Burning, bloating, belching, burping, and bumps. That’s what we are going to talk about today. Last week, I talked about deficiencies to do with your mouth and feet and in this episode we are going to talk about your belly and about the bumps that you can feel on backs of your arms, sometimes your legs and abdomen or bottom. Because, believe it or not there are nutrient deficiencies associated with them all.
For anyone whose first experience is this episode right here, right now, please let me introduce you to Chris, my genius technical producer who often stops me in my tracks to ask questions that he, and therefore most likely you, need clarity on. So when he jumps on and you hear his voice, you’ll know who it is. Yes, I’m in my closet studio and Chris is in his bathroom studio and we manage – well HE manages – to create what graces your ears every week with all the incredible bells and whistles.
Well, let’s do some internal housekeeping, and today on EAT THIS with Lianne, let’s get into those uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms in your belly and on your skin.
Let’s start with the second step of digestion that happens in your stomach. The first step is being in your mouth with saliva and your teeth. I find myself regularly reminding my clients that your stomach doesn’t have teeth. Think about it. If you just stopped and really chewed your food until it’s puree, what could the rest of the digestive journey look like? Ok moving on, let’s look at your stomach, where the food goes once you’ve mashed, torn and pulverized it with your teeth. When all is not well, you can experience acid reflux or heartburn that can keep you up at night or sleeping on a mound of pillows. That acidy, hot and burning sensation can be linked to hiatal hernia, pregnancy, overweight and obesity and of course smoking. But other causes can be eating too close to bedtime or ingesting high-fat foods, caffeine, alcohol – often red wine, carbonated or bubbly drinks and even chocolate. Did I just list last night’s dinner? I feel for you.
Your stomach has a bunch of liquid in it called stomach acid or more specifically hydrochloric acid or HCL. It’s extremely important, as it’s needed for the proper digestion of the proteins we eat. When foods are not digested properly, it can lead to a whole range of unwanted symptoms such as reflux or heartburn, but also bloating, cramping and gas.
Proper digestion and stomach acid is needed for the efficient absorption of important nutrients like iron, calcium, and B12. Without good levels of these, a host of health issues can emerge like anemia, tiredness, weak bones and even heart disease.
Also, this stomach acid is a defence against potentially harmful microorganisms that cause infection and bacteria like salmonella, listeria, E. coli that cause food poisoning, so without enough you’re more at risk of getting sick. If there isn’t enough of this acid to break down your recent mouthfuls, it can also cause partially digested food to stay in the stomach longer than it should. While you might think that it’ll help you to stay fuller for longer, it actually can cause food to ferment and produce gases, resulting in an array of symptoms of, yep you guessed it, bloating and gassiness.
Just above your stomach, the tube that your food travels down to get there is called your oesophagus. While most people think that heartburn and the burning sensation is from too much acid, actually it’s more common that you don’t have enough.
The specific vitamin B6 and the mineral zinc are needed to make stomach acid, so deficiencies of one, or both can be at the root of all this. And of course if you don’t have enough stomach acid to digest your zinc rich oysters or asparagus, or your B vitamin rich brown rice, then it’s a vicious circle where you’re not digesting enough to get the vitamins and minerals that you need to make the stomach acid in the first place.
There are a few home tests that you can do to see if you are suffering with too much stomach acid, or not enough. I’ll add in a side note here that too much acid is most common if you have an infection called Helicobactor Pylori that is responsible for stomach ulcers. Of course, speak with your doctor about this for a diagnosis so you know from a medical perspective what’s going on.
My most interesting home test is to see if you pee pink after eating beets. The two must correlate because if your urine is discoloured any other time, talk to your doctor. Beets have that intense red and pink colour and if you don’t have enough stomach acid to break it down, you can pee pink. It’s an indicator that you need an enzyme that includes hydrochloric acid or HCL. Another is if you drink a glass of dilute vinegar – some say apple cider and others say standard white vinegar when you feel the heartburn. Adding acid seems counterintuitive I know, and you’re likely thinking that I’ve totally lost it, but if you feel better after your vinegar drink, it could be a sign that you need more acid and your antacids that you chug down aren’t actually helping. People taking Zantac and other prescription meds could totally change things up if they can first deal with the deficiencies. Here is the protocol that I recommend that includes a digestive enzyme, a B Complex, Alka C that includes zinc and of course, my Bio Boost probiotic, because your gut needs it.
Ok let’s move onto belching or burping. Have you ever thought of burps as mouth farts? If not, you’re welcome.
The most commonly talked about issue here is that you’re swallowing extra air as you eat or drink. If you inhale your meal or drink too fast, talk while you eat, chew gum or suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke, air gets into your stomach that needs to come back out. And it’s usually via your mouth. There are associations with peptic ulcers, celiac disease, food intolerance to gluten, dairy, and even chocolate, but as with acid reflux and stomach acid that I just talked about, if your last meal sits in your stomach fermenting rather than being digested, it’s going to create gas or air and need a way out. Wherever I eat wheat, I’m likely to burp. My kids look at me and are appalled at their mother, but every time it happens because I have eaten wheat in some form. Now I take an enzyme to help me digest it so it’s not so bad and I don’t get those looks from my kids anymore. If you’re burping after eating a fatty food, your lipase or fat digesting enzymes pumped out from your gallbladder isn’t cutting it. So again it comes back to not enough nutrients to make bile or HCL for digestion. Vitamins and minerals are essential for the foundation of digestion, so a similar protocol to what I recommended above for heartburn works here too; Alka C, Vitamin B Coenzyme Complex Liposome, Bio Boost and the enzyme Hypo Zymase all available on SproutRight.com.
Gas and Bloating
Bloating and gassiness go hand in hand because that gas or air that’s in your distended, pregnant feeling belly needs to come out. Oh and it will at some time–like when you’re in an elevator with someone you don’t know, as you’re standing in line for a coffee (even while distanced), when you’ve just met up with a friend or are travelling in a car with people who you’d rather not have to ask to roll down the windows as just a little bubble of gas that you’ve trying so hard to hold onto, slips out and smells like something died in your belly. It’s embarrassing yes, but for me it’s concerning. Not that your toots and farts will smell like roses, but the smellier that gas is, the more it tells me that you have undigested food, bacteria, parasites, fungus or some other unwanted microorganism in there, and it’s not good. I’ll say here that there are medical issues around these symptoms and what I’m talking about here is what I see with my clients, and how I deal with it outside of a situation needing medical attention.
Gas is produced as undigested food sits in your stomach or makes its way into your intestines. Then the gut bacteria or microbiome of good and bad bacteria work away at it, with any bad guys proliferating as they go – as in making more yeast or fungus. Here the deficiency can happen further up when you’re not digesting your meal, as I’ve said in burping and heartburn, but here the deficiency is having enough good bacteria too. Suggesting probiotics is my number one recommendation for anyone with bloating or gassiness. And 99% of the time it helps. I’m working with someone right now who has experienced some improvement but not a drastic leap into no bloat or gas. All she did was take a probiotic. No extra nutrients, nothing like Olive Leaf Extract or Black Walnut to deal with the potentially bad microbes, or an enzyme to help digest, but she feels a bit better without eating raw food, taking a probiotic and watching her sugar and alcohol intake but not eliminate it all together. What you eat, how much your chew your food, how fast you eat and drink all play a part here. Food sensitivities, eating too much sugar and refined foods that are lacking in fibre must be addressed. And while we might think that eating all that raw salad, carrots with hummus that’s made of chickpeas and is a legume, is the super-diet of champions, it can be too hard to digest if you don’t have the enzymes to break it all down into those absorbable nutrient and fibre that then ends up carrying waste out of your body. The gassiness with eating raw food, in my experience is due to too much fungus or candida that typically happens after taking antibiotics–no matter when it was in your life, and that’s even if your mom took a lot because it can pass from her to you during childbirth.
There is so much that I could share with you here, and for whatever reason a huge focus in my practice since I graduated in 1999, has been gut focused. But today, I want to give you some key takeaways so you can start to feel better with these symptoms that are trying to tell you something isn’t right.
Chicken Skin or Keratosis pilaris
Lastly, let’s talk about that rash of bumpy skin that can show up on the back of your arms, maybe your thighs and sometimes on your lower back and bum. It’s called Keratosis pilaris, or chicken skin and kind of looks like permanent goosebumps. Most articles say that you can’t do anything about it, but I’ve seen it improve along with some changes in diet and adding in what’s deficient. In my experience, this is a sign of EFA or B vitamin deficiency. EFA’s are the essential fats that we need to get from our diet and why I say eat nuts, seeds, fish, add oil like flax or hemp to your smoothie. Even adding in hemp and chia seeds to your blender or sprinkling on your morning cereal or smoothie bowl help too. By incorporating chia seeds, broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables into a salad or dinner plate or having chia pudding for breakfast, can enhance your natural ability to absorb these vital nutrients. Food sensitivities can add to the issue, so think about eggs, gluten and dairy. And when was the last time you had tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines or trout anyway? They’re the richest in EFAs. If you paused to think there, you must get my book, Sprout Right Family Food, and make the Maple Salmon, or Pesto Trout or the Salmon Burgers that you can sub tuna for and really increase the good fats that your body so desperately needs. Taking a fish oil, or vegetarian version is also an option. My Take This Omega Boost has helped my clients with their skin and also improved their mood, memory and concentration at the same time.
Alright, how is all that sitting with you. More signs of deficiency that you may or may not have known about and hopefully now you can take your own health into your hands, make some changes and FEEL BETTER. Isn’t that what we all want? To feel good, not cringe as you feel your skin, or hide as your belly feels like it’s been attacked with a bicycle pump. The enzymes that break down our food, and even the key nutrients like B vitamins and zinc that are needed to make them must be in our diet or we aren’t going to magically make them. In fact we will be deficient. Easing these uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms makes life better, even if it’s just a bit. And let’s face it, we all need that, now and always!
This is an episode that you can share with others, who you live with or not but you’ve experienced a bit too much of their gas wafting up your nose. Pass it on!
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