GAS AND BLOATING
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
Ó January 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Intestinal gas, or flatulence, and intestinal bloating are very common symptoms that can have different meanings. This article discusses their causes and correction.
CAUSES FOR GAS AND BLOATING
The main causes are 1) impaired digestion of food, OR 2) a detoxification process, at times. A combination of the two can also occur. Here are more details
Impaired Digestion. This is commonly due to:
1. Improper diet. Eating fruit and any sugar at all will cause gas in many people. Eating beans causes it in most people. Eating too much meat often causes smelly gas.
Lack of fiber, or too much fiber, occasionally causes gas. Eating a lot of cooked vegetables usually helps with gas, although eating sulfury vegetables such as cauliflower can cause gas until the intestines heal.
2. Improper eating habits. These include eating standing up, eating while driving, eating in noisy environments, or when anxious or upset, eating too fast, not chewing thoroughly, drinking too much liquid with meals that dilutes the digestive juices, or eating improper food combinations that are hard to digest. Other habits that are causes also include drinking freezing cold or boiling hot beverages with meals.
Try eating only one or two foods at a meal, and perhaps eat less if you eat a lot at one sitting. Have four or five smaller meals instead of one or two huge meals. Always sit down quietly to eat, breathe deeply to relax before meals, and avoid noisy, upsetting or any irritating restaurants or eating environments.
3. Improper intestinal flora. This can be due to cheating on your diet, or an intestinal infection (very common). It can also be due to an elimination process of a drug or chemical that kills off the normal intestinal flora such as an antibiotic.
Probiotics. If you are following a nutritional balancing diet and gas persists, I suggest adding some sauerkraut to each meal, or have a cup of miso soup each day.
I do not recommend most probiotics because a number of our clients have become more ill on them. One probiotic that is usually well-tolerated is Bio-K Original in the health food store, at a dose of one teaspoon 10 minutes before each meal.
4. Food allergies or sensitivities. Eating foods to which one is sensitive or ‘allergic’ often causes gas and bloating. Most food sensitivities are caused by an irritated intestine, which will calm down if you follow a nutritional balancing diet and supplement program. Please avoid all wheat, spelt and soy products permanently because these are irritating foods today.
5. Eating a new food. Eating any new food may cause some gas and bloating until the body becomes used to the new food. This is not a serious problem.
6. Leaky gut syndrome. This often causes gas and bloating, and will go away on a nutritional balancing program. One must follow the diet carefully for healing to occur. This means absolutely no fruit, no fruit juice, limited vegetable juice, no smoothies or shakes, no wheat, no soy, no chemicalized foods, simple meals, relaxed meals and perhaps the use of a red heat lamp on the abdomen for 1 hour daily.
Sometimes one must avoid dairy products for a few months or more, as well. Rarely, other foods must be limited for a while. Most people must use GB-3 or another powerful digestive aid for a while, at least.
7. Low levels of digestive enzymes. This is extremely common today among people of all ages, including some children but most often adults. Older people are at even greater risk of this problem. This includes low stomach acid, and low levels of pancreatic and liver enzymes needed to digest one’s food.
I suggest a digestive aid for everyone. Ox bile and pancreatin are very good as they are more yang, animal-derived products. Vegetable enzymes are much more yin, and are made from fungus, to which some people react. Betaine hydrochloride and pepsin is also much more yin than animal-derived enzymes, so it is not as good.
8. Infections in the intestines. The most common of these is chronic candida albicans, especially in those who consume sugar and/or too much starch in the diet. However, many other infections of the intestines are possible, including parasitic, viral, bacterial and other fungal infections.
These tend to go away on their own if one follows a nutritional balancing program. In a few cases, one must use an anti-infective agent such as colloidal silver or another remedy. Parasites and some infections may take longer to eliminate, and just require some patience. I rarely recommend taking drugs or herbs for intestinal infections.
9. The use of prescription or over-the-counter medications or remedies that interfere with digestion. Many drugs can inhibit or damage the digestive system in various ways. Among the worst are acid blockers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that irritate the stomach and intestines. Herbs, vitamins and minerals such as iron can also irritate the intestines.
Avoid all over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as much as possible. Use natural alternatives, which often work well.
10. Fatigue and lowered vitality. This often affects digestion, enzyme secretion, bowel motility and other aspects of the digestive process.
11. Emotional upset. The digestive system is highly susceptible to emotional upset for various reasons. A fight-or-flight response will slow or can even stop proper digestion. This is why it is important to eat calmly and slowly, and maintain low stress levels for good digestion.
Always try to relax a little before and after meals. Preferably do not jump up from the table right after eating. At least allow your meal to digest for 10 minutes or more before leaving the table.
12. Not heeding the call of nature to use the bathroom. This strains the system and can cause other problems as well.
13. Other illnesses, such as hidden cancers, hidden ulcers, infections, or others. Most of these will be taken care of by a nutritional balancing program. However, this can cause gas and bloating in some people.
Detoxification and healing reactions as a cause of gas and bloating.
Some people experience gas and bloating because the body is eliminating a toxin that upsets the intestinal flora.
Antibiotic eliminations. The most common toxin to be eliminated that causes gas is antibiotic residues. These can remain in the body for years. When the antibiotic residue begins to be eliminated from the liver due to a nutritional balancing program, the drug enters the small intestine. There it can easily destroy the normal intestinal flora.
Other drugs or toxins. Other drug eliminations can also damage the flora or irritate the intestines, causing gas and bloating. This cause will pass when the detoxification is over. During the reaction, I suggest adding some sauerkraut or miso to your diet, and this usually limits the reaction.
Eliminating a toxin in a gaseous form. While it may sound unusual, it is possible that the body may need to eliminate a toxin in a gaseous state through the liver and bile. This could cause temporary gas and bloating.
I know this concept of eliminating a poison in a gaseous form may sound odd, but it is possible. The body is quite amazing in the ways that it can sometimes find ways to eliminate toxins that are difficult to eliminate safely.
A shift in the flora as the body heals. As the body heals, it is possible that a shift occurs in the intestinal flora that temporarily causes gas and bloating. This is based on comments by some of our clients. This may require eating some sauerkraut with each meal or miso soup daily until the normal flora is re-establshed.
CAUSES FOR GAS AND BLOATING REVEALED ON HAIR MINERAL ANALYSES
Š Low overall vitality. This may be indicated by a low phosphorus level, a low sodium/potassium ratio, a very slow oxidation rate or perhaps very high toxic metals or a low aluminum level.
Š Sympathetic dominance. This is a very common condition today in which people overuse their sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system. When this system is active, it “turns off” or inhibits digestion and elimination. As a result, the body produces fewer digestive enzymes and the entire digestive system receives less nervous energy. This can have a devastating effect upon digestion.
Š Excessive levels of toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, mercury and others. These not only interfere with digestive enzyme production, but support or enable harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi to live and thrive in the intestinal tract.
Š Zinc deficiency. Zinc is critical for digestion. It is needed for enzyme production, to rebuild the intestinal wall, to fight off certain infectious organisms and to balance the nervous system for best digestion.
Š Low tissue phosphorus level (less than 12 mg%). This is associated in some cases with overall lowered vitality, impaired digestion, low dietary protein, vegetarian and other deficient diets, intestinal infections, low zinc and impaired protein synthesis in the body.
Š Low levels of sodium and potassium. Dr. Eck found this is associated with lower levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and perhaps generally less digestive enzyme production. The pattern is also associated with adrenal burnout and general exhaustion.
Š Low sodium/potassium ratio (less than 2.5). This is associated with digestive weakness, adrenal exhaustion, carbohydrate intolerance and the presence of toxic metals and chronic infections in many cases.
VARIETIES OF INTESTINAL GAS
Digestion is supposed to be a particular type of chemical breakdown process in which starches are broken into sugars and proteins are broken down into amino acids. It is quite a simple process. When this process does not occur correctly, not only is nutrition seriously impaired. Gases are produced in the intestines that are called flatulence. The two main types of intestinal gas are caused by:
Š Putrefaction of proteins. This is similar to rotting. It produces very toxic chemicals such as indols and skatols. It also can produce sulfur dioxide and other gases that are very foul-smelling and toxic.
Š Fermentation of sugars and starches. This is the same process used to make wine and beer in which various yeasts and other ferments, as they are called, change sugars into alcohol, acetaldehyde and methane gas, among other chemicals. This is not as foul-smelling a gas.
Thus, putrefaction of proteins and some other foods has a strong odor, while fermentation of sugars and starches has a milder odor. The same principle applies to the smell of the stool. The stool should not have a strong odor. If it has a very foul odor, usually putrefaction is occurring, while a milder odor has more to do with fermentation.
When does gas and bloating occur? This depends on where there is a problem in the intestinal tract. Gas in the stomach will occur usually within an hour or two of eating.
Gas and bloating of the intestine, which is lower down on the abdomen, may occur several hours after eating and even the next day. This is because it takes this long for a meal to travel through the stomach to the intestine, where the problem occurs.
OTHER CAUSES FOR BLOATING
In almost all cases of gas and bloating, poor digestion is present. Rarely, other factors can cause bloating, however. It is usually chronic, meaning that it is always present, even if one does not eat a meal. These causes include:
Š Digestive diseases such as tumors, diverticuli, and systemic infections that may affect the intestines.
Š A generalized yin condition of the intestines. Yin means expanded, weakened, and often flaccid or too relaxed.
CORRECTION OF GAS AND BLOATING
This is usually easy with a nutritional balancing program. One must begin with a healthful lifestyle with plenty of rest and sleep, deep breathing, good posture and healthful general living habits.
Meals must be simple, with few foods at a meal, no sugar, very little fruit, no fruit juice, no or minimal food chemicals, and organic food, if possible. The most important food is cooked vegetables – about 6-9 cups daily, or 2-3 cups with every meal.
To this add either one starch or one protein food. If you want to have only a single food with a meal (called a mono meal) that is also excellent, and is the easiest type of meal to digest.
Avoid drinking liquids with meals and observe healthful eating habits such as eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, eating only when relaxed and resting at least 10 minutes after meals, and preferably a few minutes before meals as well.
Also, avoid all products made with wheat, with white sugar, and all chemicalized food. Avoid all fish except up to 3-4 cans of sardines weekly. Also avoid shellfish and all pig products, which may contain parasite eggs.
Omit from your diet any food that causes digestive symptoms. Reintroduce it slowly after several months, preferably, when the intestines have had an opportunity to heal.
Everyone needs a digestive enzyme supplement today. We recommend a powerful one called GB-3 that contains ox bile, pancreatin. We find this better than all the others, although others may help, too.
We also recommend specific targeted nutrients based on a properly performed hair mineral test and based on one’s metabolic type as revealed on this test to balance the body’s oxidation rate and major mineral ratios, along with other nutrients as needed.
Procedures such as sessions with a near infrared lamp sauna and coffee enemas are also helpful to improve digestion in most cases.
When this is done properly, gas and bloating usually disappear within days to a few months. Sometimes symptoms continue for a while because fully rebuilding the intestinal tract is often a longer procedure, but one that is well worth the effort.
What I do not recommend. Please avoid:
- most herbs
- fasting for more than a day or two
- parasite cleanses, as they are not needed if the above is done,
- too many supplements and especially toxic supplements including bentonite, zeolite and other clays
- medical drugs and over-the-counter remedies, as much as possible.
- probiotics. Our clients have been becoming ill on some of these.
- Other natural products, including amino acid therapy, and some natural hormone therapy.