Super Bowl Sunday 2012 has come and gone however, those of you who may have over indulged in chips, dips, queso, wings, and spirits most likely felt symptoms of indigestion and bloating for many hours that followed. For some people, stomach discomfort after eating is a daily occurrence that may impact every choice a person makes when deciding what to eat when at home or out with friends and family. Many things can contribute to indigestion and bloating like, over eating, spicy foods, seasonings, or eating foods that are typically avoided. Many people find that foods they were once able to eat without any recourse now cause discomfort. This can be from a decrease in the production of digestive enzymes that are naturally produced to support the breakdown of specific food proteins. Lactose is a perfect example of a sugar that naturally occurs in milk and dairy products that can wreak havoc on the digestive tract. Lactase is the digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose. As we age the natural production of digestive enzymes decreases, explaining why some foods we once enjoyed are now able to cause excruciating pain and discomfort.
Dairy products are just one category of foods that can cause bloating and gas. If dairy products do not seem to be a problem for you it may be worth taking another look at the kinds of foods you have eaten when stomach discomfort sets in. Meats, fibrous vegetables and sugars can also contribute to digestive discomfort. You could be one of the thirty percent of Americans who have been found to have fructose malabsorption. Fructose malabsorption occurs when the transport of fructose through the wall of the small intestine is impaired which leads to a buildup and accumulation of fructose within the small intestine. This result leads to bloating and the buildup of gas after meals with excessive amounts of sugar, fruits or foods that have naturally occurring sugars.
Regardless of what is causing your reoccurring stomach discomfort there are a few steps you can take to minimize the side affects you experience. Begin with trying to identify the specific foods you eat that may directly cause discomfort and limit those foods. Also consider eating those foods early on in the day or first thing when attending evening events in order to avoid reflux and stomach pain late at night or when going to bed. One comprehensive approach that addresses almost all food groups is to take a digestive enzyme supplement with each meal. Digestive enzymes come in a variety of formulas and are forms known for helping in the breakdown of the foods being eaten. Digestive enzymes can be readily found at health food stores and specialty nutrition stores. Enzymes can be found from various plant or animal source depending on the specific enzymes and the formula you need. If you decide to try a digestive enzyme formula be sure to take it at the beginning of the meal and not on an empty stomach unless specified by your physician.