For years I’ve suffered from slow digestion, bloating, swelling, and the inability to absorb vitamins from my food. I’ve supplemented with everything from B12 shots, to iron, to high does of Branch Chain amino acids, zinc, vitamin D and probiotics. While all of these have helped I never really felt 100%. If you’ve read the chapter from my new book, you’ll know that I suffer from an immune disorder known as Hashimoto’s Disease. Even without this disorder, many people suffer from improper digestion, low stomach acid, constipation, and low energy. The misconception is that if you have indigestion you have high stomach acid but in many cases it’s the exact opposite. Many times indigestion comes from low stomach acid. On the flip side, body builders have been using digestive enzymes for decades as a way to help them reduce bloat and increase absorption. You can’t eat that amount of vegetables and not expect some sort of bloating! Adding digestive enzymes has literally changed my life in a matter of DAYS!
Who Might Need Digestive Enzymes?
- People with food sensitivities and food allergies and seasonal allergies
- People who suffer from low stomach acid
- Those who suffer from slow digestion
- Those with immune system issues
- People who don’t digest protein well
- Those who have slow recovery from workouts and daily chores
- Those with unexplained low energy levels
Why Acid IS a Good Thing
Many associate acid as a bad thing but it’s actually the opposite! The acidity in the stomach allows the body to break down protein, carbs and fat into components that our bodies need to build skin, muscle, blood and many more important chemical reactions in the body.
Signs of Low Stomach Acid ?
To be honest, I didn’t even consider this! After reading the symptoms, I realized that I fit the bill and I had for decades. Low stomach acid is one of the key components in slow digestion, constipation, and other common issues listed below. It’s been reported that 50% of people suffer from low stomach acid. This is due to things such as sugar consumption, over processed foods, alcohol, tobacco and other toxins.
Here are some of the common symptoms and disorders caused by low stomach acid1,3:
- Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
- Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
- Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
- Undigested food in stools
- Chronic candida
- Hair loss in women
- Multiple food allergies
- Iron deficiency
- Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
- Chronic fatigue
- Adrenal fatigue
- Dry skin
- Various autoimmune diseases
After taking digestive enzymes for close to a month now I have noticed some substantial changes in my body, my mood, my digestion and my weight. While I’ve always worked out, I was still plagued with bloating and a slow digestive system. With these enzymes I’ve been less and less bloated on a daily basis. My sleep seems to be more restful and I wake up with more energy.
As with all digestion, bowel movements are an important part of the process. In many books and health sites, it’s noted that you should be having at least 1-3 movements per day. If you aren’t, the waste in your intestines becomes toxic and has the ability to leak into your system through a process known as leaky gut. This can further irritate you immune system, your skin, your mood, and your overall health. This has also been known to inflame the body, and make allergies worse.
MUST READ – How to Take Digestive Enzymes
If you are considering adding digestive enzymes to boost your stomach acid and aid in digestion, there are a couple of fitness tips that you need to keep in mind. These instructions may seem extreme but the results are well worth it!
- ALWAYS TAKE IT WITH FOOD. Never take these on an empty stomach.
- Choose brands without soy, gluten, and dairy. These foods have been known to irritate the system.
- SANDWICH the pill. The bottle says to take with food or after a meal. However, personally I HAD to sandwich the pill in the middle of my meal. If I took it at the end, it would break down on top of my food and come up my throat.
- Don’t take right before bed. You run the risk of it still coming up your throat as you sleep. Try to take it 1 – 2hours before bed time.
- Start with a low dose and increase slowly over time. I started with one pill per meal. After 2 – 3 weeks I moved up to two pills per meal. Listen to your body. If you feel two is too much then back off and drop back down to one.
Will I need to take these for the rest of my life?
I think it depends upon how low your stomach acid is. I know mine is horribly low so I plan on taking two pills for the next couple of months, then scaling down to one per meal. I think after that I will focus on taking them with meals that are high in protein and scale down on the others. Over time, the body will produce more and more of it’s own stomach acid so this process shouldn’t always be for life.
What YOU Can Expect
- Less Gas
- Less Bloating
- Better and more frequent bowel movements
- Clearer skin
- More energy – due to better vitamin and mineral absorption
- Some *weight loss (the average person could lose up to 2 – 5 pounds depending upon the person – results may vary).
- Better recovery for activity (due to better protein absorption)
- A stronger immune system
- Better Moods due to more natural detoxing and faster elimination of waste.
My favorite brand of Digestive enzymes thus far is the Doctors Brand, which is HCL with Pepsin and Bitters. I have tried a couple others but this one seems to be the best blend.
Doctor’s Best Betaine HCI Pepsin and Gentian Bitters
Out of all the supplements I take, this one is a must have, especially with meals that contain high amounts of protein. My food allergies and sensitivities have also decreased, which is HUGE. I have less days where my stomach hurts and less and less days where I feel bloated and tired. If you have questions about this supplement, feel free to reach out! Ask away in the comments section below!
- Stomach Acid Imbalance: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Natural Treatments and Medicine
- Adrenocortical function in experimental protein. PubMed 1979. malnutrition.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=109732&dopt=AbstractPlus
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