This month, I am writing about what may cause that belly bloat and what may help reduce it as this has been a very popular subject in my clinic recently. As much as 30 percent of the population suffers from bloating and 96 percent of people with bloating also have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, an umbrella term for a collection of gastrointestinal symptoms). These statistics do not mean that bloating is normal nor that it is something that you should accept and suffer in silence with. Bloating, the sensation of abdominal swelling with or without visible distension, can be very distressing especially when unexplained.
Here are some of the most common causes for bloating and I can guarantee that one or more of these will apply to you:
– being unable to digest your food properly;
– having issues with your gut bacteria;
– poor transit, excess gas and/or constipation;
– a diet high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, rice, biscuits etc…) and/or sugar;
– a lack of variety in your diet;
– possible food sensitivities and/or intolerances;
– excess stress;
– wonky sex hormones;
– not breathing properly.
So how can you beat the bloat? Here are a few digestive tips and other techniques to reduce bloating that you can start implementing straight away:
– use your senses (mindful eating) and chew your food;
– ensure you have balanced levels of stomach acid (which may be impaired by the use of antacids such as Gaviscon or PPIs such as Omeprazole);
– avoid highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar and artificial sweeteners;
– do not overeat at mealtimes and leave gaps between meals (i.e. reduce snacking);
– identify potential problematic foods by keeping a food and symptom diary;
– ensure you go to the toilet every single day;
– avoid swallowing excess air (e.g. fizzy drinks or chewing gum);
– breathe properly using your diaphragm (i.e. no shallow breathing or hyperventilating);
– manage stress through adequate sleep and rest or relaxation techniques such as meditation;
– practice regular gentle exercise (e.g. yoga) rather than excessive and strenuous exercise.
Although this is a very helpful guide and a starting point for you, working with a nutrition professional like myself can really help unpick what is going on for you and address the problem at its source rather than taking a stab in the dark. I join the dots for you and take the trial and error out, leaving you time to do the things you love instead of spending hours in vain on Dr Google trying to fix yourself.
Christelle Page is a local Registered Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach at Keep Calm Nutrition. Her clinic is now completely virtual and she will see you remotely from comfort of your own home.
Book your COMPLIMENTARY HEALTH TRANSFORMATION CALL now to discuss your health concerns and goals by visiting www.keepcalmnutrition.co.uk or https://p.bttr.to/2ZtsRBC or by emailing:email@example.com and start on your health journey straight away.