Feeling bloated? The possible causes and how to beat it!
Bloating can be debilitating. It can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It can affect your personal and professional life. Many of us live with it daily and have become accustomed to it.
Here’s the good news. There are ways to resolve it and or manage it, you just need to know what you’re dealing with. However, trying to work out the cause can often be the hardest part.
What can cause bloating:
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Excessive gas production
Food sensitives & intolerance – some of the most reactive foods are gluten, wheat, soy, corn, dairy, peanuts, legumes, brassicas
Low stomach acid
Eating too fast
Overeating and overindulgence
Too much or too little fiber
Excessive fizzy drink consumption
Excessive salt consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption
Stress and anxiety
As you can see, the list is extensive (and I probably haven't covered all the potential causes). How you manage your bloating will depend on what’s causing it. There can often be a bit of trial and error involved.
So, what can help? (remember, this depends on what's causing it)
Custom elimination diets to determine which foods you’re sensitive or intolerant to.
Therapeutic Diets such as the low FODMAP diet or anti-inflammatory diet (depending on the cause)
If SIBO, specific antibiotics or antimicrobial herbs together with a therapeutic diet.
If medically diagnosed IBS, elimination of known triggers, strategic supplementation* and gut repair
Supplementation with digestive enzymes*
Drinking lemon juice in water (preferably through a bamboo, metal or paper straw) 20-30 minutes before eating your meal to help stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes.
Consuming bitter foods with meals. Bitters help to increase the production of saliva and stomach acids. Foods include rocket, radicchio, kale, endive, mustard greens.
Increasing or decreasing fiber (dietary guidelines recommend 25g-30g of fiber for women and men respectively).
Strain specific probiotics*
Prebiotics (food for our gut)
Eating smaller meals
*please do not self prescribe. Always seek professional advice.
It's important to recognise that digestion begins in your mouth with chewing and the secretion of salivary amylase. Try to eat slowly and mindfully and chew your food properly (at least 20 times) before swallowing.
If your symptoms are persisting or getting worse, or you see blood in your stool, please see your GP for a diagnosis immediately and to rule out any serious conditions such as:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Infections such as Helicobacter Pylori
If you’ve tried to get to the bottom of your bloating to no avail and/or would like a personalised step by step approach to start feeling awesome again, please click here to secure your appointment today. I would love to assist you.
Together, we can beat the bloat and get you feeling terrific for summer!