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DID YOU KNOW, BLOATING IS NOT NORMAL?

DESPITE HOW COMMON IT IS, WHEN BLOATING OCCURS FREQUENTLY, THIS IS AN INDICATION THAT YOUR GUT NEEDS SOME WORK.

 

Why am I always feeling bloated? Person holding their stomach.

For most of us, we may feel a little bloated after a heavy meal, alcohol or a sweet treat, and to some extent this is normal, however if you are feeling bloated everyday, after meals, even when eating whole foods, you may want to consider the following causes.

Low Stomach Acid

Our stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) breaks down foods into smaller particles to pass them through the digestive tract effectively. If our bodies are not producing enough stomach acid, it is harder for foods to progress through the digestive tract, causing bloating, reflux & even nausea.

Tip

A great way to help improve stomach acid is to dilute 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a small glass of warm water & consume before each main meal. This also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

Stressed? Sticky notes listing lots of things to do.


Stress

When we are feeling stressed, our bodies go into a ‘fight or flight’ state which has a negative impact on digestion. When we eat, we want our bodies to be in a ‘rest & digest’ state in order to effectively digest food without causing unwanted symptoms such as bloating.

Tip

An easy way to help activate a ‘rest & digest’ state is to be mindful when you are eating. This includes sitting down to eat without any distractions such as television, phones etc. Taking a couple of deep breaths before eating a meal can also help activate our parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest).

Bacterial Overgrowth

When our gut environment has too much ‘bad’ bacteria, either in the small or large intestine. This is one of the most common causes of bloating & gas and other digestive symptoms such as constipation and/or diarrhoea.

Tip

If you react to certain foods, such as onion or garlic, it’s likely not the food that is the problem, rather it’s your gut environment. If you suspect you have a bacterial overgrowth, it is best to be assessed by a Naturopath.

Taking proactive steps can help improve persistent bloating. Don’t ignore it and remember that although it can be a common thing, it is not normal. If you are experiencing bloating & digestive discomfort, it is a good idea to seek guidance with a Naturopathic consult to navigate you through prioritising your gut health.

More topics on digestive health coming next month.

Written by Shannon Jolly, Naturopath, Todd Clinics Geelong. February 224.