If you feel like skipping breakfast, it can be a sign that your digestive system is out of balance.
Specifically, we see a lot of people who struggle with breakfasts who have low stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes.
This isn’t an ideal situation to be in as it can cause knock on effects with energy, mood, skin and other areas of health.
Why does the pattern develop?
We quite often see this pattern in people who eat a large dinner without chewing it properly, and often too close to bedtime.
The combination of eating late, eating too fast and not chewing properly places a lot of strain on the gut.
If you already have low stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes (which is common), you’re not going to digest your food overnight.
In the morning, you’re still digesting so you don’t feel hungry.
You might also get heartburn, bloating and excess gas, and sometimes diarrhea or constipation can even develop.
Longer term problems
Over time, low stomach acid and poor digestive function can lead to nutrient deficiencies, ranging from iron, zinc, vitamin B12, B6 and folate, to vitamin D.
These nutrients perform hundreds of functions in your body, and low levels are associated with many symptoms and even some serious diseases.
Zinc, in particular, is needed for the production of stomach acid. Zinc deficiency – which I had – can cause decreased stomach acid levels.
There’s a vicious cycle here because zinc won’t be properly absorbed into your body if your stomach acid is low. Yet you need zinc to make stomach acid!
So if your stomach acid level is low, and you’re zinc deficient, you have a vicious cycle.
You have to get your zinc levels up in order to make stomach acid, which then enables you to absorb nutrients properly again.
As you do this, and especially if you eat earlier in the evening and chew your food properly – you will find your appetite returns and a whole bunch of symptoms will improve or go away.
Stress, H. pylori, eating on the go, not chewing properly and nutrient deficiencies (especially zinc) can lead to low stomach acid.
So the first thing to do is to optimize your habits, step by step:
Some additional considerations
If you really want to cut to the chase, there are some heavy hitting lab tests you can do.
Consider doing a home stool test to find out what’s going on in your gut. While there is an up front cost, it saves time, money in the long run.
The test tells you about your pancreatic enzyme levels, as well as which bad bugs you have.
Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis
In regard to your nutrient status, a great starting point is to have your blood tests run through a functional blood chemistry analyzer.
This will show you where key nutrient imbalances lie, including all the nutrients mentioned above.
It will find problems in your blood test that standard medical interpretation will gloss over, including clues about your liver function, kidneys, mineral levels, and vitamins such as B6, B12, folate and iron.
Several markers in a blood test can give indications about your stomach acid level, including chloride, total protein and phosphorus.
Getting some help
If you’re struggling to eat breakfast and have other symptoms, try the simple strategies listed here, but please be aware that your unique situation is different from everyone else’s and you may need some customisation to get truly optimal results.
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 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.