We eat food, but our bodies require nutrients. In order to transform a pickle or a potato into the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, sugars and other components that the body understands and can use, our digestive system must break down food and convert it into nutrients.
This process starts in the mouth and continues in the stomach, but the most active stage of the process happens from digestive enzymes that are produced in the pancreas and small intestine. Most people have digestive systems that do a great job converting food to nutrients. But sometimes, a bit of help is needed.
Even if we’re eating high quality foods, if our digestive systems don’t break them down sufficiently, we aren’t benefitting from the nutrition that packed into the foods. What kinds of things prevent our digestive systems from working at full capacity?
The most serious issues impacting digestion are pancreatic disease, Celiac or Crohn’s. But chronic stress can impair digestive capacity, as can food allergies, aging, low-grade digestive inflammation or low stomach acid. Short of hiring an alternative practitioner to test your stool, there are some simpler ways to determine whether you might benefit from taking over-the-counter digestive enzymes.
Do you have gas and/or feel bloated after eating?
Do you have a feeling that food sits in your stomach?
Do you see undigested food in your stool?
Is there an oily residue in the toilet bowl after you move your bowels? If so, you might not be properly breaking down the fat in your food.
If you decide to try digestive enzymes, make sure to look for a high quality brand that includes proteases (to break down proteins), lipases (to break down fats), and carbohydrases (to break down carbohydrates). Look for product labels that reassure you that the pills contain contains nothing extra, like no sugar, salt, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives.
Take 1-2 capsules at mealtimes, just before eating, or within 30 minutes of finishing the meal. That should give you relief from your gas, bloating and other digestive woes.
As helpful as they can be, you don’t want to stay on digestive enzymes long term, so it’s important to get to the bottom of whatever issues are compromising your natural digestive abilities. Of course, the healthy diet that goes along with the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon will also help your body heal from many common digestive ailments.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.