Are you digesting fat & carbohydrates adequately?
Are you having digestive issues? Digesting fat and carbohydrates is important to your overall health.
As a matter of fact, there are many factors that contribute to digestive issues. Especially after bariatric surgery. For example, one cause of digestive issues is the malabsorption of carbohydrates or fats.
Carbohydrate intolerance may sound impossible, as your brain prefers sugar or fat as a fuel source.
If you are not tolerating carbohydrate foods, you will experience gas.
In fact, your gut bacteria take these poorly digested carbohydrates and manufacture and enormous amount of uncomfortable gas. Not to mention, you will likely experience additional symptoms such as bloating, gas pain, or loose stools.
You can see, common carbohydrates that can result in poor tolerance are:
- Lactose(milk sugar)
- Fructans (onions & garlic) Learn more about FODMAPS here!
- Oligosaccharides(beans & brussels sprouts)
Your pancreas is responsible for releasing necessary enzymes to digest carbohydrates, proteins and fats and any malfunction in pancreatic enzymes, will impact absorption of all macronutrients.
Fat absorption involves the enzyme lipase from the pancreas.
Bile is released from the liver and stored in your gallbladder. It acts like a detergent.
Emulsifying the fat you eat into tiny droplets, the pancreatic enzyme lipase, breaks down into fatty acids in your small intestines.
As you can see, any defect in this digestive process will lead to digestive dysfunction.
How would you know if fat malabsorption is an issue?
The main signs of fat malabsorption are floating stools and oily droplets in the toilet. To confirm your suspicions a stool test may be helpful.
A stool test can discover how well you are absorbing fat and it can give insights into a carbohydrate intolerance. The levels tested include.
- Pancreatic Elastase-One
1. Pancreatic Elastase-One
The elastase-one is evaluating your output of pancreatic enzymes and it will tell you if it’s adequate. How do you know what is adequate?
- >500 ug/g is normal pancreatic output
- 200-500 ug/g is decreased pancreatic output
- <200 pancreatic insufficiency
How common is pancreatic insufficiency after bariatric surgery?
One study showed it’s very common after a Duodenal Switch. Frequent after Roux-en-y gastric bypass. And less frequent after Sleeve gastrectomy.
Another study published in Pancreatology 2022. Reports that patients who underwent Roux-en-y gastric bypass had higher rates of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency(EPI)(10.3%) than those who had Gastric sleeve (4.2%).
What causes poor pancreatic release of the enzymes ?
- Hypochlorhydria, which is low stomach acid
- H. pylori, a bacteria in your stomach that lowers stomach acid
- Vegans and vegetarians
Steatocrit is telling us more about fat. This gives us more insight on how well you are absorbing and digesting fats. So we are looking at the fat that’s in the stool and a stool test would quantify it. Evidence that you aren’t digesting fat is when your stools float and could have an elevated steatocrit.
But, what causes an elevated Steatocrit?
- Low stomach acid or hypochlorhydria
- Bile insufficiency
- Not chewing food well
- Celiac disease.
Digesting Fat & carbohydrates better
If you’re having digestive issues and noticing your stools are floating, trialing digestive enzymes is a great option. Our WLS Formulated Digestive Enzymes are a great option. They were developed with the bariatric anatomy and altered digestive function in mind. The only reason it wouldn’t be a good fit is if you currently have an ulcer or think you may have an ulcer. Otherwise, our digestive enzymes are perfect for improving tolerance and absorption to carbohydrates and fat.
So, if you’re experiencing digestive issues. Consider exploring a fat or carbohydrate malabsorption. Don’t dismiss the symptoms. Long-term consequences can lead to nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances and mood issues.
Something you can do for yourself is trialing digestive enzymes first. Otherwise a stool test may be necessary to truly understand what is driving your digestive upset. We can help you with this.
Click the link if you want more information.
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