Updated: Jun 22
If you have ruled out other serious GI conditions like diverticulitis, colitis,
Celiac's disease, & cancer, this article is for you
I have prepared this article in a way that still gives the
most possible answers while remaining brief.
If someone has perpetual stomach pain or needs constant probiotics or supplements to digest every time they eat, I would suspect at least one of 5 possibilities:
1) Gluten and Wheat
Quite simply, these irritate the gut lining and cause all kinds of autoimmune symptoms, even without the presence of an autoimmune disease. This is because gluten and wheat can cause leaky gut, where autoimmune symptoms ensue. More on that below. If these are cut out of the diet and there are STILL gut issues, refer to the options below.
2) Hypochlorohydria (deficient stomach acid)
This can lead leading to less digestive enzymes and less digestive power. Weak stomach acid hinders the absorption of calcium which can also lead to osteoporosis. It's important to note that stomach acid lessens the older one gets. A hidden root cause of low acid could also be from HPA Axis Dysfunction (long-term stress) because people don't digest in fight/flight mode. An outdated term for this is adrenal fatigue. Low stomach acid can also be from low zinc, which helps create stomach acid. Make sure to ask your practitioner to test your minerals in your next blood test. Please note that "low stomach acid" here means "deficiency," and not a lower pH, which is actually a good thing.
3) Gut Dysbiosis
This can be from a perpetual problem from: antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs, sugar in the diet, chemo, birth control pills, artificial sweeteners, antacids, low fiber, alcohol, stress, or infections. If one has a chronic disease where certain medications are repeatedly taken, this can hinder digestion. It is all of these that cause dysbiosis and poor gut health, and not the other way around. Oftentimes (but not always), there are natural alternatives to harsh pharmaceuticals. One of the greatest quotes in my opinion is,
"For every illness, there exists a plant which is the cure."
~ Rudolf Steiner
4) Leaky Gut
This can be very painful and can create a bunch of food allergies all at once because undigested food particles leaking out of the GI tract and into the blood stream. This can actually stem from a vitamin C deficiency, which controls collagen formation. This can be from not consuming the recommended 7-10 cups of veggies daily, or from just taking ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is only the outermost layer of the whole, naturally found vitamin C complex. Vitamin C actually consists of 4 components: P factors (bioflavonoids) which is the most important factor for leaky gut, J factors (protecting against pneumonia), copper, and vitamin K. The best solutions are natural solutions; high vitamin C foods and bone broths specifically formulated with a natural vitamin C complex. If your diet is not deficient in vitamin C, it could be that you have absorptive issues from underlying insulin resistance, which depletes vitamin C. If even this is not the root cause, smoking might be another possibility. For each cigarette, one depletes roughly 25 grams of vitamin C. There are many other causes of leaky gut.
Read the blog on Leaky Gut!! It's worth it.
5) Genetic Mutations
Certain genes regulate vitamin B and D. The MTHFR mutation regulates methylation of B vitamins, and VDR mutation regulates vitamin D. It turns out that B and D allow the healthy gut microbes to cultivate. Without them, we can remain in a constant uphill battle with indigestion and even insomnia. There can also be a mutation involving the colonization of a particular strand. This is the FUT2 mutation which impedes fucosyllactose AND is also linked to leaky gut.
Don’t underestimate the importance of any of these factors,
especially stress which decreases digestive power.
All this can be overlooked in a regular medical setting.
We can help you order tests from the comfort of your home
to check your gut biome, and rule out genetic mutations.
We also offer helpful therapies such as biofeedback for stress,
smoking cessation, sugar craving strategies,
dietary guidance, and more.