Digestive enzymes are one of those game changers in digestive health. Eating a meal and feeling that stomach pressure, indigestion, upset stomach, and being overly full when you haven't even eaten that much is the WORST!!!
It can be hard to really nail down what foods are causing the discomfort and day to day some foods may sit completely different with you. A lack of stomach acid, proper enzymes, and even bile can make it very hard to break food down.
Before we go over how helpful digestive enzymes can be, let's talk about the 6 main reasons you may need digestive enzymes added to your regimen:
You don't have a gallbladder OR have bile production issues. Contrary to what most doctors will tell you, your gallbladderproduces bile which is huge in the digestive process. You need bile to break down fats into fatty acids in the body. Without proper bile flow, your can easily bloat and have many digestive discomforts including diarrhea and extreme bloating. When you have your gallbladder removed and don't replace the body with proper bile, you become unable to digest and absorb cholesterol and fats in the body that are key in nutrients, minerals, and many other benefits for hormones and many functions in the body. Not only will you feel uncomfortable, but this can lead to other deficiencies with the lack of fat absorption.
Stress. Everyone is stressed these days yes, but chronic and uncontrolled stress will stimulate the adrenals to pump out cortisol and lower your stomach acid production. Low stomach acid makes it easy for bacteria to pass through the stomach where it's typically killed off by the stomach acid before it passes into the body. Low stomach acid means less ability to break down protein and nutrients, but also can lead to an overgrowth in the gut of harmful bacteria leading to a whole slew of other issues!
You have a leaky gut. Chronic and long term overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in the gut will start to add more chronic stress in the body and lower stomach acid, but it will also cause your intestines to rip tiny little holes in your digestive system causing food to "leak" into the body. We start to become sensitive to foods and have an inflammatory response to them. Digestive enzymes assist the body in the digestion process making it easier to break down foods in the gut.
Low Salt Diets. Low salt diets have been popular for years. We have been tricked into believing that salt causes all kinds of issues in our heart and bodies when in fact it is the OPPOSITE. Salt helps with our stress levels by assisting in aldosterone and adrenal function. Under stress, we need MORE salt and electrolytes, not less. In a culture where we are taught to have less salt, we have more stress than ever and this can lead to even more stress and imbalances. But salt directly impacts stomach acid production which is key in digestion. Lowering your salt too low will increase stress, hormone production, and lower stomach acid which is key in our digestion process!
Thyroid conditions. Thyroid hormone is converted in the liver. When we aren't converting thyroid hormone correctly, our liver function may be low and most likely stomach acid. Stomach acid is highly correlated with thyroid hormone and stress as well. An under active thyroid will directly impact the adrenals and stress response as our bodies will produce more cortisol to compensate for the lack of thyroid hormone. With all of the above points, you can see how vicious of a cycle this all is in our hormone production and our digestion!
You are on PPI'S. Low stomach is so overly diagnosed with HIGH stomach acid. Having acid reflux can and typically is a symptom of LOW stomach acid in the stomach. A doctor will prescribe medication without even knowing. This leads to virtually ZERO stomach acid in the body. Your are still bloated after meals and probably have a slew of even more issues with low absorption.
Not only does the discomfort of being bloated suck!!!! BUT low bile flow and stomach acid will cause issues with absorption which will cause so many other deficiencies in the body leading to elevated health markers and more hormone imbalances.
What do I recommend?
My absolute FAVORITE product is linked here. It's one of the best combinations I've found to work in overall digestion. The best mix and ratios in stomach acid, bile, enzymes, and herbs that cleanse the liver. Although dose dependent, you can adjust based on the amount of protein, fat, and food you are eating at a meal to assist you. I know because I've used it myself as well as hundreds of clients AND tested it in their labs! If you are looking for more personal recommendations, see below!
In my practice, I assess clients and customers all the time where you see all of these things going hand in hand. If you aren't sure what you have going on in your system I work with many clients 1 on 1 as well as consulting to look at your full report and recommend protocols that are needed. You can contact me here for more info!
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