The Common Causes of Poor Digestion, Explained
Nearly two-thirds of adults are living with gastrointestinal problems. Living with poor digestion and an unhealthy gut can be an annoying nuisance at best and cause painful flare-ups and long-term health issues at worst.
But what are some of the most common causes for an unhealthy digestive system? Is it hereditary? How can you go about improving your digestion so that you no longer experience any negative or painful side effects?
If you are looking for the answers to these digestive questions, keep on reading.
We have created a complete guide on all the common causes of poor digestion, as well the tips, tricks, and secrets to success for improving your long-term digestive health.
What are the Common Causes of Poor Digestion?
There are multiple causes of poor digestion. If you suffer from an unhealthy gut, then there may even be more than one reason for it. It is not a one size fits all issue.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the most common reasons and causes of poor digestion.
Having Poor Chewing Habits
Poor digestion can start even before you start eating your favorite foods. Believe it or not, a common cause of poor gut health is improper chewing habits.
Chewing food too fast can prompt you to swallow your food without breaking it down into small enough pieces for your stomach to digest effectively.
These partially digested food particles can start to rot within your stomach and digestive tract. This can lead to a whole host of problems.
Poor chewing habits can also mean that you swallow too much air while you chew. This can cause uncomfortable gas building up in your stomach or cause bloating.
Changing the way you chew, whether it is chewing more slowly or chewing more thoroughly, can help stop poor digestion in its tracks.
Digestive enzymes located in the pancreas help to break down the proteins and carbohydrates that are in your food. This is a necessary part of the digestive process.
However, sometimes the digestive enzymes do not work like they are supposed to. For example, the production of these digestive enzyme production can be delayed because of hereditary reasons.
If you have decreased levels of these digestive enzymes, the food particles are not able to be broken down effectively. The food particles can then sit in your stomach and intestines and ferment, which can result in gas.
Too Much Bacterial Growth
Bacteria is a good thing for your digestive system. However, not all bacteria can be beneficial for your system.
Disturbances in the levels of good bacteria in your stomach can lead to an overgrowth of the bad bacteria. This growth of bad bacteria can then travel down to your small intestine. This is called small intestine bacteria overgrowth (SIBO).
Too much bad bacteria in your stomach can also cause food particles in your digestive system to rot, ferment, or become host to parasites that are hidden in the foods you eat.
Experiencing Gut Inflammation and a Leaky Gut
Much of the food available in grocery stores and fast-food chains contain a variety of additives. These food additives can sometimes be toxic. They are not effectively absorbed and broken down by your digestive system.
This overabundance can result in a condition called leaky gut. Leaky gut is the inflammation of your gut and stomach lining, which causes a whole host of digestive issues. The inflammation means that beneficial proteins are not being absorbed effectively.
These proteins “leak” out of your digestive system and can cause upset stomachs, gas, bloating, or more serious symptoms.
Having Low Levels of Hydrochloric Acid
Stomach acid is an essential part of the digestive process. If you have low levels of stomach acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, then you can have significant digestive issues.
Stomach acid is what kills off the bad types of bacteria that live in your stomach based on the food you eat.
It can be a challenge for some people to balance both the good and the bad bacteria that live in their digestive tract. Changes in foods and a constant diet of processed foods can cause a change in your stomach acids.
A Lack of Bile
Bile is made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile salts play an important role in the digestive process by breaking down the fat particles in your food and eliminate other waste products in your body.
If your liver is not producing enough bile salts or your gallbladder has difficulty storing the bile salts, fat and other waste won’t be broken down effectively.
They will fester in your digestive tract and cause many problems with your gut.
Having a Poor Diet
Your diet and the foods you eat play such a huge role in determining your overall gut health.
Sometimes, all it takes to throw your digestive system into chaos is simply not getting enough fiber. Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for proper digestion, but only 5 percent of adults meet the daily recommended intake for fiber.
By cutting out fatty, fried, and processed foods from your daily diet and incorporating more fibrous foods and probiotics, you can help improve your overall digestive health.
Some Types of Common Medications
Certain types of medications have been known to cause digestive issues. Antibiotics are one of the notorious culprits. Taking antibiotics can drastically change the levels of bacteria in your stomach, large intestine, and small intestine.
As mentioned previously, any sort of changes in the bacteria in your gut can start to cause poor digestion.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, are another common cause of stomach issues and digestive problems. NSAIDs can irritate and cause inflammation to the lining of your stomach.
Severe reactions can occur as a result of an irritated or inflamed stomach lining. Some of these reactions include getting stomach ulcers or experiencing bleeding in your stomach.
Common types of NSAIDs that many people take regularly include aspirin and ibuprofen. You should consult with a doctor if you believe that taking these common medications is harming your digestive system.
There are plenty of other options you have besides taking these NSAIDs.
The Effects of Having a Poor Digestive System
Having a poor digestive system can result in several symptoms, ranging from uncomfortable to severe to even deadly.
Any of the common causes listed above can lead to chronic stomach pain, diarrhea, foul-smelling gas, burping, constipation, and bloating.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease that many people suffer from, however, it is mostly women who suffer from it. This syndrome is directly linked to poor digestion and poor digestive health. It limits the amount of food you feel comfortable eating.
A poor digestive system can also create symptoms that do not appear initially to have anything to do with your digestive tract. This can cause confusion when trying to correct the issue.
One of these symptoms that can stem from digestion issues is severe heartburn. Over 60 million adults suffer from heartburn at least once a month.
Sluggishness, headaches, and general feelings of fatigue can all be signs that you have poor gut health.
The Different Ways to Improve Your Digestive System
Luckily for you, having an unhealthy gut and poor digestion does not need to be permanent. There are a variety of ways that you can improve your digestive system.
You should always start with trying to fix external conditions. These external conditions are causes like bad chewing habits and a poor diet.
You should attempt to chew more thoroughly and slowly. This will allow the food particles to be broken down into smaller pieces and be more easily broken down by the acids in your stomach.
Improving your diet can also be a great way to improve your digestive system. Cut out foods high in fat, salt, and sugar, as well as foods that are overly processed. Add in more foods that are high in fiber.
And lastly, taking supplements can help improve your digestive system significantly.
How Supplements Can Help to Improve Your Digestive System
Natural supplements and vitamins can be a fantastic way to improve your digestive system. Things like supplements, vitamins, and nootropics can help assist you in obtaining the recommended amounts of essential nutrients and minerals.
Here are just a few examples of different types of supplements that are available on the market.
Probiotics are a popular supplement, simply because it makes it so easy to ensure you are getting an ample amount of this good bacteria your digestive system needs.
Probiotics are great for your digestive health because they can help lower or get rid of the bad bacteria that are living in your gut and small intestine.
Fiber supplements are another good choice for those looking to increase the amount of fiber in their diets. If you do not like foods that are high in fiber, incorporating a fiber supplement into your routine could be the solution for you.
How to Choose the Best Supplements for Your Unique Needs
Now that you know how supplements can help boost your digestive system and improve overall digestion, how do you go about choosing the best supplement to fit your needs?
You will need to target the right factor that is causing your poor digestion. If chewing too fast was the reason you were experiencing poor digestion, a supplement might not be the best option for you.
However, if you are experiencing poor digestion, not because of poor chewing habits, poor dietary choices, or medications, then a supplement might be in your best interest.
You may be lacking in the digestive enzymes that your pancreas produces. Or you may be in serious need of probiotics or fiber.
Always be sure to consult with your healthcare professional or physician before taking any supplements. They can help direct you on what types of supplements would work best for your unique needs.
They can also help narrow down the exact causes of your poor digestion which can, in turn, tell you which supplement can benefit you the most.
Where to Order Your Supplements Online
Due to COVID-19, more and more people are doing their shopping online. Shopping for supplements are no exception. Buying supplements can seem difficult if this is your first time trying it out.
However, buying vitamins and supplements online can be easy if you know the right things to look out for.
When you are looking to order your digestive supplements online, you need to only shop from reputable sellers.
Be wary of any company that feels off, or seems illegitimate. You should be sure to check out customer reviews and testimonials to read about prior interactions with the company.
How to Get Started On Improving Your Digestion Today
A healthy gut is critical in your overall health. A healthy gut can mean better sleep, increased energy throughout the day, less inflammation, and fewer sensitivities to food. All of this leads to a better quality of life.
Poor digestion is caused by a range of things, but you have the power to improve it through the foods you eat, your lifestyle, and the supplements you take.
If you are ready to take action with improving your overall gut health and explore which supplements can be right for you, contact us today.
Here at Supplementor, we have a variety of gut-healthy supplements and probiotics that can help to improve your gut health. Reach out to us today to get more information on which supplement is the right choice for you.