Bloating…Do You Regularly Look Like You Are 6 Months Pregnant?
Maybe you don’t notice throughout the day until you get home, go for a shower at night and notice the big buldge underneath your clothes?
I feel your pain, I have been here.
What’s even more frustrating is when you can’t even pin point what has done it. You try to eat right, limit the sugar, avoid the gluten that you have been told is a common culprit but you still end up with a massive tummy. 🙁
It seems like no matter what you eat, your tummy just expands. Sometimes you might be able to instantly feel it expanding, other days you don’t even notice it when its happening.
Its crazy how many women I speak to in which bloating is a daily occurrence.
While daily bloating may be fairly common, that Does Not make it normal!
A little bloating every now and then because maybe you ate too much, is likely not an issue but the problem occurs when it becomes a regular occurrence.
While some people find that getting rid of a particular trigger food solves the problem for them, for many others its not as simple as this and their daily bloating is a sign that something else is going on that needs to be addressed.
And while yes there are some common trigger foods that are not actually good for us anyway, there are other trigger foods that may actually be healthy foods that getting rid of them all together to stop the bloating from occurring, might not be the best option.
A good example of this is fibre. Fibre is often talked about as a good thing that we should eat more of for good health and while it can have many benefits on our digestive health, for others too much fibre can actually do the opposite and cause more bloating, gas and/or IBS symptoms. Fibre can be a double edge sword for people with digestive issues.
So while reducing fibre intake may alleviate symptoms for some people in the short term, actually reducing fibre intake in the diet, is not a good long term solution. There are just way too many benefits of fibre for our overall health to outweigh the disadvantages it may cause.
So What Can You Do, If This Is You Then?
The best thing you can do is actually get to the root cause of why you are experiencing the bloating, rather than permanently getting rid of healthy foods as a way to suppress your symptoms.
There are a number of possible reasons why you may be experiencing bloating which can be best determined by running some comprehensive gut microbiome integrative pathology tests.
As a nutritional medicine practitioner I have access to these very comprehensive functional medicine tests.
Some of the possible causes of your bloating that can be investigated through testing and questioning are as follows:
Over eating, eating too fast or in a stressed state
With the fast paced go go go modern world we live in today, eating too fast and in a stressed state is very common. Your lunch break has been cut to 15 minutes, you often eat on the run in the car, in between getting the kids ready and off to school and on our way to work. Time may be poor making eating in a stressed state being a common occurrence.
Ideally we should be eating in a relaxed parasympathetic state where we can actually enjoy our food and be present in the moment. This would be the ideal situation for proper digestion to take place. Unfortunally when you got a busy household with a few kids that constantly demand your attention, the reality is that might not always be possible.
Overgrowth of Bad Bacteria In The Gut
We all have both a mix of good and bad bacteria living in our guts, the problems occurs when an imbalance occurs and there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in comparison to the good bacteria. Things that can affect the balance of microbial bacterial species living in the gut include a poor diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods and low in fibre, antibiotic use, certain medications, stress, lack of sleep and exercise.
Candida Fungal Overgrowth
Candida Albicans is the most common occurring of the candida fungus’s. Candida Albicans lives naturally in the digestive system which when in balance does not cause a problem. Yet when it becomes out of balance an overgrowth can occur causing a number of problems including decreasing our immune defences, damaging the lining of the intestinal tract which can lead to a a whole host of gut symptoms.
Candida overgrowth can occur due to a diet high in sugar, antibiotic use, oral contraceptives, steroid drugs, imbalances in sex hormones, (women may have more overgrowth at the time of menstruation due to hormonal shifts), a weakened immune system, and anything that affects the bacterial microbial growth in the gut.
When you hear the term parasites, you may associate this with something that would be picked up from being unhygienic, or something that you would get from a third world country where sanitation is poor. You may be surprised to learn that parasites are more common in the western world that you think.
Many people have parasites living in their guts, without even having any idea. Sometimes they can live in our guts for years without causing any problems, before they may start causing related symptoms. This may include diarrhoea, bloating, unexplained GI issues, low energy and constant feelings of fatigue, trouble sleeping at night, itching around the anus (particularly at night when parasites are most active), cravings/increased appetite and unexplained low iron levels.
Low Stomach Acid
Stomach acid is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive process to occur. Forget about what you have been made to believe that heartburn is a symptom of too much stomach acid. Its actually a symptom of too little stomach acid. Without enough stomach acid, you may experience reflux, heartburn and other digestive symptoms due to an inability to properly digest your food. You also open up the door to a host of other opportunistic infections to enter the digestive tract and cause inflammation.
The problem is not that you have too much stomach acid but actually too little stomach acid. Without enough stomach acid our ability to digest food properly is compromised leading to nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues.
Leaky Gut also known as intestinal permeability refers to holes in the gut lining that allow undigested food particles and toxins to leach out of the gut and into the blood stream, causing systemic inflammation. Leaky gut can cause a host of gut symptoms as well as a number of other symptoms that you may not relate to the gut, including headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain related conditions, brain fog, inflammatory skin conditions and auto immune conditions.
The biggest culprits of the development of leaky gut are the modern western diet high in sugar, gluten, processed and inflammatory foods and the overuse of antibiotics.
Histamine Intolerance occurs when the body is unable to breakdown histamine properly due to a defect in either the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) or histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT). Here histamine from food and medication is reabsorbed in the intestines causing an excess of histamine, which may cause excess inflammation in the gut, gut symptoms and allergy like symptoms. Having gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of bacterial species in the gut) can also have a connection with histamine intolerance .
Poor Liver Detoxification Pathways
Our livers are our biggest elimination organ meaning its function is to eliminate unwanted toxins that your body comes in contact with so they do not cause harm. The problem is many of us have sluggish functioning liver detoxification pathways, meaning our ability to remove harmful toxins and excess hormones is compromised, which then leads to inflammation. We all come in contact with toxins everyday. These may be from our food, our environment, our personal care products, cleaning products and medications.
While I do suggest you limit your daily toxin exposure where possible, we do need a optimally functioning liver to have a healthy digestive system free of gut symptoms.
If you are not regularly using your bowels, your gut is going to have a build up of toxic waste circulating around. This can contribute to bloating and stomach pain. If you are someone who suffers from constipation, you would know too well, that sigh of relief you feel when you take a bowel movement. You may feel the tummy bloating go down.
While food intolerances can be a cause of bloating and digestive symptoms, food intolerances are often present due to poor gut health. The most common one is due to a leaky gut. While certain food intolerances may need to be avoided while the gut is in a poor state, once you heal the gut, quite often these food intolerances no longer become an issue.
Many people who have an unhealthy gut, experience a number of food intolerances even to healthy foods. This can often be rectified by healing the gut. We always want to aim for being able to eat a wide variety of foods. A diverse diet is the long term goal for a healthy gut.
So now you know the possible causes of your bloating, I urge you to get in touch.
Its time to stop guessing what the problem is and actually work with a practitioner that will help you find the answers to your dreaded bloating issue.
Once we run some gut tests, we can get a really good insight into what is going on in the gut, which will then allow us to start treating the cause so you can finally stop worrying about if this food and that food will cause you to bloat.
Still not quite sure? To find out if your gut health may be compromised and needs some attention, you can take my ‘Is Your Gut Healthy?’ Quiz here.
And lastly I invite you to book a no obligation complimentary discovery call to find out more about how I can help you achieve a healthier happier gut, free of that daily bloat.
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Here’s to good health and happiness x