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Why Do I Have Digestive Problems

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems

How To Deal With Digestive Problems

Digestive problems are commonplace in today’s society. Digestive issues can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and they can significantly impact daily life. Let’s take a look at why so many people experience digestive problems.

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Poor Diet

One of the most common causes of digestive problems is poor diet and nutrition. When an individual consumes a diet high in processed foods, it can lead to issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. This is because these types of food are toxic and difficult for the body to digest, leading to digestive discomfort.1

Read more about eating healthy with the Cellular Healing Diet.

Cellular healing diet

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Food Intolerances

Another reason for digestive problems is food intolerances or allergies. Many individuals may not realize that they have a sensitivity or allergy to certain foods until they experience symptoms such as bloating, cramping, or diarrhea after consuming them. Keeping a food diary and eliminating potential trigger foods can help identify any intolerances or allergies that may be causing digestive issues.2

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Stress

Stress is a common culprit when it comes to digestive problems. When an individual is under high levels of stress, their body releases hormones that can slow down digestion and cause discomfort. This is why it’s common to experience digestive issues during times of stress or anxiety.3

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Certain Medications

Certain medications can also contribute to digestive problems. Medications such as antibiotics, painkillers, and laxatives can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to issues such as diarrhea or constipation. It’s important to talk to a doctor about any potential side effects of medication and to make necessary adjustments if digestive problems arise.4

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Bacterial Or Viral Infections

Infections can cause a wide range of digestive problems. The two main types of infections that can affect the digestive system are bacterial and viral infections.

Bacterial infections in the digestive system are caused by harmful bacteria entering the gastrointestinal tract and multiplying, leading to inflammation and other symptoms. These infections can be acquired through contaminated food or water, poor hygiene practices, or contact with an infected person. Some common bacterial infections that affect the digestive system include Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, and Clostridium difficile (C.diff).5

Viral infections of the digestive system are caused by viruses entering the body through contaminated food or water, contact with an infected person, or poor hygiene practices. These infections can range from mild to severe and may require medical treatment. Some common viral infections that affect the digestive system include Norovirus, Rotavirus, and Hepatitis A.6

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Gut Inflammation

Gut inflammation is a common cause of digestive problems. Inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system responds to an irritant or infection in the gut, causing an increase in white blood cells and other inflammatory markers. This response can lead to swelling, pain, and damage to the lining of the digestive tract.7

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems - Gut Inflammation

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – IBS, Crohn’s Disease, And Celiac Disease

In some cases, underlying health conditions can be the cause of digestive issues. Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or ulcerative colitis (UC) can all lead to discomfort and disruption in digestion.

One of the most common digestive issues is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Read more about IBS.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine and rectum. It is characterized by sores or ulcers in the lining of the colon that can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.8

One common complication of ulcerative colitis is vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in the functioning of the nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. It is mainly found in animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.9

People with ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency due to several factors. Chronic inflammation in the colon can damage the cells responsible for absorbing vitamin B12, leading to malabsorption of this important nutrient. Additionally, medications commonly used to treat ulcerative colitis, such as corticosteroids and sulfasalazine, can also interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.10

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include fatigue, weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, memory loss, and mood changes. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications such as anemia and nerve damage.11

To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in people with ulcerative colitis, it is important to incorporate foods rich in this nutrient into their diet. However, due to malabsorption issues, it is recommended to also supplement with vitamin B12. This can be done through oral supplements or injections.

Read more about ulcerative colitis.

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a condition that is linked with causing digestive problems. To understand LGS, we first need to know about the gut lining. The lining of our gut is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat and preventing harmful substances from entering our bloodstream. It is made up of a single layer of cells, tightly joined together by proteins called tight junctions. These tight junctions act as gatekeepers, allowing only certain molecules to pass through.12

When the lining of the gut becomes damaged or inflamed, these tight junctions can become loose, creating gaps between the cells. This allows larger, undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. This is what we refer to as Leaky Gut Syndrome.

So why does this happen? There are several potential causes of LGS, including poor diet, chronic stress, infections, and imbalanced gut bacteria. These factors can cause damage to the gut lining and disrupt the delicate balance of the microbiome, the community of microorganisms living in our gut.

When this happens, these foreign substances can trigger an immune response, causing inflammation and further damage to the gut lining. This can lead to a variety of digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, as well as other health issues like food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases.

Leaky Gut Syndrome is also linked to skin conditions, joint pain, and even mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.13

The good news is that LGS is a reversible condition. By addressing the underlying causes and restoring balance in the gut, we can heal the damaged gut lining and reduce inflammation. One way to support and restore the integrity of the intestinal barrier is with sufficient glutamine and arginine consumption.

Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body and is essential for many processes, including cell growth and repair. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the intestinal lining by providing fuel for the cells that make up the barrier.

Studies have also shown that glutamine-rich food or supplementation can reduce gut inflammation and improve intestinal permeability. This can help heal the damaged intestinal lining and prevent further damage.14

Arginine is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of our gut lining. It is necessary for the production of nitric oxide, which helps to relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow to the digestive tract.

Research has shown that arginine supplementation can help improve symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome. This is because arginine supports the production of tight junction proteins, which help to seal the gaps between cells in the gut lining.

Moreover, arginine has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in the gut, which is a common issue in individuals with leaky gut syndrome. It also promotes tissue repair and regeneration, helping to heal any damage to the intestinal lining.

Arginine can be found naturally in foods such as meat, dairy products, nuts, and seeds. However, individuals with leaky gut syndrome may benefit from taking arginine supplements to ensure they are getting enough of this essential amino acid.15

Read more about Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems - Leaky Gut Syndrome

Why Do I Have Digestive Problems – Microbiome Dysfunction

The human digestive system is a complex network responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients. However, this system can sometimes experience problems, leading to various digestive issues. One of the main reasons behind these problems is microbiome dysfunction.

The microbiome is responsible for various critical functions in our body, such as aiding digestion, producing essential vitamins and nutrients, regulating metabolism, and supporting the immune system. However, an imbalance or disruption in this delicate ecosystem can result in serious consequences for our health. This imbalance, known as microbiome dysfunction, can lead to various digestive problems.16

What causes this disruption in the gut microbiome? There are various factors that can contribute to it, including diet and lifestyle. Processed and sugary foods can alter the balance of bacteria in our gut, leading to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Stress and lack of physical activity have also been linked to microbiome dysfunction.17

The use of antibiotics is another significant factor that can disrupt the gut microbiome. While these medications are essential for treating bacterial infections, they also kill the beneficial bacteria in our gut. This can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, causing digestive issues.18

So, what can we do to maintain a healthy microbiome and prevent digestive problems? The first step is to make dietary changes by including more whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, omega-3 rich fish, and grass-fed meat. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi can also help to restore the balance of good bacteria in our gut.19

Read more about the microbiome.

How To Deal With Digestive Problems

There are various reasons why we experience digestive problems. Poor diet, food intolerances or allergies, stress, medications, inflammation, IBS, UC, Leaky Gut Syndrome, microbiome dysfunction, and underlying health conditions can all contribute to discomfort and disruption in digestion.

Read more about improving gut health.


1 Corsello A, Pugliese D, Gasbarrini A, Armuzzi A. Diet and Nutrients in Gastrointestinal Chronic Diseases. Nutrients. 2020 Sep 3;12(9):2693. doi: 10.3390/nu12092693. PMID: 32899273; PMCID: PMC7551310.

2 Tuck CJ, Biesiekierski JR, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Pohl D. Food Intolerances. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 22;11(7):1684. doi: 10.3390/nu11071684. PMID: 31336652; PMCID: PMC6682924.

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8 Abbas N, Shakil M, Akhtar Rana Z, Basharat Ali S, Ayub Awan A, Gul S. A Systematic Review of the Role of Diet in Ulcerative Colitis. Cureus. 2023 May 22;15(5):e39350. doi: 10.7759/cureus.39350. PMID: 37351247; PMCID: PMC10284595.

9 Scheller B, Winter C, Zamyad J, Felmlee K, Heard D. The Successful Management Of Ulcerative Colitis With A Nutritional Intervention: A Case Report. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2019 Oct;18(5):40-47. PMID: 32549845; PMCID: PMC7219448.

10 Balestrieri P, Ribolsi M, Guarino MPL, Emerenziani S, Altomare A, Cicala M. Nutritional Aspects in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 31;12(2):372. doi: 10.3390/nu12020372. PMID: 32023881; PMCID: PMC7071234.

11 Ankar A, Kumar A. Vitamin B12 Deficiency. [Updated 2022 Oct 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

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13 Paray BA, Albeshr MF, Jan AT, Rather IA. Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity: An Intricate Balance in Individuals Health and the Diseased State. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 21;21(24):9770. doi: 10.3390/ijms21249770. PMID: 33371435; PMCID: PMC7767453.

14 Rao R, Samak G. Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions. J Epithel Biol Pharmacol. 2012 Jan;5(Suppl 1-M7):47-54. doi: 10.2174/1875044301205010047. PMID: 25810794; PMCID: PMC4369670.

15 Aleman RS, Moncada M, Aryana KJ. Leaky Gut and the Ingredients That Help Treat It: A Review. Molecules. 2023 Jan 7;28(2):619. doi: 10.3390/molecules28020619. PMID: 36677677; PMCID: PMC9862683.

16 Hrncir T. Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis: Triggers, Consequences, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Options. Microorganisms. 2022 Mar 7;10(3):578. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10030578. PMID: 35336153; PMCID: PMC8954387.

17 Tu P, Chi L, Bodnar W, Zhang Z, Gao B, Bian X, Stewart J, Fry R, Lu K. Gut Microbiome Toxicity: Connecting the Environment and Gut Microbiome-Associated Diseases. Toxics. 2020 Mar 12;8(1):19. doi: 10.3390/toxics8010019. PMID: 32178396; PMCID: PMC7151736.

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19 Snigdha S, Ha K, Tsai P, Dinan TG, Bartos JD, Shahid M. Probiotics: Potential novel therapeutics for microbiota-gut-brain axis dysfunction across gender and lifespan. Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Mar;231:107978. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2021.107978. Epub 2021 Sep 4. PMID: 34492236.

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