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Excessive Gas During Quarantine? Why It May Be Time to Balance Your Gut

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Flatulence!   Not everyone is comfortable talking about it, but guess what?  Everyone does it.  In fact, according to the Gastrointestinal Society, humans fart seven to 20 times per day.1 Flatulence is perfectly normal and has even been quantified: the average person passes about 400-1500 milliliters (roughly three quarters to two and a half pints) of gas daily. 2

Intestinal gas can come from atmosphere gases that are swallowed through activities like chewing gum, smoking, using a straw, or even sucking on pens (side note, if you are sucking on pens, you may want to switch up your daily routine while home). Although nitrogen and oxygen contribute, most intestinal gas comes from fermentation of food by bacteria present in the gut. Too much intestinal gas could be a signal something else is happening. Let’s get into some of the basics of what you can do to balance your gut.

Why do I have gas?

Getting enough protein in your diet is important, but too much might be leading to improper digestion. Protein powers digestion, nutrient distribution, cellular communication, and your body’s immunity to disease.

High protein foods like eggs, fish, meat, nuts, seeds, beans, and dairy products have concreted sources of essential amino acids – the essential building blocks of your body. Properly digested protein helps build your muscles, organs, bones, skin, and hair; enzymes, neurotransmitters, DNA, and RNA in every cell are made of protein.

When protein is not fully digested, a buildup of bad bacteria can suppress your immune system, be destructive to your gastrointestinal tract, cause bloat and excess flatulence, cause dehydration, loss of vitamins and minerals, decreased energy, poor sleep, and diminished wellbeing.

Is having gas bad?

A surplus of gas could be indicating improper digestion, or troubles in your inner ecosystem. It might also be an early indicator to issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, leaky gut syndrome, food allergies, increased headaches, chronic fatigue, heartburn/GERD, ulcers, gastritis, gallstones, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and elevated levels of ammonium.

You must have a strong inner ecosystem to receive the benefits of protein. A healthy inner ecosystem includes microorganisms like bacteria and yeast that reside in your intestines. Helping to convert toxic byproducts from protein into useful amino acids. Amino acids are derived from protein. If too much protein exists, it ends up giving disease-causing bacteria the building blocks it needs to thrive.

It’s important now more than ever to fix digestive issues so your body can focus on providing optimal immunity. 

Are gas problems genetic?

According to researchers, 15 to 20 percent of the Western world has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  They also found that people with a subset of IBS have a specific genetic defect, a mutation of the SCN5A gene.3

This is just another reason why I’m urging everyone I know to get their genes tested (after things calm down here in the States a bit of course).  Genetic testing can be such an eye opener for people, and a wonderful way to prevent something from occurring.  

Principles to Eliminate Excess Intestinal Gas

1- Moderate your protein intake through a properly combined 80/20 diet 

In some of the more recent popular diets, low carbohydrates are often replaced by high protein. When the body needs to raise levels of blood sugar, it turns to the liver. The liver converts amino acids in protein through the gluconeogenesis process. Excessive protein may be turned into sugar to feed systemic infections in the body, increasing the chances of autoimmune diseases.

The Principle of 80/20 has two concepts that aid your digestion:

Quantity – Overeating severely weakens your digestive system. Give your stomach room to digest your food by only filling your stomach to 80% of capacity and leaving 20% empty to help your body digest.

Balance of Nutrients – 80% of every meal should be land and ocean vegetables. The other 20% should be either a protein OR a grain.

2 – Increase stomach acid to aid digestion.

Most people have inadequate (or nonexistent) hydrochloric acid (HCI) – stomach acid and other digestive enzymes. Enzymes rely on stomach acid to turn them on. Without stomach acid, enzymes remain dormant and inactive.

Animal protein is naturally acidic and creates more acidity when indigested. Creating an even greater loss of minerals and other nutrients. Naturally increase your stomach acid by drinking things like lemon water, apple cider vinegar (1 tbs)  mixed with water (8 oz) , or herbal teas like Pique tea.  

Gas and bloating that show up several hours later even indicate that you’re lacking enzymes in the small intestine.  You can remedy that by taking digestive enzymes

Of course, all the toxins that accumulate in the gut over a lifetime always produce gas and bloating. That’s why we at Body Ecology frequently recommend colon cleansing or colon therapy for the removal of the toxins that could be affecting your gut health and digestion. 

3 – Replenish good bacteria.

Adding beneficial bacteria and increasing enzymatic power in the gut assist the small and large intestines. One of the best ways to do this is to include fermented foods in your diet.  

We always suggest probiotic foods—such as coconut water kefir, cultured veggies, or InnergyBiotic—over a probiotic supplement. Research shows that the beneficial microbes in fermented foods are far more likely to survive the harsh environment of the intestinal tract when delivered with their fermented substrate, such as dairy, cruciferous vegetables, or coconut water.4

Supplementing with spirulina is a great option too since it contains an impressive profile of amino acids,  providing digestive enzymes. Spirulina is known to help fight intestinal infections, fight off viruses, and promote digestion. 

Body Ecology’s Super Spirulina Plus combines fermented spirulina, quinoa, millet, biodynamic rice, soybeans, chickpeas, flax seeds, and alfalfa seeds in an easy to digest, nutrient-dense formula. Greens that taste like chocolate, it’s rare to find a spirulina like Super Spirulina Plus that is fermented and has a much higher concentration of spirulina compared to anything on the market.  The live, naturally occurring lactobacillus bacteria is also a powerhouse for the gut. 

In summary, just keep in mind that even though we may take gas lightly, it usually is your body’s way of telling you that something needs attention.  Starting with these initial principles may put you on a flatulence-free path. Your family will thank you for it too.  😉 

 

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Resources

  1. Everything You Need to Know About Intestinal Gas. (2017, March 17). Retrieved March 26, 2020, from https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/intestinal-gas/
  2. Martinez, V. (2019, December 30). The science of farting. Retrieved March 26, 2020, from https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2019/0624/1057251-the-science-of-farting/
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2014, March 20). Genetic clue to irritable bowel syndrome found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 10, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320173158.htm
  4. Faye, T., Tamburello, A., Vegarud, G. E., & Skeie, S. (2012). Survival of lactic acid bacteria from fermented milks in an in vitro digestion model exploiting sequential incubation in human gastric and duodenum juice. Journal of dairy science, 95(2), 558-566. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22281320
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