I’ve noticed a rise in a lot of media outlets talking about “beating the bloat.” I also see it in my practice at Nourishing Lab. I often wonder, are more people actually feeling bloated, or are they just more comfortable talking about it than they were before?
It used to be something that was embarrassing to discuss, almost taboo. I’m glad that it’s out in the open now! Either way, we’ve all suffered from bloating, whether chronic or occasional.
Whether I’m at the office or at the gym, or just chatting with friends over coffee, I consistently hear the same thing: “I feel so bloated all the time” or “I look 9 months pregnant by the end of the day!”
Let’s talk about the reason behind bloating, how digestion works, and tips for beating the bloat. If you’re suffering from chronic bloating, there’s a deeper issue at hand and I would recommend working with me to assess the root cause, or find a qualified practitioner in your area to help you figure out what’s going on.Bloating is one of the most common complaints I get from patients and is typically the result of some underlying condition Click To Tweet
What is bloating?
This really depends on the individual, because it will feel and look like something very different for each person. Generally, bloating feels like your stomach is swollen, distended, full, tight, and in general uncomfortable, like a balloon about to pop. Some people even call it a “food baby” after eating too much. Bloating is one of the most common complaints I get from patients and is typically the result of some underlying condition. It may be easily fixed with some shifts in diet, or could take more extensive testing to find the root cause.
What causes bloating?
Causes can vary from person to person, but for someone with chronic bloating, I’ll usually look into these possibilities:
- Abnormal gut bacteria
- Slow digestion
- Low stomach acid
- Food sensitivities like FODMAPS or gluten sensitivity
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBD)
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Candida (overgrowth of yeast)
More likely than not, there are causes that are a bit more benign than the ones I’ve listed above, and can be treated with a few simple changes in dietary habits or medication. Some simpler causes of bloating?
- Drinking carbonated water
- Eating too fast
- Certain medications
- Adding fermented foods to your diet
- Adding probiotics to your diet
- Eating too late at night
- Not drinking enough water
I promise you are not alone! Everyone suffers from bloating sometimes. It’s normal to have some bloating after eating, since our body is working hard to break down the foods we just ate. However, if you experience uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea, chronic constipation, blood in your stool, painful bowel movements and bloating at every meal I would suggest going to see your doctor. If you find that you’re experiencing bloating on a regular basis, shoot me an email and we can discuss the next steps! We’ll figure out how to beat the bloat, together.