I am pretty sure you are all familiar with what bloating is. In fact, it is one of the leading complaints of clients that I see. Most people in their life have experienced bloating, and some people it’s a daily occurrence. The great news is though is that you do not have to keep experiencing bloating, because there are causes and ways to eliminate it from your life!
What is bloating?
Just in case you aren’t familiar with what bloating is, it’s a feeling of all, tight and/or swollen abdomen – usually following eating, but sometimes it continues on and lasts all the time. This swelling is related to air being trapped in the GI tract so it expands.
Many people also experience gas, burping, pain, rumbling stomach or constipation as well.
What causes bloating?
* Food sensitivities are the number one thing I see that is a big contributor to bloating. This is not an allergy and is often overlooked by the person as a sign that the food is actually bothersome to their system. Sometimes symptoms include swelling in body parts, puffiness, a cough, stuffy nose, sometimes hives. This can happen right after eating, but often can also be delayed so it makes it even harder for the person to put together the reaction to the food they ate. Bloating with food sensitivities is usually noticeable within hours of eating.
The most common things I see are gluten, corn, soy, egg, dairy and nuts for sensitivities. But there are many other things or specific foods to YOU that cause this reaction. I work on the bio-individual level with people to identify their personal issues. I do this through food journals first, and if deemed necessary, testing that can confirm gut microbes, and food sensitivities to help pinpoint imbalances. Get a FREE consult to learn more.
* Poor or dysfunctional digestive system
This means you may have low stomach acid (most people I see do), poor gallbladder and/or liver function (bile insufficiency), overgrowth of certain microbes in your intestines (dysbiosis) and more. To determine your exact dysfunction I have a very thorough intake process, in addition several tests can be added on to determine exactly where the dysfunction is if the intake and food changes don’t alleviate your symptoms. (Let’s talk on a FREE consult to learn more).
Another thing that can lead to this that falls under poor digestive function is constipation. This is caused by a number of things gone wrong in the gut, but also leads to bloating because stools aren’t passing. When they sit for too long in the colon, the toxins and components may also re-enter the system for re-circulation creating more issues systemically.
* Altered gut flora and/or small intestine loose junctions (aka leaky gut).
There can even be things like overgrowth in the upper GI (H. Pylori) contributing to this digestive dysfunction creating symptoms. Other things include fungal overgrowth, SIBO and more.
Improperly digested food before it arrives in the small intestine (from GI dysfunction) can also cause loosening off the gut lining and junctions causing what is known as leaky gut – where things are escaping from the gut into the bloodstream. This causes an immune response, which bloating can be a part of.
This is why it’s best to work with a practitioner like myself to help you identify the exact culprit of the bloating and digestive symptoms to get the relief that you want and need!
What can you do about it?
* Look at possible food reactions. Go for the big ones listed above first, wheat/gluten/grains, corn, soy, dairy, egg. Try eliminating them one at a time and see if you decrease the bloating. You can also try other foods as tests as well if you start finding a pattern with bloating after eating them.
* SLOW DOWN EATING! This is sometimes all some people need. The process of eating is a signaling process in the brain and if we don’t enter in a relaxed state and let our brain focus on food and signal our digestion, it’s frankly just not ready to receive and process food. If you can take a few seconds to breathe and focus on food to start, you will get this process started. Chewing thoroughly is part of this, and slowing down the speed at which a meal is eaten is also part of the whole eating slow process. ALL of these things give your stomach the chance to produce the necessary acid to start breaking down food and allow signals to begin and function to continue proper digestion.
Sometimes our guts need more beneficial microbes to help create a better balance. Probiotics are one way to do that in addition to fermented foods in our diet. Quality is of utmost importance with probiotics. Unless spore based, they should always come in a refrigerated pack no delivery or be stored in a refrigerator in the store. They should just contain the pill casing and the probiotics strands. No additives or fillers. This type of quality is the same for your vitamins (minus need for refrigeration for most). You want JUST the vitamins and minerals, and no other additives in the ingredients list. You may also need a formula that has a prebiotic – depending on your current diet.
* Water – as always consuming enough water helps your colon and digestive system function – not to mention all your other body systems. You need at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you drink caffeine or alcohol daily (this could also be contributing to your digestive issues), you will need more water to compensate for that. You may also need more magnesium in your diet (see more on that here), this helps with the motility of the intestines as well.
There may be other food components or types that you are sensitive too that would be harder for you to locate on your own. The help of a practitioner will be needed in this case, grab a FREE consult now. In addition, certain tests might be needed to pinpoint what is causing the bloating – which can also be discussed with a practitioner.