Understanding the Symptoms of Digestive Distress
Digestive complaints are something that many of us experience from time to time. But when these symptoms become regular, they can signal a more serious issue. Check off the following symptoms of digestive distress to evaluate the health of your gut and understand what may be happening in your body.
How do Gut Problems Start?
Long-term antibiotic therapy can start the process of digestive distress, as can the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are sold for pain and inflammation of many conditions, including arthritis. Other prescription drugs can injure the gut lining.
Food allergies that are ignored can also promote serious gut imbalance. Processed foods, eating on the run, and excessive stress make you more likely to develop digestive problems. North Americans buy more laxatives and antacids than any other population because we have terrible digestive health.
Poor digestion is a vicious cycle as some of the causes of leaky gut and malabsorption syndrome, such as allergies and Candida overgrowth, are also the result of a leaky gut.
What Causes These Symptoms to Occur?
Check any of the following statements that are applicable to you.
Improper eating habits, such as rushing to eat and not chewing your food completely before swallowing.
Insufficient friendly bacteria in the digestive system due to an excess of bad bacteria in the gut from poor food choices (sugar)
Insufficient water intake, resulting in hard stools
A diet of low-fiber, highly refined foods
High sugar consumption
Low stomach acid and insufficient digestive enzymes
Sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise
Emotional upsets and stress
Bacterial infections like H. pylori
Yeast overgrowth caused by Candida Albicans
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use
Frequent air travel across time zones
Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Repeated use of antacids, laxatives, or enemas
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
The leaky gut syndrome is something that can occur after years of food allergies, bacterial overgrowth, Candida overgrowth, and stress. These factors cause inflammation in the digestive tract which can eventually damage the delicate tissues and create openings or “leaks” between cells.
This can allow harmful bacteria to get through into your bloodstream which triggers an immune response, leading to further inflammation and discomfort. Typical signs of leaky gut include bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, fatigue, skin problems such as acne and rashes, brain fog, or poor memory recall.
What are IBS & Other Intestinal Disorders?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition that affects the large intestine. It is characterized by abdominal pain, discomfort, diarrhea, and constipation. IBS has been linked to an imbalance in healthy bacteria in the gut microbiome so probiotics may help if you are struggling with this symptom. Other intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease may also present similar symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea, or constipation.
What is Gastrointestinal Dysfunction?
Another symptom of digestive distress is gastrointestinal dysfunction (GI). People with GI problems often experience bloating, gas cramps, or abdominal pain after eating certain foods or combinations of foods as well as indigestion - where food is not digested properly due to incomplete breakdown in stomach acid or enzymes that help break down food during digestion.
If you have an issue with your GI system it could be due to an underlying medical condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis which requires diagnosis by a healthcare professional.
Another symptom associated with digestive distress is infectious diseases such as salmonella and E-Coli which are caused by consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, and diarrhea but can also lead to more serious illnesses such as meningitis if left untreated for too long.
Since these infections are caused by bacteria it's essential to seek medical advice immediately if you suspect you may have been exposed so that appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed before any permanent damage occurs.
What are Constipation and Weight Gain?
Constipation is a common problem compounded by both leaky gut syndrome and Candida albicans overgrowth. Poor bowel habits (you do not set aside time each day for proper bowel movements) or a diet low in fiber can promote constipation. Excess toxins inflame the intestinal lining when your bowel is full of feces.
These toxins interfere with digestion and elimination and promote water weight gain. Constipation puts stress on your liver, which must continue to detoxify the contents left sitting in the bowels for too long and this causes weight gain. If you are packing around 10 lb. (4.5 kg) of waste material that should have been eliminated, your abdomen will become distended, and you will feel heavy and lethargic- and just think of the toxins in that waste!
The Link Between Food Allergies and Water Gain
Food allergies alone can cause the body to retain as much as four percent of its body weight in water. This water retention is called edema. The leaky gut allows toxins into areas of your body where they normally would not be.
These toxins then overload your body's organs, especially the liver, which is the key organ in maintaining the proper balance of the hormones that manage your weight. Breaches and inflammation in the intestinal wall also make the absorption of nutrients very difficult. The inability to absorb nutrients is called malabsorption, which causes deficiencies, which in turn causes further stress on your gut.
What Should You do to Prevent Digestive Discomfort and Healthy Transit Time
How long food stays in your digestive tract >>>called transit time determines how quickly you lose weight.
Food should be in your stomach for two to four hours, in the small intestine for three to five hours, and in the colon for ten hours or more. The optimal transit time for food to get from your moul to evacuation is twenty-four to thirty hours. Most North Americans have more than forty-eight to ninety-six hours of transit time.
What You Should do to Improve Your Digestive Health and Constipation
The following recommendations will quickly remedy any constipation problems you are having:
• Take at least 250-500 mg of magnesium daily (at bedtime). Magnesium is a natural stool softener.
• Take digestive enzymes with each meal and snack. They help break down your food and ease elimination.
• Use a natural fiber supplement, preferably organic.
• Take 3000 mg fish oil or, if you are vegetarian, 3000 mg borage, flaxseed, echium, or evening primrose oil.
• Take a probiotic supplement to ensure adequate friendly bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are necessary for the movement of waste through the digestive tract.
• Use herbs, including buckthorn and cascara, to stimulate the contraction and evacuation of waste.
• Make time to go to the bathroom in the morning.
• Elevate your feet while you are on the toilet. The higher the better. You want to get close to the position of squatting.
• Walk thirty minutes every day, or do ten minutes of rebounding daily (the rebounder is a small, low trampoline).
• Use castor oil packs on your abdomen. Take six squares of flannel, wet them with castor oil, place them on your lower abdomen, and put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on top; then rest.
What are Digestive Enzymes and How they Can Help You Improve Your Healthy Gut?
Digestive Enzymes are catalysts that accelerate certain tasks and make things work faster. Thousands of enzymes and enzymatic reactions keep you alive. Enzymes are involved in blood clotting, immune function, repair of damaged tissues, removing toxins, controlling excessive inflammation, and more.
The enzymes work constantly in the body. like an orchestra playing a symphony with perfect mastery. And enzymes are essential to breaking down your food. You have three basic food materials proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. You need three groups of enzymes.
• Protease enzymes break down proteins.
• Lipase enzymes break down fats and lipids.
• Amylase enzymes break down carbohydrates.
The fresh fruits and vegetables you eat provide enzymes that help you digest your food. Bromelain, the most common enzyme sold in the health food store, is found in naturally ripened pineapples.
Asian cultures have eaten enzymatically alive foods for generations. Tamari and soy sauce are some of the oldest enzymatically alive foods. Worcestershire sauce is an English example. Choose foods rich in natural enzymes: lactic acid-fermented sauerkraut, yogurt, fresh vegetables, and miso soup.
Find a digestive enzyme supplement that includes a combination of the enzymes mentioned above in capsule form, and take capsules with each meal to aid digestion. Some people may just need a small amount of hydrochloric acid to aid digestion. Betaine hydrochloride is also available in capsules.
Start with one capsule until adequate digestion is obtained. You will know when you have achieved this goal when you no longer experience gas, bloating, indigestion, and constipation. If you get a feeling of heat in your stomach when you take betaine hydrochloride, you are taking too much. Cut back.
Look for a multivitamin and mineral supplement that is formulated for optimal absorption to ensure the adequate breakdown of nutrients. Gas and bloating will be reduced and bowel movements will improve quickly when you use digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid.
As you can see there are several symptoms associated with digestive distress that range from mild discomfort to serious illness depending on the underlying cause. It's important for everyone to pay attention to their bodies and recognize when something isn't right so that proper treatment can be sought out before things get out of hand.
By keeping an eye out for these symptoms you may be able to identify potential issues early on while they're still relatively easy to fix saving yourself unnecessary stress and hassle down the line!