Here’s How a Home Water Filtration System Can Improve Gastrointestinal & Digestive Health
Hippocrates once proclaimed that “all disease begins in the gut.” Even so, few people associate the quality of their drinking water with gut health. The fact is that certain contaminants in potable water can cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues. Here are a few you need to be concerned with and a breakdown of how a water filtration system can improve your digestive health!
Digestive Health Issues from Chlorine
Often used as a disinfectant, chlorine can mix with organic compounds in the water to form trihalomethanes or THMs. THMs are known to produce free radicals, thereby increasing your risk of cancer. Researchers have now linked chlorine in drinking water to a decrease in digestive health as well as an increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
Chlorine has long been touted for its ability to kill harmful bacteria in drinking water. However, chlorine may also destroy helpful bacteria or prevent them from multiplying. This in turn can upset your gut balance, leading to a compromised immune system and a host of other health problems such as:
- Insulin resistance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Colon and rectal cancers
Too much copper in drinking water can lead to an increase in stomach cramps that might therefore make digestion difficult. Repeated exposure to copper can even lead to liver, kidney, or other organ damage.
Infants and young children may feel the effects of copper sooner than others. That’s because the body’s mechanism for regulating copper has not yet fully developed. Accordingly, expectant mothers should also exercise caution as the effects on a pre-born infant have not fully been tested.
Recognizing the harmful effects of this mineral in drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first established guidelines for controlling copper levels back in 1991. As such, treatment facilities throughout the country now monitor copper levels in their potable water. The agency established an action level for water supplies in which more than ten percent of all samples have more than 1,300 ppb (parts per billion).
Be Wary of Fluoride
According to the Fluoride Action Network, high levels of fluoride can cause acute and long-term gastrointestinal issues. The group claims that when fluoride levels are reduced, the frequency and severity of GI problems subside as well.
Ingesting even small amounts of fluoride can result in damage to the gastric mucosa, or mucus membrane liner of the stomach. Higher doses can result in vomiting and might even warrant a call to a poison control hotline while low doses can disrupt basic digestive health.
Zinc is a Necessity…In Proper Amounts
Water containing high concentrations of zinc may have a medicinal, bitter taste. After drinking this water, your intestines may become irritated, leading to an increased risk of nausea or vomiting. You may also experience stomach cramps or diarrhea.
To be safe, your water should contain no more than 5 mg of zinc per liter. Avoid water that has a chalky appearance or seems to have a greasy film on top.
Total Dissolved Sulfates (TDS)
Total Dissolved Sulfates are organic and inorganic matter that has mostly dissolved in your drinking water. TDS can consist of compounds such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, bicarbonates, chlorides, iron, sulfate, lead, and sodium, among others. All sources of drinking water contain TDS in at least one form or another.
Most of these sulfates are harmful in smaller amounts, but unusually high concentrations can have an adverse effect on the intestines. For example, you could experience a laxative-like effect resulting in loose stools and frequent bowel movements. Extreme cases could even lead to nausea and dehydration.
Healthy Water Equals a Healthy Gut
To maintain the proper gut balance, it’s important to drink water with as few contaminants as possible. That’s where we come in, providing you with fresh, clean water that tastes every bit as good as it is. To find the right whole house water filtration system, please contact us!