Poor Metabolic Health: Why am I so bloated and have acid reflux?
Acid Reflux and Bloating
Are you someone who regularly experiences acid reflux after a meal or having a drink?
Is your stomach bloating and the excess gas starting to impact your quality of life?
Does the discomfort after eating high fat foods, high fiber foods, dairy products or healthy foods cause embarrassment and stop you from eating what you want?
Have you been trying everything you can to reduce the feelings from acid reflux and stomach bloating with over the counter medications, removing food triggers and trying various supplements but can’t work out why you are not improving?
This is because you may be suffering from acid reflux and bloating is due to a pH imbalance in your gut flora created from the over counter medications you take and the type of food you eat.
In our busy lives, it can be very easy to attribute abdominal bloating, and slow bowel movement to a host of common factors such as; certain foods, carbonated drinks, consuming dairy products, drinking alcohol or when you swallow excess air when you eat too quickly.
And whilst it’s true that these things can hold an influence over how you can get the burning sensation and reflux symptoms, however, the presence of constant bloating may in fact be a clue or symptoms of digestive health issues such as Gut Dysbiosis.
If you have been managing acid reflux and bloating, this indicates an underlying imbalance within your main gut flora as the result of inadequate levels of stomach acid, which can be further impacted by taking antacids that only exacerbate the symptoms by neutralising what little stomach acid you have left.
This causes more issues by neutralising the stomach acid, and the stomach lining will release more acid as it attempts to correct the pH imbalance, and this causes further irritation, inflammation and pain.
What is the impact of acid reflux?
With that in mind, if you have been managing gas buildup or burning pain for over two or more years with the use of over-the-counter medication or probiotic supplements alone, then your metabolic pathways are likely struggling to utilise the energy and absorb the essential nutrients from the food you eat and dispose of toxins properly.
I’m Jen Adams, a functional personal nutritional therapist. My purpose is to teach those who want to learn how to improve their metabolic health for energy, vitality, and future wealth, and better understand how their food and lifestyle choices affect every part of their life.
In this series of articles about the symptoms of poor metabolic health, you’ll understand the importance of how you feel and what you can see when you look in the mirror as contributory factors to your metabolic health.
Identifying your everyday irritable bowel syndrome symptoms as clues to various underlying systemic imbalances will help you to enhance your future metabolic health and prevent the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Is your body shape a further clue to your future metabolic health risk? Find out here
If you only treat acid reflux with medicine alone for more than two years, without any nutritional lifestyle intervention, your metabolic pathways will begin to fail, and your symptoms may develop into a systemic imbalance in your metabolic health which can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD.
Your metabolic health is incredibly important and fundamentally noticeable symptoms related to an imbalance or malfunction relating to either one of in part all three of functional metabolic pathways: Delivery of energy to your cells, detoxification of toxins and absorption of raw ingredients.
What is the cause of acid reflux and bloating?
One of the main causes of digestive disorders is increased sensitivity of stomach acid and digestive enzymes levels, in the small intestine, creating a disturbance in the pH levels of the overall gut flora.
The reality is the gut pH balance is too alkaline due to fermented sugars from processed food, and the stomach contents will not empty until more acidic.
When you take antacids, they, unfortunately, make the stomach contents even more alkaline which creates symptoms of acid reflux and dysbiosis, which is a reduction in microbial diversity and a combination of the loss of beneficial bacteria.
This allows the bacterial infection to thrive which creates pro-inflammatory cytokines and endotoxins to form in the digestive system resulting in mild heartburn and other abdominal symptoms.
Cytokines are a broad category of small proteins that are important in cell signalling.
They are signalling molecules that are created as part of the inflammatory response and released by the immune system and will attach themselves to circulating immune cells in response to an infection or inflammation in the whole digestive tract.
The endotoxins are released when the bad bacteria die, and these endotoxins are then free to roam around your body and wreak havoc by binding to receptors sites of healthy cells and organs, which creates more inflammation.
The cytokines play a key role in the inflammatory response, and their release can cause a number of symptoms such as fever, pain, fatigue and abdominal pain.
When we make poor dietary choices the whole digestive tract is constantly exposed to endotoxins, this can lead to an overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and a chronic state of inflammation.
This inflammation in the gut microbiome prevents essential absorption of nutrients from the food or the supplements you take resulting in the deficiency of the raw ingredients required to create neurotransmitters, enzymes and hormones for optimum metabolic health.
What are the consequences of dysbiosis?
By either not eating enough nutrient dense food or consuming ultra-processed foods in excess you will continue to get acid reflux, intestinal gas, and abdominal pain, especially after eating fatty foods, or sugar free foods.
You will become deficient in essential nutrients and your body will struggle to repair and the constant presence of inflammation will trigger an autoimmune-mediated response. This is when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs in your body.
This is because the inflammatory response created by dysbiosis confuses the immune system as to what is a foreign invader and what is not.
Autoimmune diseases can lead to a wide range of medical conditions, including fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, rashes, and digestive problems.
In summary, when suffering from acid reflux, gas and bloating avoid reaching for antacids as they will only make GERD symptoms worse.
Instead, you should focus on eating the Perfect Plate for every meal as this will ensure your body has the building blocks it needs to create the stomach acid levels, as processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol all contribute to the production of gut dysbiosis.
Abdominal symptoms that lead to Dysbiosis are a serious concern and if left unchecked can lead to a number of health concerns, such as stomach ulcers, digestive diseases and other symptoms like lactose intolerance due to gut permeability.
It’s important to take action to improve your gut health by improving your metabolic health rather a looking for a quick fix over the counter solution.
The long term consequences of acid reflux and bloating create inflammation triggered by your immune system which can lead to various autoimmune diseases and metabolic syndrome.
In conclusion, the best way to manage acid reflux and bloating is to focus on balancing your blood sugars, cleansing your liver and improving your gut microbiome. This will enable you to help regulate your stomach acid pH levels and deliver energy to your cells, detoxify toxins that disrupt your metabolism and create beneficial bacteria to reduce inflammation, therefore, improving your overall metabolic health.
Your acid reflux and bloating are related to what you ate yesterday, breaking the vicious cycle is easy to do by changing what you eat next, to reduce the acid-forming gasses and abdominal pain.
What’s next? What is your metabolic health age – use the online Metabolic Age Calculator and answer a few simple health and lifestyle questions. It takes a few minutes, but it could help you reduce your daily pain.
If your Metabolic Health Age is equivalent to or lower than your actual age, then that is great news! This means your blood sugar levels, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference are potentially all within an ideal range.
However if your Metabolic Health Age is more than 10 years of your actual age, and you are struggling with poor sleep quality you could be prone to some or all of these conditions as these are all markers that directly relate to your risk of insulin resistance, fatty liver, dysbiosis, high cholesterol and blood pressure.
This article is part of my WHY series to help you identify poor metabolic health symptoms. Do you often ask yourself any of these…