What does a healthy gut feel like OR how OCD are you about digestion?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I've been managing some gut issues (quite well, I might add), with a Paleo-ed GAPS-y, FODMAP-avoiding diet. For example, if I eat meat, lettuce, olive oil and nuts, I feel great and have no bloating, bubbling or noise from my belly.

If I mix it up, though, maybe throwing in a little piece of cheese or fruit, sometimes (but not always) I'll feel a little rumbling, maybe slight gas pain & a couple stinky toots or hear some odd gurgling later on.

I'm at a point where the "new normal" is a calm & quiet gut with regular, predictable evacuation (hooray! and no more Lara bars for me, which were apparently binding everything up) so when I do have some noticeable gas, I'm all "Whoa. Where'd that come from?" I'm really trying not to be obsessive about this, but the functioning of my gut is really important to my health and mental well-being.

So my question - is occasional belly-aching, gurgling, stinky gas, etc. acceptable in a "healthy" gut, or is it reasonable to expect calm seas at all times? Do mild but noticeable reactions indicate that something is amok and that I should back off of the offending items?

(This was sort of alluded to in http://paleohacks.com/questions/8390/what-are-the-signs-of-a-healthy-gut#axzz1Y7DQrDiq, but that one delved more into iron deficiency than gut rumblings)



on September 17, 2011
at 03:56 AM

Fabulous question, and one I'd really like the answer to! The line between being careful to be healthy and being obsessive about it is a very fine one, I'm finding.



on September 17, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Excellent question!

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on September 16, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Good call on bringing up this point. Context is everything.

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5 Answers



on September 16, 2011
at 06:02 PM

The sentence that has always stuck with me -If it functions without your attention its healthy. Before I started having tummy issues (post Antibiotic from hell), I did I occasional digestive upset -but it was so rare that it wasn't an issue and 99% of the time -I never ever thought about digestion. That is the place I am trying to get back to.

Medium avatar

on September 16, 2011
at 06:16 PM

Something to consider is that creating a diet that, for example, compensates for the fact that you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day may not be an ideal approach. You may have to be overly cautious with what you eat due to some non-dietary factors that could affect digestion. Additionally, it may not be what you eat, but how you eat it; like, what foods are paired with what other ones and so on. I feel a lot better now that I rarely eat mixed meals. I'm not dismissing the very real nature of digestive issues, simply stating that other factors besides food choices could be at play.

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on September 16, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Good call on bringing up this point. Context is everything.



on September 16, 2011
at 01:46 PM

Congrats Jessica on the healing!!

I'm pretty much in the same boat, have noticed a pronounced degree of healing in the last 2 months in my system. I've been pretty much gurgle free, gas free etc. for a month, but when I feel something or hear something I tend to start analyzing what might have been the culprit, and there usually is something to it.

I think that a normal gut tends to make fewer noises, has less gas and/smells...but that said, tossing in an occasional 'cheese' or other change to your diet will send your system into overtime to digest which would produce gut noises and gas for some, and not for others. I'm kind of in that stage right now, coming to terms with what I really shouldn't eat to avoid these issues. I keep asking myself, why if I know better do I keep putting myself through this?

The good news is that it makes it easier to identify what is testing your system!

keep healing!!



on September 16, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Occasional gurgling heck, when my diet is on point I get some ridiculous gurgle action during digestion.

However, that's normally just digestion, after a few minutes it's gone.

But, stinky gas doesn't really occur for me anymore (and I was a notorious room-clearer before), nor does the sore "pit" in the lower intestines (intestinal cramping) that I used to deal with daily. Since I don't have gas (unless moments before I need to go to the bathroom or the first couple of minutes when I wake up), I don't have the lower gut rumbles either - unless I do INDULGE (that is, eat more than an ounce or so) of cheese.



on September 16, 2011
at 07:12 PM

I think that occasional pain is normal. I got pain for about 1 min this morning, but I ate eggs and I am pretty sure that eggs cause the problem. I think everyone has a bad gut reaction to something every now and again, even if it is just because of stress.

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