If you have ever suffered with bloating before, you know what a nuisance it is. Not only can it be uncomfortable, even painful, it can be frustrating when your clothes aren’t fitting as they normally do. Here are some possible reasons why you are suffering with bloating, that you might not have considered.
Stress and/ or Anxiety
Stress also eats up important vitamin and minerals that are needed for your body to make the enzymes that break down your food and keep certain types of bacteria etc under control.
What you can do now- look at ways where you can implement some strategies to help cope with your stress, if you are unable to make life style changes. When it comes to eating, make the time to sit down, take a few deep breaths to help signal to your body to relax, then chew your food consciously and slowly.
Image by Gastroenterology Consultants of Savannah, P.C.
Leaky gut occurs when the tight junctions of the gut lining loosen, causing various unwanted food, pathogens, toxins, etc., to leak through the gut lining into the bloodstream causing an inflammatory response in the body. This can manifest as bloating as well as food sensitivities/ intolerances, joint pain, weight gain and fatigue.
There are many causes for leaky gut that include inflammatory foods, certain medications, chronic stress, low stomach acid, pesticides, infection, bacteria imbalance, yeast overgrowth, poor diet including excessive sugar, alcohol, caffeine intake and processed foods.
What you can do now- this is a tricky one to sort out on your own until you find out what is the root cause (maybe causes), and remove it. Only then you can look at ways to heal your gut naturally.
This one always freaks people out but everyone gets them and it is part of life I’m afraid. The good news is if your immune system is healthy and you eat a balanced diet, that tends to kill off any potential issues. If thats not the case, parasites can cause bloating and gas together with abdominal pain and/ or cramps. You may find you are alternating between diarrhoea and constipation and even have problems with sleep.
What you can do now- if you suspect you might have parasites, there are various foods you can eat to help kill them off. For example, pumpkin seeds, when ground or chewed, release plant compounds called tetracyclic triterpenes, that paralyse and purge parasites from the body. Eating three cloves of raw garlic on an empty stomach every day for one week is one of the simplest ways to get rid of all types of intestinal worms.
Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)
Image by Desiree Nielsen
We all have bacteria however SIBO is when there is an increase in the bacterial population in the small intestine, particularly types of bacteria not commonly found in that part of the digestive tract.
Bloating is a common symptom of SIBO alongside abdominal pain due to increased gas, excessive belching, alternating diarrhoea and constipation and smelly wind. Excessive belching can cause symptoms that mimic reflux-like heartburn too.
What you can do now- again this isn’t really one that you can always sort out yourself unless you know what you are looking for. It is, however, important to get it addressed asap as it can have further more serious health implications if left.
Not may people know that the ideal scenario is that you are opening your bowels before your next meal. The minimum is at least once a day and that it is easy to do so. Anything outside of this, would be considered constipation and can cause bloating.
What you can do- ensure you have enough fibre in your diet, that you are properly hydrated and that you are moving your body all normally help. (It’s important to note here, that intense emotions such as grief can also cause constipation.)
Other reasons and what you can do
Eating high fat foods can cause bloating in some people as it takes the body longer to digest fats. So see if there is a correlation to your bloating and what you eat. Drinking or eating too quickly increases the amount of air a person swallows, (same applies with talking and eating), which can lead to more gas building up in the gastrointestinal tract causing bloating, so try to go slower. Take a walk after eating, this can help alleviate bloating. Try herbal teas such as peppermint or ginger, they can help break up gas bubbles that can develop into bloating.
Important note: these are just a few examples of what has come up during my kinesiology sessions with clients who have suffered with bloating.
I am not a medical professional and have not included all possible reasons for bloating. Always consult a medical professional with any concerns or worrying symptoms.