The digestive system of our body is responsible for digesting food and absorbing the necessary nutrients from food. It also helps our body to get rid from the waste materials and toxin. Normally, the gastrointestinal tract performs the function of digestion well, however, sometimes people complain of stomach not digesting food properly.
This could be due to a digestive problem, which interferes with normal digestion of food. Based on the reports of surveys, about 70-80 million population across the world is suffering from some type of digestive problem. These usually result in stomach not digesting food properly.
The most common types of digestion issues or reasons for stomach to not digest food properly today include:
- Lactose intolerance or intolerance to milk and milk allergies
- Peptic ulcers, acid reflux and heartburn
- Constipation, diarrhea, bloating gas and indigestion
- Diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease
- Food intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome
- Celiac disease.
Though the primary causes of stomach not digesting food properly may vary, but some of the common factors responsible for poor digestion include:
- Improper hygiene
- Poor diet and dehydration
- Lack of exercise and physical activity
- Excessive alcohol intake or smoking
- Lack of sleep and adequate rest
- Stress and nutritional deficiencies
What are the Causes of Stomach Not Digesting Food Properly?
Stomach may be unable to digest food properly for various reasons, which include
- Enzyme Deficiency
- Iron Deficiency or Anemic
- Gut Flora Imbalance
- Higher Stress
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Magnesium Deficiency.
Symptoms of Stomach Not Digesting Food Properly or Symptoms of Poor Digestion
If your stomach is not digesting food properly, then you are at great risk of having digestive issues. There are many symptoms of digestive problems that help diagnose the condition properly and start with proper treatment for stomach not digesting food properly.
- Fatigue After Eating – If you are in need of a nap after your meals, it is the symptom of sluggish digestive system. Fatigue after eating may signal that your stomach is not digesting food properly. If the digestive system of your body is under strain, your body needs to work harder to direct its energy to assimilate and digest the consumed food, thereby leaving you with utmost tiredness. If you overeat, your body will struggle to fuel you as well as your digestive system and this may make you sleepy indeed. So, smaller meals are suggested with healthy snacks in between to give the digestive system a break.
- Pain in Abdomen – Frequent pain in abdominal area is the major symptom of digestive problem, which leads to your stomach not digesting food properly. The pain can be colicky or non-colicky in nature and may vary from gnawing to burning and dull pain. This occurs due to appendicitis, peptic ulcers, intestinal instruction, ulcerative colitis or infection in pathogens leading to food poisoning.
- Brittle Nails – If you have brittle nails then it indicates that your system is not producing sufficient acid in stomach to digest the consumed food. Your system is not harvesting the required nutrients like zinc, calcium, protein from the food and as a result you have brittle nails and hair. Unhealthy hair and nails are the major symptoms of poor digestion because it reflects the ability of your system to digest and absorb nutrients. So, brittle hair and nail may be a symptom of stomach not digesting food properly.
- Vomiting – Feeling of nausea or vomiting may occur in some conditions of poor digestion. Vomiting occurs because of forceful ejection of gastric content. It is a sure symptom of stomach not digesting food properly. If you experience a feeling of vomiting or nausea after eating your meals, it is important to seek medical advice.
- Diarrhea – Diarrhea can either be chronic or acute. Acute diarrhea occurs due to infection in stomach or food poisoning and it accompanies abdominal pain, fever and vomiting. This condition may lead to shock and dehydration. Chronic diarrhea may be a symptom of gastric problem and may be due to stomach not digesting food properly.
- Food Intolerance or Allergies – These commonly are a symptom of stomach not digesting certain foods properly. In children, digestive issues may cause food allergies. However, it is necessary to recognize the food stuff causing the allergies and reactions. Food intolerance issues are usually caused by specific digestive enzymes. For e.g. in lactase enzyme deficiency, the stomach is unable to digest milk and milk products.
- Constipation – The decrease in frequency, fluidity and volume of stool is referred as constipation and this can be the major symptom of digestive problem or poor digestion. There are certain factors that due to which constipation occurs in people and is a symptom of improper digestion of food.
Home Remedies for Stomach Not Digesting Food Properly
There are several home remedies that can help you improve your digestive system. The best home remedies for stomach not digesting food properly include:
- Ginger – Including ginger in your diet can help to improve your digestion and prevent future digestive problems. Ginger is the natural ingredient that can stimulate the digestive juices and improve the enzyme flow required for proper digestion. It also reduces the feeling of nausea, flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, bloating and vomiting. It can promote better digestion and relieve your gastric problems. The anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, carminative properties can prevent digestive problems and improve your digestion naturally. Apart from ginger flavored drinks and juices, you may also chew a ginger piece after every meal to improve your digestion.
- Pro-biotic Foods – Studies have proved that pro-biotic foods are helpful in improving the digestive system and improve its function. Pro-biotic foods are rich in lactobacillus and Bifido-bacteria that are required for restoring the balance of gut bacteria in digestive system. So, such foods can help you improve and prevent the digestive issues like abdominal bloating, diarrhea, IBD and flatulence. Some of the pro-biotic foods include buttermilk, Greek yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, kimchi, sour pickles and more. It is one of the best remedies for stomach not digesting food properly.
- Peppermint – Peppermint is the herb and a very useful home remedy for digestive problems. This herb is very helpful in supporting the digestive system and also prevents further digestive problems. The anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and carminative properties are helpful in treating bloating, gas, intestinal cramps and vomiting naturally. It soothes the digestive system and reduces problem of stomach not digesting food properly.
- Fennel Seeds – Fennel seeds are the natural herbs that aid digestive health and is a widely used home remedy for problems in digestion and is useful in treating heartburns, low stomach acidity, indigestion and more. Chewing the seeds can provide you instant relief from bloating and intestinal spasms. Fennel seed oil is also very helpful in reducing the intensity of infantile colic and the symptoms of stomach not digesting food properly.
- Asafetida – This strong smelling spice is widely used while preparing food in India and this spice is very helpful and beneficial for healthy digestive system and to fight digestive problems. It is rich in antioxidants, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties. This natural spice can help you treat a variety of digestion related issues like, upset stomach, flatulence, gas, stomach pain and food poisoning. This is also used to treat colic pain in infants and improve digestion of food.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar is the one of the most helpful and effective home remedies for stomach not digesting food properly. It offers alkalizing effect in your body as it is acidic in nature. This vinegar is helpful in treating digestive issues like stomach aches, heartburns, bloating, gas, indigestion and more. It also comprises pectin which is a water soluble fiber that can regulate the bowel movements naturally.
Since there are different types of digestive problems, proper treatment and diagnosis is necessary. With lifestyle changes and natural home remedies you can manage the condition of common digestive issues. But, for serious or long standing digestive issues, it is advisable to seek medical assistance.