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Some clients report having so much brain fog and fatigue after eating that it feels like they’re in a coma.
In my experience, those types of reactions to food are a result of eating bread, potatoes, starch food, candy, and similar items. It’s usually a grain or a food that the body acts on quickly that results in brain fog and fatigue. I really doubt that those symptoms would be the result of eating eggs, lean protein, or broccoli.
After you chew and swallow, your food is processed by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, digestive enzymes, and bacteria further down the intestinal tract. Fermentation is a complex process that involves many different strains of bacteria and many different biochemical reactions.
If you react to a particular food, my number one recommendation is to have a comprehensive stool analysis completed. This is an essential test because you might have a massive war occurring in your gut that you don’t know about. Dysbiotic bacteria can cause a lot of symptoms after eating.
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The faster your reaction to food, the more likely the problem is higher up in the GI tract. If the symptoms start an hour or two after eating, the problem is likely in the lower part of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine. If the symptoms occur more quickly, it’s likely to be a stomach related problem. If symptoms take hours to occur, the problem is likely in the lower part of the intestines.
Fermentation is influenced by the mix of bacteria in your gut. If you have an abundance of harmful bacteria, fermentation can occur too quickly. Different receptors in the small intestine aren’t set up to handle the high volume of fermentation. The receptor sites are so full that there isn’t any room for digestive hormones to act on the intestine. The result is symptoms like anxiety and brain fog. Blood sugar dysregulation also occurs, leading to fatigue.
Too much fermentation can also result in the release of toxic by-products like ammonia, methane, and hydrogen. These gases can enter the bloodstream and result in cognitive symptoms such as brain fog and depression.
Many factors can contribute to poor small intestine fermentation. Poor pancreatic function with reduced amounts of digestive enzymes can interfere with healthy fermentation.
An experiment you can do at home is to take a good quality digestive enzyme with your meal. If you no longer have the “coma” type reaction, it could mean that you need digestive enzyme supplementation. If you notice no difference, the next step would be the stool analysis to check out the microbiology of your gut.
Remember, small problems now can turn into big problems down the road. Now’s the best time to investigate and treat.