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Food Getting Stuck in Stomach and Not Moving "Down"

by (55)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:29 PM
Created September 02, 2011 at 4:39 AM

Hello,

Ever since going Primal, I have been hit with mega stomach pain and cramps. Whenever I eat any "animal," whether it be eggs, chicken, beef, or fish, I always get a burning/cutting sensation in my stomach. The food simply "sits" there for hours-and-hours making me feel bloated. In fact, I have often gone eight hours without eating after having a breakfast of half an avocado and three hardboiled eggs. After being stuffed for hours, the food will pass through my stomach within about 30 minutes making me feel ravenously hungry.

Interestingly enough, if I eat only veggies and fruit, I never get these horrible stomach pains. Quite honestly, I'm thinking about giving up this lifestyle because the pain is just not worth it. I feel like I'd much rather eat a bunch of salads, and snack on fruit, during the day instead of suffering through this.

Thank you very much, Arthur

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6
3690 · May 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM

15-20 minutes is not alot for a meal. I take around an hour and ten minutes.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858
1571 · April 05, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Hi Natureman. See the comment I posted to Arthur under his original post about seeing a doc and getting your gut bugs tested.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858
1571 · April 05, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Arthur, have you ever tested your intestinal bacteria? Probiotics didn't help me either becuase I was taking a bunch of what I already had. Wasn't till I got the poop test done that I found out I'm missing beneficial e. coli which American probiotics don't have/sell. So it was a waste of time for me to take 'regular' probiotics. Getting a better idea of what is going on inside of you may help you target your specific issue rather than just throwing probiotics and enzymes at it to see what sticks. I was resistant to pay for testing at first but I am **so** glad I did.

9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80
78 · April 05, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I have similar problems. If i eat the food i shouldnt eat it just stands in my tummy or my gut for a very long time and it makes me bloated. Eating only one food is really hard because sometimes reactions come after few days so it could be the food you ate for example few days ago. I just started taking betaine HCL so we will see if it helps or not :)

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26
2379 · April 05, 2012 at 10:53 AM

ever left out coconut oil? just a thought...

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26
2379 · April 05, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Could be also a food sensitivity. Before you give up paleo completely, try eating only one of the suspects at once and find out which one *really* causes the problem. for me it's rice. well for you it could be eggs, or beef, or whatever ;)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 03, 2011 at 1:37 AM

That looks like the right stuff. I haven't tried that brand, so I can't speak to its effectiveness, but that looks like a good price.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Hi Happy Now, I have an appointment scheduled with a GI for next Thursday. Is this the ox bile that you're talking about?: http://www.amazon.com/Nutricology-Bile-500-Vegetarian-Capsules/dp/B0002JIUDS/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t The pain I feel is usually under my left ribs around the area of the stomach. Thanks, Arthur

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 7:21 PM

If you are passing undigested food there are most likely issues with absorbing nutrients. If you think you might have issues with your gallbladder and bile release, there is also an ox bile supplement that can break down fats for you. If the pain you feel after eating fatty meat is sharp and on the right side up near your ribs you might have gallstones. But it could be a peptic ulcer or gallstone ileus too. Can you get a referral to a gastroenterologist because actually having a looksie at what is going on inside your gut would be the fastest way to figure out what is going on.

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b
1867 · September 02, 2011 at 5:35 PM

It might be. Sometimes when I eat a high fat meal, my hiatus acts up. I am a noob at paleo eating. I like to use digestive enzymes when I get them. It's probably better to allow my body to adjust. I'm not really a meat person.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:59 PM

BTW, I noticed that lately I've been having very small, hard stool that "float" to the top of the water. Also, I often see undigested pieces of food in them. I don't know if this may be a contributing factor, but several months ago I had elevated liver enzymes. My MD suspected that I may have an obstructed gall bladder/bile duct. However, when we retested my blood several months later, the enzymes went back to normal. Thank you for your help, Arthur

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Hi Alex, I really like to take my time to enjoy my meals. I eat slowly, take pauses between bites, and make sure to chew thoroughly. Arthur

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Hi Cave Tomboy, When I do end up digesting Primal fare normally, I have a wonderful sense of being full, satisfied, and energized. I wish I could experience this feeling more often. :) Also, I've been on probiotics for many years, and they haven't really done much. Arthur

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:53 PM

No, I don't think I have any more symptoms of GERD.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Hi Fed, Do you recommend a specific brand of betaine and digestive enzymes. Also, I've been taking probiotics for several years, and they haven't really been helping. Thanks!

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19469 · September 02, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Arthur, I definitely agree with the comments below regarding low stomach acid/weak digestion. Do some searching online and do some research on how to properly use betaine hcl, digestive enzyme, and other digestive support supplements.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
56596 · September 02, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I also had this problem some time ago when I was trying to become paleo. I fixed it by only eating raw meat, eggs, and fish for my animal foods.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba
1724 · September 02, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Hmm, when I eat protein & fat, it totally kills my appetite for hours on end, too, but I consider that a *good* thing. I don't want to feel hungry all the time. However, I don't have teh bloating and "sitting there like a rock" feelings you are having (in fact, all my bloating went away when I went Paleo). I immediately thought you might not have proper stomach acid, so you might want to try supplements for that. Also, you might want to try Probiotics, those helped me a lot.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I just noticed that you mentioned problems with GERD before, do you still have a sensation of feeling your stomach acid outside where it is supposed to be? If you do, you might want to do something soothing and healing like drinking aloe juice for a couple of weeks before adding the betaine. I'm also wondering if you might be caught in a bit of a catch 22 here, where you need that protein and fat to be fully digested to synthesize enough stomach acid, but you aren't able to digest it fully because of lack of stomach acid. Hopefully the betaine can jumpstart things.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 6:51 AM

In my opinion there is such thing as cheating if you are working towards feeling well.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Okay! I'll give the betaine a try. No, I haven't tried bone broth. However, I'll google it and make some. I have to admit, I'm concerned that that the excess carbs (even if they are "clean" carbs) from a vegan diet will get stored as fat. However, I'm just not sure that the pain of meat-eating is worth it. I feel lighter, happier, and more upbeat on plants. To be honest, I feel like I've cheated on Primal after it has done so much for me healthwise.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 6:13 AM

I know there are some lacto-ovo paleos around these parts, but I don't know if there are any vegan paleos. I'd highly recommend trying Betaine before giving up on animal products all together, it is specific to helping break down protein. I'm also curious to know how you do on bone broths. If you can do broth and the rest veggie/fruit, I bet that could stave off most deficiencies that otherwise arise on a vegan diet.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:27 AM

BTW, even though I'm not overweight, will I gain weight by eating a higher-carb diet of fruits and veggies without "animal" foods? Thanks, Arthur

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:26 AM

I thought about gastroparesis; however, I really wanted to rule out other causes. Whenever I eat any protein/fat, it totally kills my appetite for hours on end. When I eat tons of veggies and fruits, my stomach "wakes up" and starts working again. In fact, if I alternate days of veggies+fruit/meat+veggies, I find that my stomach has an easier time digesting the "animal" foods. Thanks, Arthur

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:24 AM

Hi Renee, I was suspecting a hernia as a possible issue. I used to have GERD when I ate grains and dairy. Thankfully, those are gone now. Could my LES still be relaxed. Finally, I have been Primal for about 6 months now.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Also, is it possible to be a moderate fat, no "animal" Primal eater?

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:03 AM

No, I haven't tried adding any digestive enzymes. Yes, I think I do chew my food well, and I eat slowly. I often spend about 15-20 minutes eating a meal. Tonight, I had one head of steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp. of EVOO and a 5-6 oz salmon fillet. I feel completely bloated and stuffed. I wonder why this doesn't happen when I only eat plant matter.

85026a0abe715229761956fbbee1cba0
78417 · September 02, 2011 at 4:48 AM

r u a wabbit? or not?

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10 Answers

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
8
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 5:00 AM

You might be low on stomach acid. Have you tried adding betaine and digestive enzyme supplements at the beginning of your meals? And are you chewing really, really well?

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6
3690 · May 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM

15-20 minutes is not alot for a meal. I take around an hour and ten minutes.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 03, 2011 at 1:37 AM

That looks like the right stuff. I haven't tried that brand, so I can't speak to its effectiveness, but that looks like a good price.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Hi Happy Now, I have an appointment scheduled with a GI for next Thursday. Is this the ox bile that you're talking about?: http://www.amazon.com/Nutricology-Bile-500-Vegetarian-Capsules/dp/B0002JIUDS/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t The pain I feel is usually under my left ribs around the area of the stomach. Thanks, Arthur

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 7:21 PM

If you are passing undigested food there are most likely issues with absorbing nutrients. If you think you might have issues with your gallbladder and bile release, there is also an ox bile supplement that can break down fats for you. If the pain you feel after eating fatty meat is sharp and on the right side up near your ribs you might have gallstones. But it could be a peptic ulcer or gallstone ileus too. Can you get a referral to a gastroenterologist because actually having a looksie at what is going on inside your gut would be the fastest way to figure out what is going on.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:59 PM

BTW, I noticed that lately I've been having very small, hard stool that "float" to the top of the water. Also, I often see undigested pieces of food in them. I don't know if this may be a contributing factor, but several months ago I had elevated liver enzymes. My MD suspected that I may have an obstructed gall bladder/bile duct. However, when we retested my blood several months later, the enzymes went back to normal. Thank you for your help, Arthur

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:53 PM

No, I don't think I have any more symptoms of GERD.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I just noticed that you mentioned problems with GERD before, do you still have a sensation of feeling your stomach acid outside where it is supposed to be? If you do, you might want to do something soothing and healing like drinking aloe juice for a couple of weeks before adding the betaine. I'm also wondering if you might be caught in a bit of a catch 22 here, where you need that protein and fat to be fully digested to synthesize enough stomach acid, but you aren't able to digest it fully because of lack of stomach acid. Hopefully the betaine can jumpstart things.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 6:51 AM

In my opinion there is such thing as cheating if you are working towards feeling well.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Okay! I'll give the betaine a try. No, I haven't tried bone broth. However, I'll google it and make some. I have to admit, I'm concerned that that the excess carbs (even if they are "clean" carbs) from a vegan diet will get stored as fat. However, I'm just not sure that the pain of meat-eating is worth it. I feel lighter, happier, and more upbeat on plants. To be honest, I feel like I've cheated on Primal after it has done so much for me healthwise.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · September 02, 2011 at 6:13 AM

I know there are some lacto-ovo paleos around these parts, but I don't know if there are any vegan paleos. I'd highly recommend trying Betaine before giving up on animal products all together, it is specific to helping break down protein. I'm also curious to know how you do on bone broths. If you can do broth and the rest veggie/fruit, I bet that could stave off most deficiencies that otherwise arise on a vegan diet.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Also, is it possible to be a moderate fat, no "animal" Primal eater?

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:03 AM

No, I haven't tried adding any digestive enzymes. Yes, I think I do chew my food well, and I eat slowly. I often spend about 15-20 minutes eating a meal. Tonight, I had one head of steamed broccoli with 1 tbsp. of EVOO and a 5-6 oz salmon fillet. I feel completely bloated and stuffed. I wonder why this doesn't happen when I only eat plant matter.

0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66
2
2004 · September 02, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Have you read this:

http://www.gnolls.org/1444/does-meat-rot-in-your-colon-no-what-does-beans-grains-and-vegetables/

Perhaps you'll find an explanation for your problem there - not enough hydrochloric acid.

20728624e1e13817fbac4e2e5249fb3a
2
144 · September 02, 2011 at 5:20 AM

You might want to get checked for gastroparesis. I have trouble with protein and raw foods - am seeing a naturopath and integrative doctor and getting myself sorted out :)

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Hi Cave Tomboy, When I do end up digesting Primal fare normally, I have a wonderful sense of being full, satisfied, and energized. I wish I could experience this feeling more often. :) Also, I've been on probiotics for many years, and they haven't really done much. Arthur

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba
1724 · September 02, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Hmm, when I eat protein & fat, it totally kills my appetite for hours on end, too, but I consider that a *good* thing. I don't want to feel hungry all the time. However, I don't have teh bloating and "sitting there like a rock" feelings you are having (in fact, all my bloating went away when I went Paleo). I immediately thought you might not have proper stomach acid, so you might want to try supplements for that. Also, you might want to try Probiotics, those helped me a lot.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:26 AM

I thought about gastroparesis; however, I really wanted to rule out other causes. Whenever I eat any protein/fat, it totally kills my appetite for hours on end. When I eat tons of veggies and fruits, my stomach "wakes up" and starts working again. In fact, if I alternate days of veggies+fruit/meat+veggies, I find that my stomach has an easier time digesting the "animal" foods. Thanks, Arthur

47510ace49ddd36747fc481f4cec371b
1
10 · April 05, 2012 at 10:40 AM

It could be the volume of food, eat to 80% full and see if it makes a difference. In the book The essential guide to Water and Salt, the authors F. Batmanghelidj MD and Phillip Day suggest to have a glass or two of water half to one hour before eating to help with digestion. I have increased my water intake and have noticed the difference. And another benefit is a decrease in my cravings as well as meal size.

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0 · July 25, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Look up Gastroperisis!

D5dff6376e17373751ccf4a10aaa0b34
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274 · April 05, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Another angle: it turns out that I am sensitive to eggs. When i started paleo I started to eat a lot of them and eventually I got some food stuck in my esophagus and had to go to the emergency room for an endo. It caused a constriction which went away after severely cutting back on eggs. You might try changing in your diet specific to the proteins and also play around with the enzymes and stuff other suggest.

4886d3390cb1de913ecc198e72cc072c
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287 · April 05, 2012 at 6:27 PM

As mentioned in the couple of the posts above -- sound like "low stomach acid" especially the burning sensation in your stomach. Here's a good link to test yourself: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-tests-for-low-stomach-acid/

9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80
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78 · April 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I have similar problems and would be glad if anyone has any more information what helps :)

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858
1571 · April 05, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Hi Natureman. See the comment I posted to Arthur under his original post about seeing a doc and getting your gut bugs tested.

D8795130729e173cfe9f3e2f6353becd
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446 · September 02, 2011 at 1:46 PM

This is a bit of weird one, but ... how fast do you eat?

My f-i-l suffers badly from stomach problems, indigestion and heartburn, and, put simply, it is because he eats too fast. He wolfs down a meal, he doesn't chew enough, he takes too much air in, eats too muich at one go, and his digestion just cannot cope with it.

He won't change however. So just takes loads of indigestion pills.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Hi Alex, I really like to take my time to enjoy my meals. I eat slowly, take pauses between bites, and make sure to chew thoroughly. Arthur

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1867 · September 02, 2011 at 5:16 AM

What's wrong with eating salads and fruit? Plants have fiber and fiber helps peristalsis. I eat low sugar fruits and I don't have this problem. When I tried eating very little fruit and salad to see what happened my body totally rebelled. I listen to my body and now no problems. I would definately look into some real issues like hiatial hernia or some good digestive enzymes like someone else said. Also maybe take the diet more slowly?

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b
1867 · September 02, 2011 at 5:35 PM

It might be. Sometimes when I eat a high fat meal, my hiatus acts up. I am a noob at paleo eating. I like to use digestive enzymes when I get them. It's probably better to allow my body to adjust. I'm not really a meat person.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932
55 · September 02, 2011 at 5:24 AM

Hi Renee, I was suspecting a hernia as a possible issue. I used to have GERD when I ate grains and dairy. Thankfully, those are gone now. Could my LES still be relaxed. Finally, I have been Primal for about 6 months now.

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