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Bloating

Bloating is a common and uncomfortable condition that many people experience. It refers to a feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen, often accompanied by increased gas production or excessive gas accumulation in the digestive system. Bloating can be caused by various factors, and understanding the underlying reasons can help in managing and preventing it.

COMMON CAUSES OF BLOATING INCLUDE:

  • Overeating: Consuming large meals or eating too quickly can put extra pressure on the digestive system, leading to bloating.

  • Gas and Gas-Producing Foods: Some foods, particularly those high in carbohydrates and fiber, can produce gas during digestion. Beans, lentils, cabbage, onions, broccoli, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners are examples of gas-producing culprits.

  • Swallowed Air: When you eat or drink quickly, you may swallow air, which can get trapped in your digestive system and cause bloating.

  • Constipation: When stool moves slowly through the digestive tract, it can lead to bloating and discomfort.

 

  • Food Intolerances: Some individuals may have difficulty digesting certain foods, such as lactose or gluten, which can cause bloating and other digestive symptoms.

  • Digestive Disorders: Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can result in frequent bloating.

  • Hormonal Changes: Some women may experience bloating during their menstrual cycles due to hormonal fluctuations.

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics or painkillers, can disrupt the normal balance of gut bacteria and cause bloating.

  • Carbonated Beverages: Drinking carbonated drinks can introduce extra gas into your digestive system, leading to bloating.

  • Chewing Gum: Chewing gum can cause you to swallow air, leading to bloating.

  • Fatty Foods: High-fat foods can slow down digestion, leading to bloating.

  • Eating Too Quickly: When you eat too fast, you may not chew your food thoroughly, making it harder to digest and potentially causing bloating.

  • Gastrointestinal Infections: Certain infections in the gastrointestinal tract can cause bloating and other digestive symptoms.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD can cause bloating due to the buildup of gas in the stomach.

  • Impaired Vagal Activity: The vagus nerve plays a significant role in the digestive system, and it can indeed influence bloating and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can lead to slow digestion and bloating.

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BLOATING AND SIBO

Did you know that bloating if a hallmark symptom of SIBO?

 

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition in which there is an abnormal increase in the number of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria are normally present in the gastrointestinal tract, but when they overgrow in the small intestine, it can lead to various digestive symptoms, including bloating.

In SIBO, the excess bacteria can ferment carbohydrates and produce gas. The accumulated gas in the small intestine can cause distention and bloating. The most common types of gas produced in SIBO are hydrogen and methane.

Bloating with SIBO often described as a feeling of fullness, tightness, or swelling in the abdomen. The bloating may come and go, and it may worsen after meals, particularly those rich in carbohydrates and fiber that provide ample food for the bacteria to ferment.

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How We Can Help You

Our approach to bloating involves identifying and addressing the root causes of bloating rather than just treating the symptoms.

This approach focuses on optimising the function of the digestive system and addressing any imbalances that may be contributing to bloating. Here are some steps and considerations for a functional approach to bloating:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: We begin with a thorough assessment of the individual's medical history, diet, lifestyle, and any existing health conditions. Understanding the person's overall health status can help identify potential triggers for bloating.

  • Dietary Modifications: We analyse the individual's diet to identify any specific foods that may trigger bloating. Common culprits include gas-producing foods, high-fat foods, and certain food intolerances (e.g., lactose or gluten intolerance). A low-FODMAP diet, which restricts certain fermentable carbohydrates, may be beneficial for some individuals with bloating.

  • Meal Habits: We encourage mindful eating and advise against eating too quickly or overeating in one sitting. Chewing food thoroughly can aid digestion and reduce the likelihood of swallowing air, which can contribute to bloating.

  • Identify Food Intolerances: We investigate the possibility of food intolerances or sensitivities through an elimination diet or testing, if necessary.

  • Gut Microbiota Balance: Addressing gut microbiota imbalances may be essential. This can involve incorporating probiotic-rich foods or supplements and prebiotic foods to support beneficial gut bacteria.

  • Digestive Support: For individuals with specific digestive  deficiencies, supplementing with betaine HCl and/ or digestive enzymes may improve nutrient absorption and reduce bloating.

  • Stress Management: Stress and anxiety can exacerbate digestive issues, including bloating. Implementing stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness practices, yoga, or meditation, to promote relaxation and balance the nervous system may be helpful.

  • Physical Activity: We encourage regular physical activity, as it can help stimulate digestion and reduce bloating.

  • Hydration: We ensure adequate hydration, as proper water intake can aid digestion and prevent constipation, which can contribute to bloating.

  • Identify Underlying Conditions: We investigate the possibility of underlying gastrointestinal conditions, such as SIBO, or GERD, which can cause bloating. Appropriate testing and evaluation are necessary for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

  • Medication Review: We consider the individual's medication list, as certain medications may disrupt gut function and contribute to bloating.

  • Avoid Triggers: We consider common triggers for bloating, such as carbonated beverages, chewing gum, and certain artificial sweeteners.

Remember, each person's experience with bloating may be unique, and a personalised approach is crucial.

Reach out to us so we can help you develop an individualised plan based on the specific factors contributing to your bloating.

"Good gut health is the foundation of

overall well-being."

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