What to do about Bloating
There are millions of people bloated right now. Are you one of them? Bloating has got to be the most common gastro-intestinal issue I see. Maybe your pants fit fine in the morning, but by mid-afternoon you are loosening them or you’re so filled with hot air (literally) you’re afraid to go out in public for fear of letting out some gas. If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought you look pregnant, but you’re not, you’re not alone.
First off, a little bloating in normal and is often reflective of a healthy and balanced diet. Most people will also feel bloated after a large meal. Afterall, our stomachs are designed to naturally distend after eating to allow for digestion, even if you’ve eaten something perfectly healthy. If it’s happening a little more often or is painful, then you may want to do something about it.
What causes bloating:
- Gas: gas can enter our body through swallowed air. More gas is created in the digestive tract when the healthy bacteria that live there ferment fibre from the food we eat.
- Constipation: when the bowel is backed up with stool this can cause distention and discomfort
- Water retention: some foods attract water into the bowel (I’m looking at you FODMAPs), this excess water can make you feel bloated and cause loose or watery bowel motions
- Stress: Have you heard about the gut brain axis? This is a two way super highway between your gut and your brain. Stress can trigger both bloating and other gastrointestinal issues in a variety of ways.
- Eating behaviours: eating too fast, talking while you eat and drinking through a straw can all result in alterations in intestinal transit and lead to bloating and other gastro-intestinal symptoms
If your bloating is excessive, there are a few things you can do:
- Keep a food diary for a few weeks and monitor your food, sleep, stress and exercise
- Regular light exercise is great for keeping digestion running smoothly
- Yoga can be particularly helpful for bloating and abdominal cramping
- Heat packs help relax tight and tense muscles around the middle
- See a dietitian to assess your individual situation and get a plan to address your symptoms
Kfibre is a natural prebiotic that nourishes your gut microbiome in the same way fertiliser nourishes your garden. The really cool thing about Kfibre is that it is uniformly fermented along the entire gut, meaning it aids digestion but produces less gas in the process. Making it better tolerated and more effective than other fibres. Kfibre is also low FODMAP, gluten free and dairy free.
By Joanna Baker, APD & RN