The Gastric Gut Type


This gut type arises from chronically poor digestive processes, the overuse of antacids, and the subsequent lack of absorption of nutrients which prevents the digestive system from sending nutrients to the organs. Many people with this gut type struggle with acid reflux, a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), bloating and gas. 

Not chewing our food enough and overeating, combined with a slow digestive system, can cause people with this gut type a lot of discomfort.

People with this gut type often feel very full or bloated soon after eating, they may experience belching, burning, reflux or heartburn or they may have a bitter taste in their mouths after eating. Some people experience such pain in their chests that they think they are having a heart attack.

Chronic acid reflux is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This can cause difficulty swallowing due to a weakening of the muscle at the base of the esophagus and then stomach acid and undigested food can rise back up the esophagus. If left untreated, this can cause erosion and bleeding in the esophagus which increases the risk for esophageal cancer.

Using antacids in not the long-term solution for this gut type because the problem usually stems from not having enough stomach acid in the first place. The stomach has a pH of 2, which is very acidic. If there is not enough stomach acid, our food ferments, which causes the stomach to expand and the valves that keep the acid in the stomach flap open allowing acids up into the esophagus. A lack of stomach acid also encourages the growth of a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori which can cause stomach and duodenal ulcers.

Making sure we have enough digestive enzymes and supporting stomach acid production will aid digestion and will be more effective in eliminating the symptoms associated with the gastric gut type. 

It is imperative for this gut type to chew slowly when eating. Chewing well, along with mindful eating, stimulates the production of digestive enzymes which help to break down our food. If we are working or doing something else while we’re eating, our brains don’t register that food is coming so we don’t produce the necessary enzymes for digestion.

Likewise, overeating puts lots of pressure on the stomach. If the stomach is too full, our food spends too much time there and the body compensates by making more stomach acid and enzymes. Because the pancreas is also involved in digestion, overeating causes the insulin receptors to become blunted which can trigger diabetes.

This gut type will benefit from eating smaller meals and eating the last meal of the day in the earlier part of the evening. Eating smaller amounts of protein per meal and including lots of fruit and vegetables will also be helpful. Food combinations can also influence this gut type more so they should ideally not combine proteins and carbohydrates in the same meal. They should also avoid drinking liquids with meals because liquids dilute our enzymes.

Supplements that can be helpful for the gastric gut type include betaine hcl with pepsin, zinc carnosine, manuka honey, apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes, bitter herbs, mastic gum, slippery elm, marshmallow root.  

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 22 February 2024 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am.