Most people experience bloating at some time or other during their lives and when it happens occasionally it can be a harmless (yet uncomfortable experience).
There are many reasons we bloat from female menstrual cycle to full blown food intolerance. here are some things you should notice.
Frequent bloating is often a sign that your digestive system isn’t coping. This can be for a variety of reasons. Many which are highlighted in the headings below sometimes it may be a simple food intolerance but frequently it is a combination of food intolerance poor gastric function and Dysbiosis.
Many people jump to the conclusion of food intolerance for bloating. This is often true for many cases, but not all. Often bloating and fatigue occur in food intolerance but gastric function also plays a part.
Food intolerance can be straight forward to diagnose, but often it is not with many food intolerances overlapping each other. This is due to a weakened gut barrier which allows microscopic particles to pass through the gut barrier which this alerts the immune system resulting in an immune response or food intolerance reaction.
Our gastric function consistently plays a role in digestive stress. If our gastric system is under functioning it will cause bloating and gastric distress.
For example if our Hydrochloric acid is reduced, which happens with some medications we won’t breakdown our proteins in our stomach. This can result in bloating and discomfort each time you eat and soon after you ate, it wouldn’t matter which foods you eat you would feel gastric distress.
If your pancreatic enzymes were reduced you would react to sugars and you would experience discomfort or pain over an hour after you ate. Read more in our gut function article.
Liver function can also cause food intolerance reactions if it is under functioning read more here.
Leaky gut or weakened gut barrier. Mentioned earlier in food intolerance reaction. Weakened gut barrier can let microscopic particles of food through which triggers a food intolerance reaction.
This is where your gut microbiome (environment) is out of balance because there are not enough or displaced gut bacteria which can cause pain, discomfort and of course bloating. Probiotics are what we call good gut bacteria we want a balance of these so our gut environment is happy and healthy. Read more about gut bacteria here
An overlooked factor stress reduces our gastric function. Stress activates our adrenal glands which in turn inhibits our gastric function. This leads to food staying in the intestinal tract and fermenting which causes gas and bloating. More in depth detail about stress and its effects on our body here.
There are many things you can do to increase your gut function.
Don’t Drink While Eating. Drinking liquid while eating dilutes hydrochloric acid (HCL) of our stomach this is the primary acid used to breakdown food.
Diluted HCL reduces the digestion of food which can result in food sitting in the stomach giving you that heavy uncomfortable feeling. Food starts to ferment when it has prolonged periods in the gastric system. Fermentation can result in gases being release from food, which cause bloating and discomfort.
Drink water before a meal or 30min after a meal and you will enhance your gastric abilities.
Lemon in water: Including lemon in water in the morning helps to stimulate gastric acid secretions. This will increasing your ability to digest your food and reduce your bloating.
Apple cider vinegar 30-10min before a meal can increase HCL secretions, if pain occurs with apple cider vinegar you may have too much HCL already so please discontinue use.
Finally it is nutrition/naturopathy 1:1 to do a diet and symptom diary. This helps us to understand what you are eating and most importantly when symptoms are happening.
As mentioned previously it could be in relation to food but it could also be from gastric dysfunction. that timing tells us a lot about the gastric function, if there is a pattern to the symptoms or if it is occurring from a food.
If you feel like you need help interpreting you gastric symptoms consider one of our wellness plans.
This package is for those who need some help finding their ideal health balance.