If you are like so many people nowadays, you have experienced excessive gas and bloating more than you’d like to admit. We all experience gas and bloating from time to time depending on our eating habits, stress levels and hormonal heath. However, if you feel like it is causing you too much discomfort and interfering with your daily activities, it is time to dig a bit deeper and find out what the underlying cause is.
Here are a few possible cause of excessive gas and bloating:
Bacterial or yeast overgrowth
Yes, our gut is a home to trillions of bacteria but not all of these bacteria are our friends. This is similar to a garden. We want flowers, fruit and vegetables to grow and to achieve this, one of the things we have to do is keep the weeds away and under control. Same goes for bacteria and yeast in our gut. Sure there will be some bad guys in there, but as long as we have enough good ones to keep the other ones in check, we should be OK.
It also matters where these bacteria are, in our colon – good, in our small intestine – not so good. If you haven’t heard of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) now is the time to learn more about it.
High Fodmap foods
High FODmap foods are certain foods that contain higher amounts of carbohydrates or naturally occurring sugars that are poorly absorbed and instead feed bacteria in the large intestine. The bacteria ferment these sugars and cause excessive gas and bloating. Sometimes limiting high FODMAP foods can make a huge difference in relieving unpleasant digestive symptoms.
Low digestive enzymes
Our body produces digestive enzymes to break down the food we eat so that it can be properly utilized by the body. Stress and age are some of the factors that negatively affect our ability to produce an adequate amount of digestive enzymes including stomach acid or HCl as well as pancreatic enzymes (amylase, protease and lipase).
Fresh foods also provide naturally occurring enzymes. Considering that most of our food is over processed and stripped of nutrients and enzymes, we may need additional help in a supplement form. Many people find relief from excessive gas and bloating with the use of digestive enzymes.
Some of the most common culprits are dairy and gluten. Not only can they cause excessive gas and bloating but they can also increase inflammation throughout the body and affect your energy levels.
Here are 5 tips to get rid of gas and bloating:
- Include apple cider vinegar in your daily routine as long as it does not cause a burning sensation in your stomach. Best time to take it is in the morning. Add 1-2 tablespoons to a glass of water to start your day. It can be taken before each meal to promote better digestion.
- Include fermented foods into your diet such as kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh as long as they don’t make your symptoms worse. Depending on your gut flora these foods could be highly beneficial although in some cases they can have an opposite effect. Always listen to your body!
- Chew your food! Digestion starts in your mouth so don’t skip this important step by guzzling your food. Eat slowly and mindfully, to give your digestive system a chance to do its job well.
- Don’t drink while eating. While it is important to stay hydrated, drinking excessive liquids while eating, usually results in digestive distress and excessive gas and bloating. Eat a salad with your meal to give you that burst of freshness and juiciness you need.
- Start by eliminating gluten and dairy for 2 weeks and see what difference this makes for you. Look into minimizing high FODmap foods and track your results.
Once you’ve tried these 5 tips, let me know in the comments how you feel. If however, you feel you need more help, book a Nutritional Consultation and Live Blood Analysis appointment to further determine the underlying cause.
How can Live Blood Analysis Help
Live Blood Analysis can show us whether any of the following are reasons for you discomfort:
- Yeast or parasites
- Congested liver
- Low digestive enzymes
Once we know what’s causing your symptoms, we’ll create a personalized plan to get your digestive system back on track and help you get rid of gas and bloating. Stay tuned for my next post on GERD and heartburn!