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Ask Our Wellness Educators

"Dear Wellness Team,
I've been having increasing difficulty with bloating and gas, even though I've cleaned up my diet. It contains virtually no grains, maybe I eat them once every 2 weeks and my diet does not include refined sugar or dairy. I've been trying to cut as much "bad stuff" out of my diet as possible with little results. Do you have any suggestions? It is so uncomfortable and embarrassing!
Deborah L."

Dear Deborah,
Gas and bloating are very common symptoms and the list of possible causes is very long. The first and most likely problem to explore may simply be a deficiency in the necessary enzymes that effectively digest our food. It's very common for the body to be low in enzymes.

As we age, our body can naturally slow down enzyme production, but lifestyle factors can also contribute to the deficiency. Despite the fact that you are eating as healthily as possible to help counteract this problem, the truth is that healthy foods aren't necessarily easier to digest. In fact, nutritious foods like raw vegetables contain fiber which requires enzymes to be broken down.

The good news is that the solution is simple for the majority of cases of gas and bloating; most often, all that is required is to take enzyme supplements right before eating. The trick is finding the enzyme supplement that work best for you.

There are different enzymes specific to digesting different foods. The basics you need to familiarize yourself with are as follows: amylase breaks down starches, protease breaks down proteins, lipase breaks down fats, lactase breaks down dairy, and cellulase breaks down fiber.

A good place to start would be to try a balanced enzyme formula for all foods, particularly if you can't pinpoint one particular thing that is difficult to digest. By paying attention to your symptoms, you may discover that the problem is worse with a particular category of food. For example, if you find that you are having more symptoms when eating fats, you can look for a formula with extra lipase that is specific to fat digestion.

Another issue to consider is whether you want to take vegetable only-based enzymes or if animal-sourced enzymes are acceptable. Both are effective, but the animal-sourced pancreatin is considered a more potent digestive aid. Below are some formulas you might want to try. Best of luck!

Yours in Good Health,
Dr. Jen Morganti
Naturopathic Doctor (ND) & NEEDS Education Director

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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