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Do you get belching and gas after eating?

You shouldn’t really have belching or gas after a meal and if you do, it’s a strong indicator of digestive problems.

But don’t worry, you can take simple steps to improve things, as I describe below.

Belching and gas typically indicate that you have low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) or pancreatic insufficiency (low pancreatic enzyme levels), or that you have bacterial overgrowth in your gut (SIBO).

The sooner you belch or feel bloated after eating, the more likely it is to be low stomach acid causing the problem, and the longer the symptoms take to kick in, the more likely it is that your pancreas or gallbladder are struggling.

A lack of stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes leads to food not being digested properly.

When this happens, bacteria and fungi in your intestine can ferment the food (especially carbohydrates), which creates gas, bloating and belching.

Some possible reasons for low stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes include:

  • Stress
  • Antacid medications (a BIG problem)
  • Excess sugar and processed foods
  • Overeating
  • Constant snacking between meals
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Nutrient deficiencies – notably zinc, B1 and B6
  • H. pylori infections
  • Zinc deficiency in particular is associated with low stomach acid, and it’s VERY common for us to find low zinc levels in client lab tests.

Consequences of poor digestion

The long-term consequences of low stomach acid and low pancreatic enzymes can be far reaching.

They will lead to a digestive environment that encourages the overgrowth of bad bugs like parasites, Candida and bacteria (especially SIBO).

Leaky gut syndrome may develop, which increases the risk of headaches, skin problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia and other problems.

Nutritional deficiencies can develop and lead to a number of common symptoms, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep problems and more.

Further investigation

You can do a few things to confirm what’s going on:

See a skilled manual therapist such as an osteopath and check the Ridler reflex and Chapman reflex – these are points in your chest/abdomen that become tender when you have low stomach acid.

Check your stomach acid level using the Gastro Test (this isn’t easy to do, and I recommend you perform it under the supervision of a practitioner).

Do a zinc tally test – it’s an inexpensive zinc liquid that you take a mouthful of; if it tastes metallic your zinc level is probably ok, but the less you can taste the liquid, the more deficient you are (we’ve found it quite accurate).

Other signs that you have low stomach acid include:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Brittle/cracking nails
  • Skin problems
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • IBS

Lab testing:

The following lab tests can give you confirmation:

  • Elevated urinary indican on an organic acids test (We run a lot of these tests and frequently see high indican levels)
  • Increased urinary sediment levels
  • Low iron, B12 and other nutrients
  • Stool testing for the pancreatic elastase I enzyme
  • Low zinc levels in your blood or hair

Simple steps to improve things:

  • Cut down on your sugar and grain intake
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Eat in a relaxed state and don’t rush around
  • Use a supplement called bitters or bitters compounds before a meal to stimulate acid production (I take bitters and find them very helpful)
  • Try betaine HCL supplements (under the supervision of a practitioner)
  • Use some digestive enzymes at the end of meals
  • Try some probiotics

Of course, the specific strategy that works best for you will depend on the reasons why you, as an individual, have developed symptoms in the first place.

Nonetheless, the above recommendations can be very helpful.

Would you like some help?

Realistically, it’s hard to know what’s going on until you get the right testing.

Your situation is different from everyone else’s and will require a unique solution that’s tailored to you.

We specialize in helping you navigate the minefield of misleading information that’s out there and hold your hand through the process of getting things right.

The best starting point is a case review and consultation where we spend a full 60min running through your health history, symptoms, family history and diet.

After that, we can recommend the right testing and make sure every ounce of energy you spend on improving your health is spent wisely.

You can learn more about the case review and consultation here.

Best,

Dave.

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