Do you experience bloating? If yes, you are not alone in your battle against the bloat; It is estimated that 15-30% of the US population experience bloating. But trying to understand what’s causing the bloat can certainly send you down a rabbit hole, a rabbit hole that can leave you with more questions than answers. Luckily we think we have a few answers for you…
First things first - what is bloating?
Everyone has their own unique experience with bloating. Some may feel a prolonged feeling of fullness, some may find their belly distended (also known as a “pot belly”), or you may even experience some other discomfort including cramping and/or constipation.
So when it comes to bloating the symptoms are pretty obvious, but we know you want some answers!
So, why has the bloat targeted me?
It all comes down to your gut health. You see your digestive system is essentially one long tube, but within your tube is many tiny process and microorganisms that keep your system clear and healthy. When any one of these processors or microorganisms is out of balance, you will start to experience gut issues like bloating. But what could be causing all the disruption?
- Your food may be the culprit
First things first, look at your diet! When it comes to any issue with your digestive system, the first port of call is assessing your diet. Ask yourself, what types of foods am I eating? and notice when you eat certain foods, if symptoms appear.
Do you suspect a food intolerance? Here’s a clue…
You ate 30 minutes ago and you now have a persistent feeling of fullness alongside some cramping and later some constipation or diarrhea? This is a common pattern linked to a food intolerance. So what can you do about it?
Food avoidance is number one! Foods that are often linked to an intolerance include dairy foods, gluten, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. If you suspect a food intolerance you need to start paying some special attention to what you are eating - maybe even keep a food diary for a few days. This way you can track what’s causing your bloating. From here you could look into starting an elimination diet, which largely involves removing suspicious foods from the diet and seeing if your symptoms improve.
But what if that didn’t work? Maybe it’s not an intolerance, maybe it’s something that is often confused for an intolerance….
- Your digestive system might be sending you SOS signals
Indigestion is common with summer foods like raw vegetables, cold treats and sodas. Your digestive system is just not designed to process many of these foods. These foods can literally damage your digestive system, which means it won’t be able to properly digest other foods – which could lead to some other problems – like a food intolerance popping up!
So, how to avoid indigestion? Firstly, completely eliminate anything processed or artificial - your digestive system hates these foods! You can also cut back on foods that are hard to digest such as raw vegetables.
But, If the problem has been going on for a while, it may be time to look at some deeper repair, maybe the bacteria in your gut is all out of sorts, and needs some help…
- Maybe your bacteria is acting not-so-friendly
A bacterial imbalance all starts in your gut microbiome and can certainly be the cause of your bloating. Your gut microbiome contains around 100 trillion bacteria! You need a wide variety of this bacteria to maintain gut health, even when one type of not-so-friendly bacteria is out of balance you can find yourself in a world of bloat. Problems such as a food intolerance or indigestion can all contribute to a potential bacterial imbalance in the gut.
You need to get that “good bacteria” thriving again and your microbiome back on track! But how to do this?
Try including more fermented foods in your diet such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and yoghurt. Also find a good probiotic, a good probiotic can do wonders for rebalancing the bacteria in the gut.
Life Nutrition has developed a probiotic containing 8 scientifically proven strains of good bacteria. To reduce the bloat - Life Nutrition Advanced Probiotics is a great place to start, alongside the right diet.