Healthy digestion means feeling good and indigestion means feeling bad. Do you understand what healthy digestion is and what it takes to have it?
I must admit to you that 30 years ago I did not have a clue about healthy digestion. I did not understand how the digestive tract works and how to keep it healthy.
Years ago when Larry, my husband was about 41 years old, he was installing heavy fireplace inserts alone. Shoving a 400 plus pound item into a fireplace while on your knees is not an easy task. During this time he started having severe trouble with indigestion.
He had what we then called heartburn and severe bloating. We had a lot to learn about digestion and how it was supposed to work.
He started trying to eat less and lighter but in order to not feel hungry, he was drinking more milk. Milk was something that had never bothered him. Eventually he realized the indigestion was worse after drinking milk. This led him to self-diagnose that he had a problem with milk and dairy products. At that time we had not even heard of being lactose intolerant. He stopped drinking milk altogether and cut back on other dairy consumption which did help somewhat with his discomfort but he still had heartburn and bloating.
Some of the more common symptoms of indigestion can include all or any of the following:
- Acid reflux
- Upset stomach
Millions of dollars are spent on antacids and acid blocking/inhibitor drugs to treat the symptoms of indigestion. Indigestion can be more than just being uncomfortable. It can be a symptom of more serious health issues with one of the more serious being cancer.
Before you reach for Tums or Prilesec, stop and think.
The purpose of antacids and acid blocking/inhibitor drugs is just what they say – they block, neutralize or inhibit the natural production of stomach acid. When the natural stomach acid is blocked it does temporarily decrease the discomfort of indigestion but it also slows or almost stops the normal digestive process. When food is not digested properly most of the nutrients are lost or very poorly absorbed.
Here is a brief list of possible side-effects from long term use of antacids or acid blocking/inhibitor drugs:
- Risk of poor bone health and fractures – low or the lack of stomach acid decreases absorption of important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamin B.
- Aggravated rebound effect of acid production when use is discontinued – makes the original problem worse in the long term.
- Higher risk of infections such as pneumonia or “C. Diff” is present especially in those with a compromised immune system.
- Due to lowered acid production there is an increased risk of food-borne bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, botulism or even developing ulcers.
- Large pieces of food are broken into smaller pieces and mixed with salvia when you chew your food.
- Your salvia contains enzymes that begin to break the food down even more. Did your mother ever tell you to chew your food more thoroughly?
- Once your food is in the stomach hydrochloric acid and acid-stable enzymes open up the food particles for further digestion.
- Your food is then converted into a semi-fluid paste of partially digested nutrients called chyme.
- Once the chyme is in the intestinal tract more enzymes break your food down so the nutrients will be absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.
- Those nutrients are then distributed and utilized for energy and cellular support.
- What is not absorbed through the intestinal wall is eliminated through the colon.
When digestion is inhibited at any stage your body cannot extract the full nutritional value.
Your body’s ability to produce the proper acids and enzymes necessary for digestion often slows down as you age. Other causes of slowed digestion can be from drinking too much hot coffee/tea or iced drinks especially those with carbonation. Overeating puts a burden on the digestion process as well as not eating enough raw, unprocessed foods. Food storage and over cooking also lower the natural enzymes in food making them more difficult to digest.
Some common misunderstandings about digestion are:
- TOO MUCH ACID
Many people believe that indigestion is caused from too much stomach acid. They reach for an antacid or acid blocking/inhibitor drug for relief of the burning or uncomfortable feelings often associated with stomach distress. Not enough acid is a much more common cause of indigestion. Food that is only partially digested sits in the stomach too long and putrefies as it slows in its movement through the digestive tract. This putrefaction can cause many of the above mentioned indigestion symptoms.
Enzymes are the key to life. Often lack of proper enzymes either ingested or produced by the body cause symptoms that are considered a specific food allergy or intolerance.
Every food naturally has enzymes if they have not been killed during storage, processing or cooking. When your digestive tract is functioning at optimal level your body is able to produce the enzymes needed to break down different types of food such as dairy, fats, carbohydrates and protein.
At times you may overindulge in the wrong kinds of foods. Or you may eat too fast. Too much food may overburden the supply of digestive enzymes needed to break down your food.
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Not enough of the digestive enzyme lactase may cause lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance can cause abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.
This is where we were – we had no health insurance and did not feel we could afford to go to the doctor and have a bunch of expensive tests. While at the 1984 County Fair Larry was attracted to a booth that sold food supplements. They had some supplements they said would help him with his indigestion. He told me about the products but I did not believe in vitamins or supplements and did not believe we could afford to buy anything so I refused to check it out.
Thanks to my stubbornness, Larry suffered with his indigestion for another whole year. By then I was really concerned about his health so I suggested we go to the County Fair to see if those people were there again. They were and this time I was willing to talk to them about their supplements.
They told me about NeoLife’s Betagest and Enzyme Digestive Aids. These supplements seemed to be exactly like what Larry needed. We signed in as a Distributor just so we could buy at the distributor discount of 25%.
What a difference those 2 products made in Larry’s life! In a matter of about a week he noticed a tremendous difference in his digestive issues. No more heartburn or bloated feelings. He could even eat small amounts of dairy without much discomfort. His life was changed.
Several years later we did find out he had developed a hiatal hernia from lifting those heavy fireplace inserts. Hiatal hernia’s can allow acid to back up into the esophagus which can cause indigestion problems.
Safe and gentle, NeoLife’s Beta-Zyme addresses the most common problems of digestion.
- Based in nature and backed by Science
- Safely addresses the causes of digestive troubles, not just the symptoms
- Stomach targeted hydrochloric acid for relief of uncomfortable and painful indigestion
- Controlled release 100% plant-sourced, acid stable enzymes
- Assists in lactose digestion for the lactose intolerant
- Non-habit forming
- Works within pH of the intestinal tract to enhance digestion and improve nutrient absorption
- Broad spectrum formula supplies all three enzyme types – proteases, amylases and lipases that support the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
- NeoLife’s Beta-Zyme Digestive Aid attacks the cause of digestive discomfort, not just the symptoms.
Click here to place you order right now to have relief from your uncomfortable digestive problems without having to resort to harmful antacids or acid blocking/inhibiting drugs. Don’t wait a whole year like I made Larry do.
Watch for an upcoming article explaining more about enzymes, probiotics and other digestive issues.
Things I’ve learned and want to share with you.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post! Please take a quick moment to leave your comments and/or questions below in the comment section.
Pat has been married to the same man for 52 years, is the mother of 3 adult children, and grandma to 8 grandchildren. Growing up in the country gave her a head start to living a healthy lifestyle. This grandma became interested in nutrition as a mother and for the past 27 plus years she has specialized in teaching others the importance of good nutrition. Challenges along the road have been many; her father overcoming congestive heart failure with nutrition, her husband's battle with GERD and avoiding a major heart attack, her daughter's battle with a brain tumor, her grandson beating Hodgkin's Lymphoma, her mother's stage 4 lung cancer, her mom-n-law's dementia, and others. Her goal is to share with others the things she has learned and is still learning about having the BEST REAL HEALTH possible.
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Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
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