© Copyright 2001-2010  Feel Good Acupuncture.  Queens, NY, USA. All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 2001-2010  Feel Good Acupuncture.  Queens, NY, USA. All Rights Reserved

Gas and Bloating After Eating
Dr. West

If you do not digest your foods properly (especially meats and proteins), beginning in the stomach, you will suffer from gas, bloating, fullness
after meals, and even allergic reactions such as hives and allergies. This is all too common. And it has to do with a series of bad habits, and a slow
loss of natural digestive acids and enzymes.

The bad habits are easy to fix. You simply need to chew your food thoroughly and eat whole foods that your body can digest naturally.
Processed foods are not something that your body recognizes as food that can be properly digested. In other words, for some of these
processed-food concoctions, a human digestive enzyme does not exist. It would be as if you ate plastic or wood.

Finally, if you are like some people (especially those with impaired digestion), you may need to combine foods for easier digestion. Basically that
means eating proteins with complex carbohydrates (meat with vegetables). Do not combine starches (potatoes, etc.) with meat. Only eat fruit
by itself. Some folks even advocate eating only fruit before noon. The most radical form of food combining is eating one food per meal. Most
people do not have to go this far. But for hundreds of people that I know about personally, food combining has brought digestive relief.

Adequate Acids and Enzymes

If you suffer from indigestion, gas, and bloating, you should not take antacids. Antacids cover up the symptoms and make the problem worse.
Food will generally not leave your stomach until fully acted upon by digestive enzymes. So, without adequate amounts of these enzymes, food
will stay in your stomach for long periods of time. Or worse, with digestive failure in the stomach, food that is not properly digested will be finally
passed along to your intestines. This condition causes severe indigestion, gas, and even allergic reactions.

Animal protein (meat) is digested (liquefied) in your stomach by the enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is activated by hydrochloric acid (a catalyst). Proteins
and meat entering your small intestine as undigested proteins are extremely toxic to your system. In the intestine, undigested protein undergoes
putrefaction, giving off poisonous end products called guanidine (a constipation toxin), and histamine (an allergen that causes allergies, hives, and
more), among others. This process is very different from the way adequately digested and liquefied proteins enter the lower digestive tract—as
amino acids and peptones, which are needed to build a strong, healthy body.

This is a natural phenomenon that cannot be disputed. You simply cannot go against the laws of nature and expect something other than the
usual miserable triad of gas, bloating, and allergic fullness after meals. So think twice about what you eat. Make sure you chew. Combine foods if
necessary. Drink pure water. Stop using antacids and acid blockers. And if your digestive system has been depleted from years of abuse, rebuild it
with digestive enzymes.

We use Zypan from Standard Process as the premier digestive enzyme product because it is so effective at rebuilding the protein digestion
system. Undigested proteins cause many more problems than fats, carbohydrates, and sugars. Try 1 to 3 Zypan tablets per meal and judge your
response. If Zypan causes burning, you may have an ulcer that needs to be healed first. If your digestion improves with Zypan and the other
treatments discussed in this article, you are on your way to better health.

Gas, bloating, fullness, allergies, and hives? Think digestion, not antacids.

What is the biggest and strongest muscle in the body? The back? The legs or thighs? How about the big muscles of your arms? Well, the
strongest muscle in the body is the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. And strangely enough, it is a muscle you
don’t have to think about—unless you run into trouble.

Diaphragm Strain (Hiatal Hernia)

One day, after playing volleyball, I felt a little odd. Soon, the oddness became downright uncomfortable. I was slightly dizzy, I had trouble
concentrating, I was weak and trembly, and my heart was starting to palpitate. Heart attack? No, only a diaphragm strain! Unfortunately, not
one physician in 1,000 would recognize this. If it were you, you’d end up in the hospital, undergo thousands of dollars in tests, and potentially be
harmed by iatrogenic (doctor- or drug-induced) testing or treatments.

I was simply treated by my local chiropractor. He knew how to effectively stretch my diaphragm back to its normal position, freeing the stomach
from its trap in the diaphragm and allowing normal breathing and diaphragm action to resume. The entire treatment took less than two minutes
and was 100% effective immediately.

My case was relatively benign. I had the experience to recognize what was happening. But it can become very serious. The palpitations can
become severe. Gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and reflux can ensue. You can faint or become extremely weak. You can suffer a severe
backache or headache. In some cases, you feel that you are going to die. Remember, the diaphragm is the strongest muscle in the body.
Without its proper action, you can’t breathe.

Worse yet, millions of people carry around the damage from a strained diaphragm for years or for life! It is estimated that up to half of all
Americans over age 60 may suffer from a hiatal hernia (diaphragm strain). A huge percentage of these people have not only stomach and reflux
problems, but heart and related circulatory problems as well, all caused by the weakness in the diaphragm.

The danger of an undiagnosed hiatal hernia is that folks are treated with dangerous drugs for a suspected stomach, heart, or circulatory problem
that, when properly diagnosed, would be corrected in the same fashion I was treated. So, if this sounds like you, please take note. Even if a
gastroenterologist puts a scope down into your stomach and pronounces you do not have a hiatal hernia, still have it checked out. This condition
is often impossible to diagnose via standard medical procedures.
Is It Gastroesophageal Reflux or Hiatal Hernia or Both?

A diaphragm strain or hiatal hernia can cause not only the problems described above, it can also produce severe, chronic heartburn, indigestion,
and reflux. Billions of dollars are spent yearly on medical treatments for the symptoms of this condition.

The catchphrase diagnosis for heartburn these days is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In fact, most heartburn and reflux occur when
acids from the stomach are allowed up through the muscular opening in the diaphragm into the esophagus. Although your stomach lining is
designed to handle these acidic compounds, your esophagus is not. Constant acid reflux can eventually damage, ulcerate, or even cause a
precancerous condition (Barrett’s Esophagus) in your lower throat.

No one knows for sure what causes GERD. However, we have found that many GERD sufferers have inadequate digestive enzymes (acids) or
faulty digestive enzyme production and distribution in their stomach and intestines. For most sufferers, the cause of the problem falls into one or
more of four general categories:

1) Poor diet, poor food combining, overeating, and a high refined-carbohydrate-sugar intake.
2) Poor or inadequate digestive enzyme function in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine.
3) Prescription drugs that contribute to reflux problems.
4) Mechanical problems in the diaphragm like a hiatal hernia or diaphragm strain (as discussed previously).

For numbers one and two, relief is pretty easy. Number three can often be readily solved by working with your MD to get off the offending
medication. And even if you have mechanical problems (as in number four), or a combination of problems, relief is most often possible. In most
cases, it boils down to whether or not you can break bad habits to solve the problem and prevent serious throat disease.

What to Do for Diet and Digestion Problems

When it comes to numbers one and two, per-form this experiment: For one week, eat only protein and vegetables. Before each meal, drink half
a glass of water. With each meal, take from one to three Zypan and one to three Okra Pepsin E3 tablets (both from Standard Process).

In fact, a good way to test if you have too much or too little stomach acid is to do the Zypan test. Simply take two Zypan tablets with your
meal. If your digestion improves, you have too little stomach acid and should continue to use Zypan. If you get a tingling or light burning, you
have too much stomach acid; in that case, use one to three Gastrex tablets (from Standard Process) instead of Zypan. The rest of the therapy
will be the same.

While on your experimental week, eat until you are only three-quarters full. This is critical, because the stomach needs a little extra space to
churn and swirl its contents with the digestive enzymes. If your stomach is stuffed completely full of food, the swirling and churning will force
food into the esophagus simply because there’s not enough room in your stomach.

Food allergies can also cause heartburn and GERD. Some of those that most commonly cause GERD are wheat, sugar, chocolate, onions,
tomatoes, and citrus. If you are not getting the expected results from other therapies, and if you suspect food allergies, send us a self-
addressed, stamped (with two stamps) envelope and write FOOD ALLERGIES.

Prescription Drugs

As stated, drugs can also be a cause of GERD problems. The most common problems come from muscle relaxants, asthma drugs like theophylline,
and beta antagonists. Since antacids are most often not necessary, if your doctor prescribes them, be sure to read the article, “Gas and Bloating
After Eating: So Common—It’s ‘Normal’ ”.

Mechanical Problems (Hiatal Hernia)

Nowadays, thousands (perhaps millions) of people are being treated with drugs and even surgery to correct GERD, while no attention is paid to
the mechanical or structural causes of the problem. Even those doctors who suggest a nutritional/dietary approach generally ignore
mechanical/structural causes. That’s not surprising since probably not one in 1,000 physicians knows how to detect
and correct the underlying mechanical causes of GERD.

Thanks to people like George Goodheart, DC, and in particular the now deceased Richard Van Rumpt, DC, the critical information needed to
detect and correct hiatal hernia and mechanical causes of GERD is available. It is usually a chiropractor or kinesiologist who knows how to perform
this service. But you can often detect and treat a GERD problem yourself with the right data.

Upwards of 50% of the general population over age 60 may have the structural weakness likened to a hiatal hernia, when a portion of the
stomach or stomach contents are allowed up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity or esophagus (see schematic). The general complaints
of this condition are indigestion, heartburn, angina, vomiting, ulcers, left-arm pain, palpitations, difficult breathing, or just plain chronic fullness and

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you wish to test someone else or yourself, try this treatment with the help of a partner. You will need a watch or clock with a second hand.
For the sake of my instructions, your partner will be the patient. (Reverse roles if you are the actual patient.) Have your partner hold his or her
breath for as long as possible. Record the time in seconds. Now place your hand on the upper abdomen just under the “V” of the breastbone
and ribs [see photo].

Use a steady, heavy, inward and downward pressure for ten to 15 seconds while the patient relaxes and breathes normally. Repeat this three or
four times. Now test your partner’s breath-holding time again. Compare this time with the original. If the breath-holding time increases by 50% or
more, this is diagnostic of hiatal hernia or a mechanical problem with the diaphragm and stomach.

The procedure used in diagnosing this problem is also the same procedure used to treat the condition. While it may have to be repeated several
times until successful, it will usually provide some immediate relief from the first treatment

If you have problems with the standing treatment, you can also perform the treatment with the patient lying down with the head and shoulders
supported by pillows [as shown in the next photo]. In this case, you will use the fleshy part of your hand and wrist to apply the inward and
downward pressure. Your hand makes contact under the ribs, slightly left of center. Apply pressure inward and downward toward the patient’s
left foot. Hold the pressure the same as in the standing treatment.

In all cases, be sure you are free of the patient’s ribs and rib ends. Ribs can snap (especially if the ribs are brittle). If you are squeamish, or if the
patient is old and has brittle bones, it is best to have a professional perform this therapy. Generally chiropractors, osteopaths, and kinesiologists
know how to perform this treatment.

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