Symptoms of Poor Digestion and How to Fix It

By Leah Kleinschrodt, MS, RD, LD
March 7, 2024


You’ve likely heard the saying “You are what you eat.” While this is true, it’s not the full story. One of our favorite practitioners takes it a step further, often telling her clients “You are what you digest and absorb.”1 We couldn’t agree more.

So how do you know if you’re breaking down your food properly for absorption? Here are some signs that your digestive tract may be struggling to keep up:

Symptoms Of Poor Digestion

  • Early satiety (i.e., you get full very quickly on a small amount of food)
  • Bloating and discomfort immediately following or within 20 minutes of completing a meal
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Gas (belching or flatulence)
  • Food particles in the stool
  • Stool that floats or looks oily/greasy
  • Gallbladder removed
  • Frequent use of antacid medications (over the counter or prescription)
  • Eating in a stressed or distracted state (wolfing down a meal on the way to work or between meetings, eating while checking email or social media, eating at the kitchen counter, etc.)
  • Nutrient deficiencies, such as low iron, low B12, low zinc, low magnesium
  • Weight loss surgery (gastric bypass)
  • Inflammation in the digestive tract (IBS, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis/diverticulitis)

Do any of these sound familiar? As a licensed dietitian I often hear these symptoms of poor digestion from clients. Transitioning clients to an anti-inflammatory, real food nutrition plan and letting go of the harmful, processed foods (like sugar, refined oils, refined carbohydrates) is always going to be our first line of defense.

However, sometimes the digestive tract needs extra support for healing and to help reduce symptoms quickly. This is where digestive enzymes come in.

Supplement To Support Digestion

Key Digestive Enzymes is our go-to product, a one-stop-shop for digestion support. Key Digestive Enzymes works by breaking down the three macronutrients (protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates) and by freeing vitamins and minerals from foods to be absorbed in the intestinal tract.

Here’s how Key Digestive Enzymes works to make digestion more efficient and effective:  

  • Betaine HCl and pepsin go to work in the stomach, ensuring the stomach is acidic enough to start the digestion of protein, to liberate certain nutrients like iron and B12, and also acidic enough to activate the release of the body’s own pancreatic enzymes.
  • The enzymes blend mimics the pancreatic enzymes that our body creates to further break down protein (protease), carbohydrate (amylase), and fats (lipase) in the upper part of the small intestine.
  • Ox bile is an additional, crucial support molecule for digesting fats and helping absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E, and K). For those who struggle with gas, cramping, and loose or oily stools following gallbladder removal, this can make all the difference.
  • Taurine is a supportive amino acid that enhances the production and function of Betaine HCl and pepsin.
  • Gentian root, dandelion extract, and fennel powder, all included in the product, are also established, powerful digestive aids.

Find Digestive Relief

If the food you are eating seems to weigh you down more than it lifts you up, or if you struggle with any one of the aforementioned symptoms of poor digestion or conditions, you are not alone, but you can have relief. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out for personalized and professional help with nutrition counseling with me or one of my fellow licensed and registered dietitians and nutritionists. We can help you figure out the best plan of action for reducing your symptoms of poor digestion and improving your quality of life! Learn More.


Is there a food that’s causing you digestive distress?
Listen to podcast episode or read the transcript of
How To Determine Food Triggers For Digestive Issues – Ask a Nutritionist.

Listen to Episode 


For more information on digestive health, check out these resources:



1)      Myers, A. The Autoimmune Protocol. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher; 2015.

About the author

Leah is a licensed dietitian with Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Leah’s natural inclination toward health began to falter in college as she fell victim to the low-fat, high-carbohydrate, low-calorie dogma of the time. It didn’t take long for her body to start showing signs of rebellion. When Leah found Nutritional Weight & Wellness and began eating the Weight & Wellness Way of real food, in balance, her body swiftly reacted. Leah continues to be amazed each and every day at the positive impact that nutrition has had on her own health. Knowing how wonderful that feels, she is passionate about helping as many people as she can find their own relief. Leah is a licensed dietician through the Minnesota Board of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Most recently she completed her M.S. in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

View all posts by Leah Kleinschrodt, MS, RD, LD


I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia in 2006 and they told me to eat every 2 hours to keep my blood sugars up. After a few years I had various other people tell me that oh, you can have this or that and then started having problems with constipation got past that then I go to dieticians and they tell me that I can eat these foods, and the GI Dr told me to eat low fat low fiber, no insoluble fiber, then I had my gallbladder removed and the Drs tell me that I can have peanut butter, so I don’t know exactly how I am supposed to be eating but I do know that it has to be low fiber, but how low is right for me? And this last time I had gained 10 pounds and am finding it hard to get rid of them. Can you help? I also have ibs, acid reflux, and what seems to be slow transit constipation.
July 2, 2020 at 9:33 am


Hi Kathleen, we'd highly recommend a personal consultation with a nutritionist. We are offering a great promotion right now for counseling packages and all consultations are held via zoom or phone.

Deb Raleigh
Can you or should you take a long with a probiotic? I am taking the bifido balance from you guys.

July 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm


Yes, taking the Key Digestive Enzyme can be taken with the Bifido Balance. It can be beneficial if experiencing signs of poor digestion like gas, bloat, acid reflux, or disrupted bowel movements. We recommend taking both a few minutes before meals.
July 8, 2020 at 7:26 pm

Where do I find your products. I'm suffering from bloating pain and swelling. Something I'm hesitant to eat because I bloat after a meal and it takes hours for my food to break down.
January 27, 2021 at 10:53 pm


You can find all of our products on

Can a person take ox bile if they still have their gallbladder?
September 26, 2022 at 9:09 am


Yes, if your gallbladder is still in your body but not functioning properly, you can find benefit from taking ox bile.  You can take the digestive enzymes with ox bile at a meal and find food will digest better.

Hi been diagnosed with Conns syndrome.It would seem to have damaged my digestive system .I have pain after eating,constant bloating and early satiety. I experienced really low potassium levels.Also my blood sugar was high, but not diabetic.What can I eat? Everything makes me so uncomfortable.
October 29, 2022 at 8:15 am


The best thing would be to make a nutrition counseling appointment with one of our dietitians or nutritionists so they can create a customized plan for you.

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