Natural Remedy for Tummy Upset: Why You Need Digestive Enzymes

Natural Remedy for Tummy Upset: Why You Need Digestive Enzymes

It’s an issue we all deal with sometimes, but don’t discuss.  From a relatively young age, I remember suffering with a lot of stomach pains.  By my late 20’s, I was sure I had a problem and when I heard about the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, I was pretty sure that’s what I had.  I never found out because around that time, I was introduced to a natural remedy for tummy upset: digestive enzymes.  I have lived with a healthy and comfortable stomach most of the time since then.

Let me ask you this:  Do you experience any of the following?

  • gas
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • skin rashes
  • bloating
  • gastric upset

Are you ready to add a simple, inexpensive step that can dramatically improve your life?

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions (like the breakdown of food).  All live foods contain enzymes.  Your saliva is also rich in digestive enzymes, and chewing mixes these enzymes with your food to start the digestive process.  After you swallow, acid in the stomach breaks down any proteins.  When that process is finished, the food moves into the small intestine where enzymes from the pancreas finish digestion.  After digestion, nutrients pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.

Why are so many people experiencing problems with digestion?

For most of us, the food we eat is enzyme deficient.  Your body recognizes that the food is deficient in enzymes and tries to compensate.  One way it compensates is by releasing more stomach acid into the stomach.  (Know anybody with too much stomach acid?)  The pancreas also has to work harder to pump out higher quantities of digestive enzymes to make up for the lack of them in our food.  We’re overworking our pancreas with the need for extra enzymes.  The pancreas can’t keep up and over time produces less and less digestive enzymes, leaving food undigested.  Undigested food means less energy and nutrients from your meals, resulting in a more physically exhausted and prone to illness you.

If you’re not eating a mostly raw, thoroughly chewed diet, regular supplementation of digestive enzymes can lower stomach acid, take stress off the pancreas and maximize extraction of nutrients and energy from food.  As 70% of your immune system is in the gut, you just might find that you get sick a lot less often, too.

How do you know if You Need Digestive Enzymes?

  • Gas/Bloating after meals
  • Sensation that your food is sitting heavy in your stomach
  • Feeling full after eating only a few bites of food
  • Floating stools on a regular basis
  • Undigested food or fat in your stool

Why You Need Digestive Enzymes

Things that impair digestive enzyme function:

  • Cooked/Prepared foods
  • Highly processed / Difficult to digest foods
  • Eating on the road
  • Chronic stress  (Stress impairs your body’s digestive enzyme output.)
  • Inflammation (like that caused by food allergies, infections, etc)
  • Age  (As you age, your supply of enzymes dwindles.  By age 50, you produce 1/2 of when you were younger.)
  • Low stomach acid (Drugs that reduce or neutralize acid for heartburn affects our ability to digest protein and allows pathogens into the system that wouldn’t otherwise be.)
  • Pancreas problems like cystic fibrosis, cancer, and pancreatitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease

Even in the absence of any of these conditions, digestion might not work properly.  The good news is that digestive enzymes are safe and inexpensive.

Man lying on concrete steps with his hand on his hands on his stomach as if he is having tummy trouble and needs digestive enzymes.


What to Look for in a Digestive Enzyme Supplement

Digestive enzymes are best taken in capsules, with no fillers.

What kind should you take?  You can be tested to see which enzyme you are most in need of, but most people benefit from a product containing multiple enzymes.  Make sure you get one that contains:

  • protease to break down proteins
  • lipase to break down fats
  • carbohydase (amylase) to break down carbs

I also like one with

  • cellulase / cellulose to break down the fiber in fruits and veggies
  • lactase to break down dairy.  (Lactase levels are low in a lot of people.  It is estimated that 1/3 of U.S. people are lactose intolerant, meaning they have trouble with milk and other lactose-containing foods.  Avoiding dairy can be difficult as dairy is added to a lot of food you might eat at restaurants.)

How Much to Take?

Take your digestive enzymes with food  (within a 30-minute window)

1 capsule at every meal, 2 with heavy meals or foods you know give you problems.  (Most people don’t need them with snacks.)

If the pills and dosage are working, your symptoms will go away.  If it’s not immediate, try adding another pill at each meal and give it 2 or 3 days

Benefits of Taking Digestive Enzymes

  • Longer, healthier life
  • Less indigestion and heartburn (over time)
  • Relief from gas and bloating (may be worse for the first few days as your body adjusts)
  • More energy
  • Absorb more nutrients
  • Boost your immunity (70% of immune system is in the gut)
  • Reduces stress on digestive system


Always check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your regime.  Don’t use digestive enzymes if you have ulcers.

Alternatives to taking Digestive Enzymes

Changes to diet can restore digestive function because it reduces inflammation in the body and the digestive tract and improves nutrient deficiencies

  • eat more raw food
  • reducing grains and legumes to eliminate enzyme inhibitors
  • add good gut bacteria (probiotics and prebiotics)

However, eating well does not ensure healthy digestion.  Unless you are on a totally raw food diet, you probably need digestive enzyme supplements with every meal.

How I take Digestive Enzymes

I know that adding digestive enzymes to any meals containing dairy, any meals when I travel or eat at restaurants, and when I eat high-fat or high-fiber foods has made stomach issues a thing of the past.  If you think they might help you, check with your health professional and give it a try.  It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective.  This is the one I take.  (Clicking on the photo below will take you to my Amazon affiliate link).

For better digestion, I also recommend supplementing with probiotics.  Click here to read my recommendations.

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Tummy Trouble

Natural Remedy Tummy Trouble - Why You Need Digestive Enzymes

Marcy Vogler is a lifestyle makeover coach, personal trainer, and mother of three.  Marcy is passionate about helping women make over their lives from the inside out.  To learn more about the courses Marcy offers, check out our parter website at  For daily inspiration, join Marcy’s Facebook Group:  Love Your Day, Love Your Life.


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