Beat the Bloat!
Is Bloating (such as a bloated stomach) a symptom that you are all too familiar with? I can totally relate as I struggled with it in the past when I was dealing with IBS symptoms. It can also raise its ugly head from time to time with certain triggers.
Bloating can happen for many reasons.
Firstly, consider the circumstances around your bloat. Is there a natural cause and effect that might explain your bloat?
- Did you eat a large heavy meal. Hara hachi bu is a Japanese term meaning “Eat until you’re 80% full.” It originated in the city of Okinawa, where people use this advice as a way to control their eating habits. Interestingly, they have one of the lowest rates of illness from heart disease, cancer and stroke, and a fairly long life expectancy. Often moving to smaller portion sizes as part of a nutritionally balanced meal can be the first starting point.
- Did you suddenly increase your fibre a lot? If yes, then reduce and slowly increase.
- Do you rush your meals and forget to think about chewing? Unfortunately, in today’s go go go society with high expectations to get things done quickly this can play havoc on our digestion. Try to slow down at mealtimes and chew your food at least 10 times and up to 30 where possible. This helps to release digestive enzymes and stomach acid that help to break down protein, fat and carbohydrate rich foods. Remember your stomach has no teeth! Also, deep belly breathing before meals is a quick tip if you are highly stressed. It helps to switch your nervous system into para sympathetic mode. This is your body’s rest-and-digest mode, when the heart rate slows, and your digestive organs kick into high gear.
- Have you been snacking or grazing all day long? Switch to having just 3 meals spaced out evenly and see if this helps. When you are fasting between meals it activates the migrating motor complex (MMC). This acts like a sweeping brush to clear undigested food and cellular debris from the small intestine leading to less bloating.
There are also some signs to watch out for that something is not right with your digestion and needs further investigation.
- A clearly visible bloated belly, that may get larger as the day goes on.
- A bloated stomach that is painful or persistent.
- A bloat that is accompanied by excessive gas, sense of urgency, loose stools or constipation.
- It happens frequently.
There can be many reasons for the above and this is where you might need the support of a Nutritional Therapist to explore your health history, currently symptoms and review functional testing.
A Nutritional Therapist will investigate if you have any food sensitivities or an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine. They will also check to see if you are low in factors that help with breaking down and absorbing food such as digestive enzymes, stomach acid, bile acids, and beneficial bacteria. They can provide support to get your MMC’s (as mentioned above) working and much more.
If you would like further support with your gut heath or overall health, then check out my personalise one-to-one 90 Day Gut Restore Programme or register your interest in my next group “love your gut” health course that starts on 20th October 2022. Alternatively book in for a free discovery call to check out how I can support you.
Disclaimer: Advice given in a nutritional consultation is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should always consult your General Practitioner or primary healthcare provider if you require medical attention or have symptoms which are causing concern.