Digestion: Food & Farting – Why IT Happens!

A great friend of mine recently called me to tell me how she has been changing her diet and eating better.  She started by telling me what she had made for breakfast that morning.  She chose to make scrambled eggs as she was trying to eat more protein and healthy fats.  I always celebrate this type of news and love knowing that people that I care about are making great decisions for their nutrition and health. 

As we were talking she said that she could already feel the gas starting to build up and that she knew that tooting wasn’t far from happing!  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Has this ever happened to you?  Are there certain foods that seem to unavoidably make your rear end act like it’s on a try out for American Idol?

Food & Farting:  Why IT Happens!

Food & Farting: Why IT Happens!

 

When this happens, it is actually mostly due to your digestion, or lack thereof!  The fats that you are eating are not being broken down properly.  Fats are emulsified by our body through bile.  Free flowing and healthy bile is a like beautiful river that helps detoxify the liver as well as aid fat digestion.  It is interesting to know that bile actually is made in the liver but it is stored in the gallbladder. 

When you eat fat, your body senses it in your system and your small intestine gears up to release a hormone called Cholecystokinin (CCK) to invite your gallbladder to send stored bile to the party of digestion.  The bile then flows to your intestines to break down the fats that were in your food.   However, if you have slow and sluggish bile, it ends up showing up too late to the party of digestion and you end up having undigested fats sitting in your intestines. 

When this happens, this is tragic to your body because you are not able to fully emulsify and utilize fats for the health of your body.   Instead, the fat rancidifies and causes that dreaded SYMPHONY of musical notes from your rear end = GAS.  This is detrimental to your health because fat plays a major role cellular protection and activity.  If you remember from this last Fat Friday’s post, fat has major roles in contributing to our health!  In summary, fats:

  • Provide a source of slow and steady energy

 

  • Are building blocks for cell membranes and hormones
    • Every cell in our body is made lipid bi-layers that make up the walls of every cell

 

  • Help aid inflammation and healing through prostaglandin production

 

  • Are required for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E & K

 

  • Are required for the adequate use of proteins
    • If you don’t have enough fat you can’t use your proteins

 

  • Serve as a protective lining for the organs of the body

 

  • Play a role in slowing the absorption of food and proper energy regulation
    • When you consume sugars with fats, it slows the uptake of the carbs so that you get a more steady supply so you don’t over spike your blood sugar and insulin
    • Fats make you feel satisfied and full

 

  • Make food taste good!
    • When you take the fat out you have to put something else in to make people want to consume it – people put sugar in it!  We are getting way too much sugar!

Some problems that our society experience living on the SAD, is that many people eat low-fat or NO fatWhen people don’t eat fat, or eat very little fat, bile is never invited to the party of digestion by the intestines.  It isn’t needed to do its job of digesting fat.   Over time, the unused bile becomes thick and viscous as it just hangs around unutilized in the gallbladder.  Just like most things, if you don’t use it, you lose it.  Or, it gets lazy.  The same is true with bile. 

If someone barely eats fat and then has that special holiday where they go to town on rich foods, their system really takes hit.  Their bile is too thick and slow – it never makes it fully to the party to participate in digestion!   The fat in the food doesn’t get digested and anyone near that person finds themselves listening to (or smelling) a song that they never wanted to hear….!

At this point, you may be wondering what happens, other than setting off a protest from your rear end, when the fat that we eat isn’t digested properly.  The pancreas can come to the rescue to a small degree.  The pancreas releases the digestive enzyme lipase to help aid fat digestion.  However, if you remember from our earlier post, Digestion:  The GIFT of Great DIGESTION, the pancreas only releases its enzymes if the food entering the small intestine is acidic enough.  If you don’t have enough acidity to the food entering the small intestine, the pancreas never will release its enzymes. 

So, if the gallbladder and pancreas don’t come to the rescue, you are unknowingly giving yourself a front row seat to a concert, not just a single song, from your rear end.  And, worse yet, your body is not able to use the nutrients found in fats to perform its many important roles. 

Do you have gallbladder issues or have you had your gallbladder removed?  Gallbladder issues can be painful due to the buildup of stones from overly-viscous (unused) bile.  Also, the gallbladder may be swollen with too much bile since it hasn’t been needed!   Interestingly, the liver continues to produce bile even though the gallbladder may be too full.  It does this because bile is also a way for the liver to detoxify itself.  When this happens, the swelling can be very painful!  Many people who experience this discomfort choose to have their gallbladders removed.  However, if you can avoid this, it is best!  Your gallbladder is there for a reason and it has a very important job to perform.  See further down for some natural solutions to help your gallbladder recover.

Stomach Ache

If you have had your gallbladder removed, bile is still available but it isn’t stored for you like someone who actually has their gallbladder.  This makes your accessibility to bile very challenging.  Truly, for people without gallbladders, bile salts and supplemental therapy is almost always needed before EACH meal in order to digest fats appropriately.

Some natural solutions to help aid bile utilization and the gallbladder are to incorporate BEET JUICE into your diet.  Beet juice can thin bile and help with gallbladder stones.  You will also want to slowly incorporate healthy fats (see my list from this past Fat Friday post, June 14, 2013) while adding the juice to your diet.  Please note that when you do this, you may feel sick initially because bile also stores toxins that the liver is trying to get rid of, in addition to helping with fat digestion.   When the bile does start to show up to the party of digestion in your small intestines, your small intestines may sense the toxins in the bile from the liver.  This may cause temporary diarrhea.    It is gentler to ease into this healing process by going slowly.

Supplements that you can take to aid bile production:

  • Bile Salts are definitely needed before each meal for those without a gallbladder.

 

  • Beta TCP or Beta-Plus, from Biotics Research, are also very good options. 
    • TCP stands for Taurine, Vitamin C from beet source and beet concentrate and Pancrealipase.  

My family personally takes 2 Beta TCPs before most meals.  This has proven to work great for us!  It keeps the peace in our house.   My husband used to be the WORST at putting on unwanted concerts.  (I love you, honey.) Thankfully, the tour has ended!

Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s post on the “Grand Finale on Digestion:  The Scoop on Poop.”

Blessings & health,

Jen

 

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