ten Stem Theory the water phase overruns the earth phase, much like flooding. When this occurs the horse is bloated with excess water.
Within Western equine pathophysiology, this problem, called Malabsorption Syndrome, is a "breakdown" in the digestive system’s ability to assimilate food into essential nutrients. This digestive condition involves the small intestine and related organs; primarily the spleen/pancreas system, liver, and biliary tract. The effects of this “breakdown” include the “unhealthy” absorption of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, water and electrolytes. As a result of this malabsorption, dysfunctional patterns are set in play in any or all of these systems; protein production and synthesis, bile and digestive enzyme secretion, the regulation of “body” water and sodium, the immune system, hemoglobin and the healthy size and shape of a red blood cell. Any and all of these results can be found in a comprehensive blood chemistry report.
In formulating Nourish Digestion Solution for malabsorption syndrome, I kept in mind both the Chinese medical perspective and the allopathic pathophysiologic understanding of this digestive disorder. I directed the herbal properties to the root issue which is to restore the digestive system’s ability to assimilate food into essential nutrients and return healthy intestinal absorption. Then I included herbal groups to assist directly with the associated problems such as edema, loose stools and anemia in order to relieve these conditions while your horse’s digestive function returns to health.
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