Bad digestion seems to be a huge problem these days. Burping, flatulence, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux can all point to problems of the GI tract. A big cause for these annoying little problems is the nutrition-less food that is genetically modified, filled with synthetic chemicals, doused in pesticides, and covered in sugar and MSG to trick people into coming back for more.
These diets are causing inflammation in our GI tracts that are in turn contributing to maldigestion and leaky gut in many people. Unfortunately, digestion is one of the main ways that we get our energy. If our digestion isn’t working properly and we aren’t getting the proper nutrients in the body, then it will start to slowly break down and result in disease.
There are 2 major aspects that need to work correctly in order for people to be able to absorb their nutrients. The body needs a correct level of HCL and a correct level of bile to be released at the right time.
1. Stomach Acid
The first one is stomach acid. You must have the right amount of HCL in the stomach in order for digestion to happen properly. The key reason for HCL to be present is to activate certain enzymes in order to fully be able to break down your proteins. The other main reason is so that most bugs are killed by the high acid content in the stomach. Of course you will still have some super bugs that survive that high acid environment, but for the most part, most of those buggers get killed.
Bloating and Burping: Low Stomach Acid
Does your food just sit there after you eat, making you feel super uncomfortable?
Well, if you have low stomach acid in your stomach, your proteins will not be able to be broken down and you will not be able to absorb the amino acids. When you are protein deficient, your body will now have to get it’s protein from your muscles. Does that sound like a good idea? Also, if the stomach acid is low, your bugs will survive. And, while hanging out in the stomach, they will start to cause lots of gas in there. If they are really active buggers, these gasses can even start to head up the esophagus and cause acid reflux for some unlucky individuals. Don’t try HCL if you have ulcers, gastritis, or are on NSAIDs or cortisone.
2. Bile Drop
The 2nd important part that has to take place is the bile drop in the small intestines. Picture this: Your stomach, which is made for acid, drops a gooey mixture of very acidic food and gastric juices into the small intestines, which is NOT made for acid. The body, as amazing as it is, is designed to handle this. It drops a bolus of bile onto this acid concoction. Bile is very alkaline and has several purposes including fat digestion as well as making the contents from the stomach more alkaline for the rest of the digestive tract to be able to handle.
Gas and Diarrhea: Impaired Bile Flow
Are you stinking everyone out and constantly have to be near a toilet just in case?
If the bile doesn’t drop properly, we now have a mixture that is way too acidic for the body to handle. The body responds in part by flooding the colon with water and getting that hot stuff out as soon as it can. This isn’t very fun if you are the one this happens to, especially if there isn’t a restroom nearby! A person who doesn’t have a proper bile drop will also find themselves to be very gassy on a fairly consistent basis, have lighter colored stools, and may get a little nauseated a few hours after eating. If you aren’t having a good bile drop, you will not be absorbing a lot of your nutrition and your body will be suffering from it.
How To Fix Your Digestion
What we need to do is address the above aspects in order to correct your digestive issues. Once you correct the digestive process, your body will finally be able to absorb the nutrition you are putting into it and utilize this for energy. You should also find that your energy increases, your mood improves, and you feel better than you have in years.
Some supplements to increase stomach acid are betaine HCL and apple cider vinegar to help the stomach acid levels along with digestive enzymes. And, beets and bitters are used to help the bile flow properly. For specifics on how to use the supplements for your individual body type, please see a Naturopath or other alternative healthcare practitioner for guidance.
If you have had your gallbladder taken out, you almost certainly have digestive issues related to bile. Once the gallbladder is gone, you will no longer be able to drop a bolus of bile; you will only be able to have a little trickle coming from the liver at any given time. You need to do something to replace the bile at the proper time with either ox bile or bile salts.