Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our guts were so healthy and perfect that we never needed to worry about what we ate?
That’s not the world we live in folks, and I find that many people come to a paleo diet out of concern for their health and because of some issues, often of the gastrointestinal nature.
Probiotics are awesome and work wonders for many people (this is the one I recommend) but they can’t do it all.
If you’ve had chronic issues with diarrhea or constipation, you may not be absorbing or digesting all the nutrients from your food.
I know many people who have tried elimination diets and can’t figure out what it is they are intolerant to. I also know many people who just can’t do that, but don’t want to battle terrible gas, bloating, and other distresses all the time.
For these people, i think a good digestive enzyme supplement is helpful. Healing the gut takes time and is a multi-pronged approach.
If you’ve had a “weak stomach” for as long as you can remember, chances are you’ve flushed out quite a few of those important enzymes that help you digest food. Lactase is a big one that gets flushed and it’s what helps us digest dairy.
Diarrhea can build on itself. It can start from a food trigger like dairy and get worse and worse if the body can’t make enough enzymes to accommodate these foods.
Low stomach acid also makes it hard on the body, especially when it comes to digesting protein and fat. A good enzyme supplement can help here, but it is important to get real help from a qualified practitioner if you do have low stomach acid, and also to encorporate HCL (like this) into your diet as well.
The proper digestion and absorption of nutrients is no casual issue. Nutritionists often say that you aren’t what you eat, you are what you absorb. That’s an important distinction.
A number of gastrointestinal concerns – damaged gut lining, poor microbiome health, chronic diarrhea for myriad reasons, can all contribute to the flushing of vitally important enzymes that help us break down these foods for absorption. Without them, food can increasingly irritate the gut lining causing more flushing.