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Digestive Enzymes & Stomach Bloating

by
author image Frank Yemi
Frank Yemi has been a professional writer since 2007, and has contributed to several health and fitness magazines. He has worked as a medical fact checker and sports nutritionist in the United Kingdom. Yemi holds a Bachelor of Science in medical physiology, as well as a Master of Science in applied sports nutrition.
Digestive Enzymes & Stomach Bloating
Young adult woman with stomach pains Photo Credit JackF/iStock/Getty Images

Stomach bloating and excess gas are common problems for people who have a food intolerance. The intolerances are sometimes due to a lack of digestive enzymes necessary to digest the food properly. Digestive enzyme supplements can help you absorb certain foods more efficiently, which can help eliminate stomach bloating and some other gastrointestinal issues.

Understanding Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are proteins that help digest macronutrients -- fats, carbs and protein -- in the foods you eat. When your body cannot break down one or more of these nutrients due to an inadequate amount of enzymes, bloating occurs. Amylase enzymes break down starches, protease enzymes help you convert proteins into amino acids and lipase enzymes digest fats. Taking the enzymes your body can't produce helps prevent bloating.

Determine the Cause of Bloating

To use digestive enzymes efficiently, you have to discover the cause of your stomach bloating. Keeping a food diary can help you identify which foods are giving you problems. Foods that contain carbohydrates can give you gas, while fats and protein cause minimal gas and bloating, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Since bloating can be caused by more serious issues, consult your doctor to rule out other underlying causes, especially if you have additional symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation or weight loss.

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Treating Lactose Intolerance

Milk and some other dairy products contain a sugar called lactose. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose due to a lack of lactase enzymes to break them down. Symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, gas and bloating. Lactose intolerance is common among adults, and lactase enzyme supplements can help you enjoy milk and get rid of the stomach bloating and other unpleasant side effects.

Enzymes Aid in Digesting Fiber

Although fiber is good for your digestive health, too much of it can lead to bloating. Those who experience bloating from fiberous foods, such as beans, vegetables and whole grains, may benefit from alpha-galactosidase. It is a natural mold-derived enzyme that is sold under the brand Beano, and it helps ease bloating by breaking down complex carbohydrates.

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References

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